SWMLC Social Hike
Thursday, October 19, 2023
Spirit Springs Sanctuary
Color above, color below, color all around . . . enjoy the kaleidoscope effects of fall with fellow leaf-lookers during this casual Spirit Springs Sanctuary saunter!
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 Spirit Springs Sanctuary parking lot. After a brief introduction, 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
♥ Volunteer hike leader Pam Dalitz and a SWMLC staff member 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. 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 placed in the trashcans in the parking area, so be sure to bring along some poop bags.
♥ There are no restrooms at Spirit Springs Sanctuary.
♥ Be sure to dress in layers that you can shed in case you warm up with exercise, comfortable walking shoes with grippy soles – and don’t forget your personal drinking water and snacks in case you get peckish.
♥ Ticks may still be active if the weather’s been warm, so be sure to do a self-exam “tick check” when you get home. And remember – mosquitoes and ticks are just another part of nature: they’re bird food!
♥ Spirit Spring Sanctuary’s trail system is about 2.25 miles long, so we may not be able to walk them all before dark. Guess you will just have to visit again another time!
♥ Terrain is rolling – which means we will encounter some hills, a few of which are steep. There are no benches on which to rest.
♥ Habitat is mostly woods and forested wetlands.
♥ Trail surfaces are hard-packed dirt with occasional trip hazards such as roots and stones. They may be slippery in places if conditions are generally wet.
♥ Most trails are single-file, some are wide enough for two people to walk next to each other.
♥ Trails are color-coded with diamonds mounted on trees that correspond to the downloadable map found on our website.
Directions from the Kalamazoo area:
Travel south on US-131 to Marcellus Road (M-216). Turn right (west) onto Marcellus Road, drive 4.3 miles to the intersection of Bent Road (large green sign). Turn left (south) onto Bent Road and drive 3.1 miles to the intersection with Dutch Settlement Road. Turn right (west) onto Dutch Settlement Road; the preserve parking lot is approximately 2.3 miles ahead on the north (right) side, just after the road surface changes color at the county line.
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.
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!