Fort Cluster Recreation Area


Fort Custer Recreation Area

Fort Custer State Recreation Area of Kalamazoo County, Michigan

Hiking the Fort Custer State Recreation AreaCross country skiing the Fort Custer State Recreation AreaMountain biking the Fort Custer State Recreation AreaHorseback riding the Fort Custer State Recreation Area

Trail Distance:

Over 40 miles long.

Directions:

I-94 to exit 92, North on Martin Luther King Highway four 4 miles to M-96. West five miles to park entrance.

Trail List:

Trail Description:

5163 Fort Custer Drive
Augusta MI 49012
Phone Number: (269) 731-4200
TTY/TDD711 (Michigan Relay Center)
Motor Vehicle Permit Required: Yes
Approximate Size: 3033 (Acres)
Make a Reservation at this Park

Ski trail is not groomed.

Fort Custer Recreation Area comprises 3,033 acres located between Battle Creek and Kalamazoo. The terrain is typical of southern Michigan farm country, with second growth forests and remnant areas of prairie. Prairie restoration is in progress with excellent results. The area features three lakes, the Kalamazoo River and an excellent trail system. Originally farmland, the area was acquired by the federal government to establish Camp Custer, an induction and military training center for the US Army during WWII. The land was deeded to the State of Michigan under President Nixon's Legacy of Parks in 1971.

The North Country Trail is located just north of the Recreation Area in Fort Custer National Cemetery. This national scenic trail hiking route from North Dakota to New York includes more than 1,500 miles in Michigan. Please check the DNR Calendar for upcoming events at this location and at all state parks and recreation areas.

Features:

  • Michigan State Park Explorer Program - Learn more about the natural features and resources located in this park with the Outdoor Explorer Program.
  • Hunting - Open to all species during regular seasons from September 15 to March 31. This park has excellent deer and rabbit hunting, along with opportunities for squirrel. The park is open for trapping, with excellent opportunities for muskrat on Whitford Lake.
  • Beach House - Provides clothes-changing area for swimmers. Feature is ADA Compliant. Vending machines and changing rooms.
  • Swimming - Eagle Lake Beach Information.
  • Fishing - Feature is ADA Compliant. Bass, blue gill, crappie, pike and channel catfish are found in all three lakes, each with boating access sites. A universally accessible fishing pier is located at Whitford-Lawler Lake.
  • Picnic Area - Picnic tables and fire pits/grills
  • Picnic Shelter(s) - Feature is ADA Compliant. Three universally accessible picnic shelters are available at Fort Custer. Two are located at Eagle Lake and one is located at Whitford-Lawler Lake. Contact the park for reservations.
  • Alcohol Restrictions Apply - A person shall not possess nor consume alcoholic beverages from April 1 through Labor Day without the written authorization of the park manager.
  • Hiking - Over 25 miles of multi-use trails are open to mountain biking, horseback riding, dog sledding, hiking, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, and hunting. Four distinct loops - Red, Green, Blue, Yellow - offer a variety of terrain and different levels of physical challenge.
  • Bridle Trails - Trails may have other designated uses. Over 25 miles of multi-use trails are open to mountain biking, horseback riding, dog sledding, hiking, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, and hunting. Four distinct loops - Red, Green, Blue, Yellow - offer a variety of terrain and different levels of physical challenge.
  • Mountain Biking - With more than 25 miles of mountain biking trails, this is an extremely popular sport for park visitors. Red, Green and Yellow Trail loops share use with equestrian riders and hikers. Trails can be accessed from both Eagle Lake and Whitford Lake parking areas, trail head and through the campground.
  • Dog Sledding - Special events are planned each winter. Contact the park for dates and times of upcoming events.
  • Snowmobile Area - Allowed with 4" of snow or more on the ground.
  • Boating Access Site/Launch - Access for boating and fishing. Feature is ADA Compliant. Access sites are available on Whitford, Lawler and Eagle lakes. No wake rules are enforced. Eagle Lake has a barrier-free dock and all launch sites have concrete ramps.
  • Cross Country Ski - Over 25 miles of multi-use trails are open to mountain biking, horseback riding, dog sledding, hiking, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, and hunting. Four distinct loops - Red, Green, Blue, Yellow - offer a variety of terrain and different levels of physical challenge.
  • Fishing in the Parks - Learn more about fishing at Fishing in the Parks, a free educational program.

Return to Kalamazoo County, MI Trails Page

Fort Custer State Recreation Area Map


Permission and information sources are from Contributers to this Web Site, the Department of Natural Resources, Michigan.gov, National Park Service, and the USDA Forest Service.

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