The Michigan Heritage Trail Project

The Michigan Heritage Trail Project, a program of the Michigan History Center, has chosen the Kal-Haven Trail as the location for this pilot project.

More than three years of research and development followed with dozens of volunteers working with specialists under the direction of the Michigan History Center’s Dan Spegel, brought together hundreds of images, volumes of text and a lot of memories to tell the story of ‘what was here before…’

A series of 31 informational panels, stretching from South Haven to Kalamazoo, combined with a mobile app for the visually impaired, details the history of our part of Michigan, the railroad that used to be here and the stories of the towns, villages and personalities left behind for us to discover and retell.

From the paper mills of Kalamazoo, to the two-thousand acres of mucklands turned into the world’s center for peppermint production, past the blueberry farms and orchards and the Lake Michigan resorts of South Haven, the cultural and geological history is presented for your enjoyment and education.

This pilot project, which was installed during the summer of 2019, has already been copied on three other trails in Michigan.

Look to this space in the future for a complete description of each panel.

Dan Spegel, Jeff Green and Sue Hodapp stand by the very first installed panel.
MDNR's Matt Metzger works with Dan Spegel securing an information panel to a post.
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