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.

Enjoyable winter hike that was relatively easy. The trail is well marked. There was heavy bike traffic so would recommend hiking opposite direction as indicated on trail markers per day of the week. My GPS recorded 7.7 miles.

21 days ago

Pretty hike overall. The trail is relatively flat and easy overall. The trails are very well marked. There is some road noise and train whistles a few time during this hike. My GPS recorded nearly 8 miles around this loop, not 6.5 miles.

Nice hike,,beautiful scenery,,easy hike,,this is a horse trail also,,so beware of the horse dropping’s!!..but its easy to see and walk around,,very first hike for me and my doggie,,just getting into the sport,,was really cool that the park put Halloween stuff through out the trail..

Nice easy trail almost anyone can enjoy it.

My son and I biked this trail, has a lot of fun and difficultly level / distance perfect for 11 yr.

i run these loops frequently.

4 months ago

Lovely hike, especially when lakeside. Hiking this trail made me want to mountain bike it. Looks like a great mountain bike trail. We only encountered three bikers on a late-August Saturday mid-afternoon. Agree with Sarah G. that it makes sense to hike in opposite direction to bikers. Directions clearly marked, based on day of week (e.g., clockwise Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday).

great trail, well maintained but signage is confusing and missing in spots. Bring a map and a compass.

I’m sorry but that is not a six mile trail. The loop is about three miles..... not sure what path anyone takes that equals six miles. We got lost and ended up in the red trail. Turned back and still only had 5.8 on my Garmin.... nice trail with good hills and such, but I’m pretty sure the mileage is not accurate.

6 months ago

This is the red trail loop at Ft Custer. This is a really beautiful trail, lots of changing scenery! As with the green trail, it is mostly very narrow and lots of blind curves, so if you're a hiker I would recommend hiking towards bike traffic. Stay alert and get out of the way... in my experience on these trails, bikers don't have much time to slow down.

6 months ago

This trail is super well marked. Be aware, it is very narrow most of the time with lots of blind curves and there are a lot of bikers. This is not specifically posted anywhere, but I would recommend hiking the opposite direction as the bikes so you have a better chance to see each other coming.

A great trail. peaceful. A very enjoyable afternoon. I took my time, and enjoyed every minute of it.

The trail is the most well-maintained trail I have ever been on. It is not that steep, however, the red trail is both long and beautiful. It is definitely a mountain bike trail. I would love to bike it someday. I also love there are horse trails too!

trail running
9 months ago

Ran the red bike trail on a cold April, monday morning. No traffic on the trail, but did see other cars in the lot when we were done. It is definitely worn well, so they do get plenty of bikers. Great views, not much tripping hazards, well worth the drive

Im a 29 yr Winter Back-Packer and after 6 years of dating my girlfriend she decided to give it a try and find out why for 29yrs I have enjoyed Hammocking in the deep freeze. although there are many beautiful places to go I chose the trails in Fort Custer to be her 1st winter trail Pack-In and camp-out. Here's why:. Its Easy, Its Beautiful, Its Quite, Its Close to Emergency's (If Needed it was 5 degrees at night) No body is hardly ever there (I may see a dog walker or 2 and the Trail I picked was only a 7 mile Loop with camp at the 5 mile mark giving only a 2 mile to hike back to truck if we needed it for emergency reasons(It was her 1st winter pack-in/camp-out and remember it was 5 degrees at night and 27 during day) If anyone is thinking about testing new gear,trying a 1st winter pack-in/camp-out or just enjoying a nice winter day hike Fort Custer has it. Trails are marked very well so if you can read a map or colored dots on trees then you will with no problems feeling safe and not get lost in Custer. These are All things a beginner should learn and look for during a winter Pack-in or hike. Enjoy! ( the water is turned off in campgrounds but all sites are open and Pit Toilets are available during winter season)

Saturday, November 18, 2017


nice day on the trail, a little bumpy at times but was a great hike. will definitely come back. outdoor restrooms not bad.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Mt. biking ( red loop) is super narrow!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Nice blend of flats and inclines. Trail is well marked.

Decent day hike that can shorten into a 2 mile or lengthen into a 6 mile. I personally enjoy the 4 mile loop around both Whitmore lake and jackson hole. I park in the Whitmore Lake parking lot and make my way south and go in a counter clockwise loop. You soon past an old silo that is neat to poke around in. You'll make your way around the lake when there are two cabins and a well if you need some water. The trail links to post 5 which will either take you between the two lakes shortening the trip to 2 miles or proceed to point 6, 7, and 8. The trail does get somewhat confusing near the equestrian staging area but you can pick up the trail near the pit toilet. You'll make your way around the east side of Jackson hole and skirt the Fort Custer campground. After a short leg you'll end up at the parking lot.

A very nice and relaxed 4 mile loop that is appropriate for all ages. Nothing crazy or outrageous. There is a small stream in between post 5 and 6 that requires some athleticism to keep your shoes dry.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Very easily manageable trail in southwest Michigan. Be careful when hiking as mountain bikers frequent the loop. A great loop to get outside and enjoy a Saturday or Sunday afternoon.

mountain biking
Sunday, July 03, 2016

Yellow trail is a nice short easy ride. Green tall is challenging at times but absolutely amazing! Trails are well marked and very well maintained. A very fun ride.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Challenging at times.

mountain biking
Sunday, July 12, 2015

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!!

mountain biking
Saturday, July 11, 2015

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.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Not for the casual mountain biker. Some of the trails are easy and fun. Others are way too narrow and have way too many sandy areas.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

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.

mountain biking
Monday, July 28, 2014

Had a great time with my son. I use to mountain bike back before there marked trails to do so. Riding on these trails was great. Lots of whoops and speed. We will be back

mountain biking
Saturday, July 26, 2014

For my first real mountain biking experience this was awesome. It had its challenges with some hills and occasional sand. Some fast hills. I will defiantly go again!

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