SWMLC Social Hike
Thursday, March 23, 2023
5:30 – 6:30 pm
Armintrout-Milbocker Nature Preserve
SWMLC’s newest public nature preserve opened with a big splash last October and we’re excited to share it with the community! Join us for our very first Social Hike at this beautiful preserve and experience the user-friendly trails and gorgeous views of the Kalamazoo River for yourself!
Make new hiking buddies! Our social hikes are just as much about the talking as they are the walking — and are a great way to meet other people who also love nature.
Meet in the Armintrout-Milbocker Nature Preserve parking lot. We will begin the hike shortly after 5:30 pm.
The hike is free and there’s no need to register – but we ask that you do please fill out the contact form in person at the beginning of the hike.
What to Expect
♥ SWMLC staff and volunteer hike leader Pam Dalitz will lead a loose, casual walk along the trails. Participants are encouraged to go at their own pace and get into conversations, and it’s perfectly fine to leave whenever you want or need to.
♥ We can split the group into two if some folks prefer to walk at faster or slower speeds, or take longer or shorter hikes.
♥ The guided hike will last approximately 60 minutes unless people want to go longer.
♥ Social hikes are fun for kids! They’re a great way for children to meet other people who also love to walk outdoors.
♥ Well-behaved dogs are welcome to come to social hikes! Please be sure to keep your four-footed friend on a short (6-foot) leash at all times for the comfort and safety of others. Dog waste must be collected and removed from the preserve, so be sure to bring along some poop bags.
♥ There are no restrooms at Armintrout-Milbocker Nature Preserve.
♥ The trails at Armintrout-Milbocker were designed to be as accessible as possible to the greatest number of people. Surface, width, cross-slope, and steepness were all taken under consideration. The trails have been surfaced with crushed white limestone, providing a stable surface that will continue to harden over time. Sections that are especially steep have been marked on the map. Of course, ‘accessible’ means different things to different people – and trail users will have to decide for themselves if the trails at AMNP are truly user-friendly for them.
♥ There are two trail loops. The shorter one (the ‘white’ loop) is 0.8 miles long and is 8 feet wide, wide enough for two people to travel side-by-side. It is relatively flat in most places, but there are several hills that are somewhat steep, with slopes that exceed an 8% grade.
The longer loop (‘yellow’ trail) is 1.4 miles long and is 4 feet wide, so that most people will need to travel single-file. There are several “bump outs” where people can pass or linger to enjoy the views. We’re in the process of installing benches in these niches. The yellow trail gradually descends down to the Kalamazoo River and then back up, with several steep, hilly sections.
♥ The group can decide at the beginning of the hike whether they want to walk one or both loops together as a group, or split into smaller groups. Whatever people want to do!
♥ The trails have been marked with color-coded blazes that correspond to orientation maps that have been placed at key intersections.
Address: 137 Thomas Street, Allegan, MI
GPS: 42.51501206033548, -85.84850571521254
FROM KALAMAZOO via US-131
• Go north on US-131 toward Plainwell.
• Take exit 49B (M-89 W/Allegan St.), and continue driving west on M-89 for another 12.4 miles, until you reach the city of Allegan.
• Turn left (south) onto Jenner Drive at the light that’s just past the bridge over the Kalamazoo River.
• Continue driving for another 0.7 miles, then turn left onto Thomas Street (just past the hospital). Go another 0.6 miles until you reach the preserve entrance at the end of the street.
FROM KALAMAZOO via M-43/M-40
• Go west on West Main Street (aka M-343 in Kalamazoo, turning into M-43 outside of town).
• Continue driving west until you reach the intersection with M-40 (approximately 19 miles from downtown Kalamazoo).
• Turn right (north) onto M-40 and continue drivimg for about 15.3 miles.
• Turn right onto Thomas Street, just outside of Allegan. Go another 0.6 miles until you reach the preserve entrance at the end of the street.
Make new friends who share your love for walking in nature!
As a reminder: due to continued COVID risk, we ask that participants please:
♥ stay home if you feel ill, are exhibiting symptoms, or have had recent exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID.
♥ provide your name and number for contact tracing
♥ consider wearing a mask when in close contact with other participants.
We’re excited to finally get together again but want to make sure that we do all we can to keep each other safe!
Attendance at Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy programs and events constitutes consent to be photographed for use in print and electronic media. Images will not be identified using full names without written approval from the individual.
If you would prefer that your photo (or your children’s photo) not be used, please be sure to notify staff when you first arrive at the event. Thank you!