Chipman Preserve

Acquired: 2002 through a donation by John and Patti Chipman; preserve expanded through purchase in 2004
Location: Comstock Township, Kalamazoo County
Size: 227.8 acres 
Accessibility: Open to the public 
Trails: 5 miles of easy to moderate mowed trails in upland habitat.  See aerial photo map below.  Click here for trail map.

Habitat restoration and passive recreation are SWMLC’s goals for the Chipman Preserve.   The rolling meadows and woodlands of the preserve offer a variety of experiences for outdoor enthusiasts.  Over five miles of easy to moderate mowed trails lead visitors through pine forests, oak-hickory woodlands, and old fields as well as oak savanna and prairie restoration sites.

SWMLC is working to restore over 200 acres of habitat that were once common in the Kalamazoo area but has now almost completely disappeared; this is one of the largest oak savanna restoration sites on private land in the state. Small remnant populations of rare savanna and prairie plants found on the preserve are being encouraged through fir and brush removal.  Additional species are being restored through seed and transplants from other nearby remnants.  Red-tailed hawks, great horned owls, coyotes, eastern box turtles, red fox, indigo buntings, brown thrashers, and numerous other wildlife make Chipman Preserve their home.  

Visitors in late May will find themselves knee-deep in wild lupine and prairie phlox.  By the end of June, you will see a show of brilliant blue and orange as spiderwort and butterfly-weed begin to bloom.  Winter snows provide a white blanket for skiers to explore the preserve.  In an effort to reduce damage from overbrowsing deer, bow hunting is permitted at the Chipman Preserve during the state-designated hunting season in late fall.  HUNTING IS ALLOWED ONLY AFTER RECEIVING PERMISSION FROM NATE FULLER, CONSERVATION AND STEWARDSHIP DIRECTOR.  Signs reading "Caution, Hunt in Progress" will be posted at the preserve entrance when hunters are on the property.

Directions:  From west of Kalamazoo at the I-94 and Sprinkle Road exit, follow Sprinkle Road north to East Main Street.  Take East Main Street east past 30th Street.  The parking lot is on the north side of the road between 30th and 33rd Streets.  From east of Kalamazoo at the I-94 and Galesburg exit, go north on 35th Street to M-96.  Follow M-96 west to 33rd Street.  Go north on 33rd Street to East Main Street.  Go west on East MainStreet.  The parking lot is on the north side of the road between 30th and 33rd Streets.