SWMLC Social Hike

Thursday, September 21, 2023
5:30 pm
Wau-Ke-Na, W.E. Smith Preserve, South

PLEASE NOTE: Due to unexpected events, we must cancel the Social Hike at Wau-Ke-Na Preserve South Tract. We’re very sorry for any inconvenience this causes. Of course, the preserve is open from dawn to dusk everyday and we encourage people to visit this big, beautiful preserve on their own.
 Let Wau-Ke-Na Preserve South Tract’s wide open skies work their calming magic on your heart and soul as you walk with like-minded folk who also value nature’s healing power.
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.


Make new hiking buddies!

Meet in the Wau-Ke-Na, W.E. Smith Preserve, South Tract 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

♥  Expect a guided hike at slow to moderate speeds. 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 a great way for kids to meet other people who also love to walk outdoors.

♥ Well-behaved dogs are welcome to come to social hikes! Just 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 packed out, so be sure to bring along some poop bags.

♥  There are no restrooms at Wau-Ke-Na South Tract.

♥  Be sure to dress in layers that you can shed in case you warm up with exercise. Wear comfortable walking shoes and remember that it’s often more windy and a little cooler at Wau-Ke-Na than at inland locations. Don’t forget your personal drinking water and snacks in case you get peckish!

♥  We will be out in the open quite a bit so consider bringing sunscreen if you’re prone to sunburn.

♥  For those with bee allergies or concerns, the late season wildflowers in Wau-Ke-Na South Tract’s grassland habitat attract many pollinating insects, including bees.

♥  It’s early autumn in Michigan, which means mosquitoes may still be fierce and ticks are looking for prey (that’s us)! Please be sure to bring your favorite insect repellant, consider wearing protective clothing, and doing a self-exam “tick check” when you get home. And remember – mosquitoes and ticks are just another part of nature: they’re bird food!

♥  Wau-Ke-Na South’s trail system is about 3 miles long, so we may not be able to walk all of the trails in this session. Guess you will just have to visit again another time!

♥  The terrain is level and loops through woods and fields, past ponds and marshes, and across large grasslands. There are no benches on which to rest.

♥  It’s likely that long prairie grasses will lean into the trail and brush walkers’ arms and faces.

♥  Trail are mostly mowed grass, with occasional trip hazards such as dips, holes, and stones.

♥  There may be muddy or mushy spots if there’s been recent rain.

♥  Most trails are wide enough for two people to walk next to each other.

Approxmate street address:
1500-1600 block of Lakeshore Dr., Fennville, MI 49408

42.53104548195933, -86.22768150149216

From US-196/Hwy. 31:
Take the Glenn exit (exit 30) onto Blue Star Memorial Hwy (aka County Road A2). Go southwest about half a mile to where 70th St. (aka Adams Rd.) merges with Blue Star Hwy. Make a hard right turn (north) onto 70th St. (aka Lakeshore Dr.) and go about half a mile. The gravel entrance to the preserve will be on the west side of the road.

From Kalamazoo:
Take M-43 west to South Haven. Turn north (right) onto Blue Star Highway and travel about 12 miles, continuing north through the village of Glenn. The road will fork just beyond Glenn; go straight onto 70th St. (aka Adams Rd./Lakeshore Dr.). Look for Wau-Ke-Na signs on the left (multiple signs and drives). The gravel entrance to the preserve will be on the west side of the road.

Make new friends who share your love for walking in nature!


We ask that you please stay home if you feel ill, are exhibiting symptoms, or have had recent exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID.

Photography policy

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!