Located between Battle Creek and Kalamazoo, Fort Custer features three lakes, a river, second growth forests, prairie restoration, three lakes, the Kalamazoo River an excellent trail system used by hikers, horse riders and mountain bikers.
Follow up to yesterday's comment ...
I finally rode the Red Trail today. I would consider my riding skills at moderate & the Red Trail as 4 of 5 difficulty. With that said, it was the coolest trail that I have been on so far ... albeit my riding experience is somewhat limited. A couple places I had to walk the bike because of the difficulty, but there are also lots of challenging sections that I managed to pedal through that were obstacles that I have never tried before. Great fun & great test for my current riding skills!!
Blue trail is nice, short, easy ride around Jackson Hole Lake & Whitford Lake. About 4 miles & can be completed in less than half an hour. Nice trail that I would rate a 2 difficulty.
Green trail is much more difficult. 7 miles around Eagle Lake that I have only ridden once so far. Plenty of sections where I had to get off the bike and walk, but I'm not a seasoned rider either. I would rate this a 4 difficulty.
Red trail is 8.6 miles long ... have not ride this trail yet, so I cannot offer any comments at this time.
I hike the Whitmore and Jackson Hole Lake trails often. I like it because it is a true loop trail and you don't have to backtrack. It is an easy and well maintained trail with an occasional view of the water. Not much wildlife in the park. Some swans and ducks on the lake. Saw one heron on Saturday. The trail is dry now, but can be muddy. I have heard and seen sandhill cranes out here (near the Whitmore Lake parking area) in previous years. Ticks are a problem in summer months so make sure your dog is protected.
For hiking, I would recommend the blue trail (Whitford Lake Trail). It is about 3.5 miles and it is fairly easy with a few hilly spots. The trails goes around two lakes, but you can really only get a good view of the second one. I would also recommend bug spray if it is summertime.
What a great trail!!! I did the Red Trail today and it was amazing. Very clearly marked. I only passed 2 hikers on my ride, given it's a Thursday at noon so there shouldn't be too much activity.
The scenery was great but I really wasn't able to look very much, the trail was incredibly demanding. Lots of VERY steep drops and inclines/declines. This is definitely not a leisurely bike ride!!!
This is a great place to spend a day. Loads of trails, lakes, and wildlife to see.
One word of warning; if you are looking for a place with little other people there are certainly better places.
But if you are looking for a pedestrian hike and would like to meet others this a great place. With tons of camping comes tons of people. There are some very impressive places to have a family cook out and a really nice beach.
All in all this is a very well kept and manicured set of trails.
Josiah J. on Fort Custer Recreation Area
Great scenic paths. You get great views of woodland, meadows, and Eagle lake all on the same hike.
Awesome ride! There are multiple trails ranging from easy to very difficult, plenty of single track! The trails are very well marked and color coded. As a bonus the park has a nice campground and beach/swimming area. Highly recommended! This park also hosts an annual race.