When it comes to the popularity of KNC’s trails, the people have spoken. In a recent survey, our members and guests ranked hiking trails as KNC’s number one attraction. Given that, we’ve focused our Fall campaign on making our trails the best they can be.
We believe that our 14-mile trail network has few peers in the Lower Peninsula. The trails on our 1,200-acre property lead through a towering beech maple forest next to a sparkling trout stream. They wind through a sprawling prairie with the limitless sky overhead. They offer a hawk’s eye view of the Kalamazoo River Valley and lead like a flowery country lane through the pastoral beauty of DeLano Farm.
Unlike paved trailways that allow bikes and snowmobiles, our trails are natural surface footpaths. They hug close to the earth, over rocks and roots, up and down slopes, and through wetlands. Given their organic structure, our trails need regular upkeep – a few puddles are fine, but eight inches of boot-sucking muck isn’t!
Maintenance becomes even more crucial as the number of hikers increases. And, as we strive to make certain trails more accessible to people with wheelchairs and limited mobility. Now is the time to re-energize our trail maintenance program and make them more durable and walkable for the long term. As part of our Fall campaign, your gift will support renewed efforts to improve conditions on trails that many view as crown jewels of the Nature Center. As always, your gift will also fund KNC’s daily operations. That’s essential since about 70 percent of our overall expenses involve labor costs.
When we tell someone to “take a hike,” it’s our promise that a walk in the woods will be a joyful, even life-changing experience. Through your generosity, we will keep it so.