Hiking Trails at the Kalamazoo Nature Center

The Kalamazoo Nature Center is home to over 14 miles of hiking trails winding through woods, wetlands, and prairies. Cross country skis and snowshoes welcome (trails are not groomed). Download the trail map or stop in to the Visitor Center or Welcome Station to pick up a printed map.

Did you know? KNC has a weather station, funded in part by Enviroweather! Check the forecast here and prepare for an amazing day at KNC.

Love to hike?

KNC Trails at 7000 N. Westnedge Avenue

Click on the images below to learn more about each trail!

Prairie Pathway

0.7 mile/0.5 mile | Easy
Easy walk through fields to a reconstructed prairie awash with color in summer and fall. Look for bluebirds and swallows at the nest boxes.

Arboretum Loop >

0.5 mile loop | Easy
Enjoy accessible pathways with favorites including the Hummingbird-Butterfly Garden, Sculpture Tour, and Nature’s Playground.

Fern Valley

0.8 mile | Moderate

Steep descent to a vernal pool. Look for signs of deer and wild turkeys. Huge maples can be found in the sugar grove.

Ridge Run

0.7 mile | Moderate
Hike through woodlands, pine plantations, and old meadows. Includes a short, steep climb.

East Fen in October by Bill Krasean

Habitat Haven

0.7 mile loop | Easy
Hike through pond, fen, stream, and forest habitats with a spur trail into the middle of the fen.

Beech Maple Trail in early fall

Beech Maple

0.7 mile loop | Moderate
Hike through an old growth beech-maple forest along a stream. Spring wildflowers bloom abundantly and owls can be heard.

River Walk Trail

River Walk

0.2 mile | Easy
Follow Trout Run to where it empties into the Kalamazoo River. Discover aquatic life in the stream or watch birds along the river.

Coopers Overlook

Cooper’s Overlook

0.2 mile | Moderate
Hike along a ridge overlooking Trout Run Stream. Find many wildflowers in the spring and colorful foliage in the fall.

Beech Maple Trail

Raptor Ridge

0.4 mile loop | Difficult
Climb to one of the highest points in the county for views of the Kalamazoo River valley. Examine rocks in the old gravel pit.

Bluebird Trail


2.7 mile loop | Difficult
Trek to the southern border of KNC through the 140-acre prairie, into the forest, and back through the gravel pit.

DeLano Homestead Trails at 555 W. E Avenue

DeLano Homestead

Pioneer Woods

0.6 mile | Moderate
Take a tour into the past and visit the DeLano Homestead, the pioneer log cabin, and the sugar shack (buildings open for special events).

Winter at DeLano

Wilderness Trail

0.3 mile | Easy
A mowed grass trail running past the farmyard and into the woods. Look for animals near the small streams along the trail.

Source Pond Trail in Fall

Source Pond

0.9 mile | Moderate
Walk through farm fields and forest to the pristine Source Pond. Look for pileated woodpeckers, turtles, and other wildlife.

Green Heron Ravine

Green Heron Ravine

0.5 mile | Moderate
Hike through a young forest and past small ponds to a tunnel under North Westnedge Avenue.

Trout Run Trail

Trout Run

0.8 mile | Moderate
Walk in a mature forest overlooking Trout Run Stream. A cattail marsh borders the stream.

Headwaters Trail


1.0 mile loop | Difficult
This challenging trail heads through towering tulip trees and successional saplings along the edge of the Trout Run watershed.

Trail Tips

  • No pets allowed on property. Service dogs are permitted.
  • No bicycles are allowed on KNC trails. KNC provides complimentary parking for bikes and dog walking on the adjacent Kalamazoo River Valley Trail at the main KNC entrance.
  • Please stay on trails unless indicated.  Note sensitive areas.
  • Leave all plants and animals where you find them.
  • Snowshoes and cross country skis are welcome on trails. Trails are not groomed.
  • No smoking or alcohol allowed on property.
  • Firearms and weapons are not permitted on KNC property.
Two raccoons in a tree

Adopt a Trail Program

Thank you to the following people for adopting a trail at KNC this year! KNC’s Adopt-A-Trail Program provides a way for individuals and businesses to partner with KNC by sponsoring trail maintenance on specific trails. Learn more and adopt a trail here.

Arborteum Loop

Michelle Yiu

Bluebird Trail
Lily Lou & Tevy Blue Lane

Fern Valley Trail
Bob Nixon

Habitat Haven Trail
Hon. Julie M. Rogers and Dr. Ed Orloff

Prairie Pathway Trail
Martha and Ray “Ted” Parfet, Jr.

Raptor Ridge Trail
Cody White

Brett Jensen

Ridge Run Trail
Candace Mayo

River Walk Trail
Sharon Pratt

Source Pond Trail
Vogt Family Trail

Beech Maple Trail
Mary Francois

Ross Jensen and Meg Evans

Trout Run Trail
Carrie Brown

arboretum in spring

Monica A. Evans Arboretum Tree Tour

The Arboretum features winding pathways surround by native plantings, taking visitors along the sculpture tour to the Hummingbird-Butterfly Garden, a popular outdoor space for weddings and special events.In addition, the Arboretum also features stunning trees, many donated by individuals over the past 60+ years. To find a tree donated in memory of a person, or to identify individual trees are you are walking in the garden, view the interactive map of the Arboretum trees here.

Please note:  The Kalamazoo Nature Center is a private nature preserve.
Dogs, camping, drones, and firearms are not permitted. Bicycles and motorized vehicles are not permitted on the trails.

Plan your visit