Trying to squeeze every drop out of an October day that was more like summer than fall, we headed to South Haven to try the Kal Haven bike trail. The trail is 33.5 miles long so we only did a small portion of it between the trail head in South Haven and Grand Junction 10.5 miles down the trail for a round trip of 21 miles in total. The section we did was mostly shaded and relatively flat, just a little bit of grade. The trail ends in Kalamazoo, it can also be used for walking and snowmobiling in the winter.
The trail is crushed limestone/slag so it's better suited for hybrid or mountain bikes, not ideal for touring bikes with skinny tires like ours. We were able to ride on it without any real problems, just a couple of sections where the limestone wasn't packed and it was a little difficult to ride on. We kept our speed down a bit from normal and managed to stay upright for the whole trip.
There are outhouses along the way, I saw at least three on the 10 mile stretch we did and I think I saw a water pump. Do yourself a favor and stop at a rest stop or McDonald's before you get there, yuck!
Equipment: Hybrid or mountain bikes are best, there were no bike rental facilities at the trailhead. Bring your own helmet, the limestone is a little rougher to ride on than asphalt so gloves are nice too.
South Haven, Michigan, has four golf courses. Three of them are 18-hole courses, and one of them is a nine-hole course.
At the South Haven Visitors Bureau, I inquired about the golf in the area and was given some fine information. I wanted this information to show to my husband so that perhaps he and I could return to the area for a golf trip.
Beeches Golf Club
09601 68th Street
South Haven, MI
This course is open seven days a week from dawn until dusk. It has a club house and guest services and is an 18-hole course. It is the newest of the golf courses celebrating its third year. It is a residential development.
Glenn Shores Golf Course
7097 Orchard Lake Drive
South Haven, MI
Glenn Shores Golf Course is a nine-hole Par 35 course that is open from 8:00 a.m. until sunset.
Tee times are not required. This would not be a course that Allan and I would choose to play. It, I feel, would be excellent for beginners and families.
523 Hawksnest Drive
South Haven, MI
HawksHead Links is an 18-Hole course that is open from 7:00 a.m. until dusk. Besides the golf course, there is the Hawskhead Inn and Restaurant. I read that HawksHead received a "prestigious four and one-half star rating by GOLF DIGESTMagazine as one of the Best Places to Play in America.Asking around, I received very positive input about this course and the restaurant. This would certainly be a possibility for Allan and I if we decide to have a golf vacation.
South Haven Golf Club
397 Blue Star Hwy/A2 South Haven
South Haven Golf Club is another 18-hole course that is open sunrise until sunset. This golf club has a restaurant and a lounge. Mickey and I saw this course as we traveled on Blue Star Highway. This course was opened in 1930 and is set among rolling hills just north of South Haven.
I did a little fishing in my teens after my parents moved to an area close to a couple of small lakes (actually lagoons), but the inactivity of the sport and then trying to unhook the fish and then clean them to eat wasn't my cup off tea. However, if you have the fishing bug Lake Michigan, being one of the 5 Great Lakes in the U.S. is a great place to try your luck.
Although much more people in the South Haven area enjoy the beach for swimming or taking boats onto the lake there were a few fishermen out on the Sunday when we were at the pier.
The first picture shows a boy with his parents close at hand testing his luck.
The second picture is a more experienced fisherman who had actually landed quite a large fish, but he was a catch and release guy and was down off the pier unhooking the fish and setting it free again.
Equipment: From just a pole, worm and hook to much more sophisticated equipment
Even though I played 4 years of golf in high school I usually only get out once or twice a year and don't take it too seriously anymore. This course happened to be the golf course at the Inn where my wife and I stayed at in August, 2009. Since it is not very far from the eastern shore of Lake Michigan in a sand dunes area a lot of the course is similar to Pine Valley in New Jersey according to the brochure I picked up.
Prices for 18 holes including cart range anywhere from $35 to $75 depending on the season and day of the week. If we had golfed on a Saturday in August it would have been at the max of $75. It is a member of the Arthur Hills Michigan Golf Trail and according to Michigan Golf Magazine rated in the Top 25 golf courses in the state.
Equipment: Depends on how good or serious a golfer you are as to what you bring.
South Haven boasts more than 1500 boat slips along the Black River. The city owns a transient marina at Riverfront Park, where weekend boaters can tie up. Private marinas also offer transient slips, and a number of these offer boating supplies, marine services, and launching facilities.
South Haven doesn't have any professional teams, but we do visit Murphy's Antique Mall on Center St for sports cards of our favorite players! Yes, go Detroit Tigers!!!
For about a 1 hour drive, the Kalamazoo Kings is a Independent league baseball team with cheap tickets and free parking! The kids can even run the bases after most games! That's our kids favorite thing to do that's sports related.
South Haven's beaches are the best around and Hawks Head is a great golf course.
Equipment: For sports card collecting, again we visit Murphy's Mall. The baseball games, beach and golf are self explanatory.