Huge news! In November of 2015, the 4.5-mile section of trail from South Haven to Van Buren State Park was completed, paved with a 10-foot-wide asphalt surface and now ready for your enjoyment.
The 14-mile Van Buren Trail State Park runs from South Haven to Hartford on the former Toledo & South Haven Railroad. The trail spur from 16th Avenue to Van Buren State Park was built on an abandoned rail line that was used during construction of the Palisades Nuclear Power Plant. The trail surface from 16th Avenue to Hartford is unimproved grass and gravel, but nicely maintained, and well suited for mountain bikes or bicycles with fat tires. Equestrian and snowmobile use is permitted along the grass and gravel section.
Enjoy the quiet solitude of nature as you travel through blueberry fields, woodlands and meadows and cross a bridge over the Paw Paw River just west of Hartford. The village of Covert marks the approximate halfway point with the only stores along the trail. There are no public restrooms or water on the Van Buren Trail, so plan accordingly.
Trailheads at each end are easy to find and offer ample parking. Van Buren State Park is a popular place to camp, enjoy the beach, and ride the trail. Kal-Haven Trail Scenic Connector Route The City of South Haven has developed a connector route that links the Van Buren Trail with the Kal-Haven Trail, passing along the city's streets, parks and bike paths. This scenic route is well worth the extra time and highly recommended. Follow the signs from either trailhead to see spectacular views of Lake Michigan and the South Haven lighthouse, soak up the sun at South Beach Park, or stroll along the Black River Channel. Visit South Haven's downtown shops, restaurants, marinas and Maritime Museum.