South Haven Vacation - Rookie  LbNA # 23485

Placed DateJul 1 2006
CountyVan Buren
LocationSouth Haven, MI
Found By Boom
Last Found May 5 2011
Hike Distance?

Clues begin at the trail head of Kal-Haven Trail State Park, South Haven. Exit 22 - US 31. Off of Blue Star Highway. Follow signs.
Hours: 8am - 10pm, every day. Nominal user fee. *****TRAIL PASS NO LONGER REQUIRED***** Updated 1-6-2011. Donations still accepted at Friends of Kal-Haven Trail. Individual day pass, $3; Family day pass $7. Annual passes available, also good for use on Hartford Trail. For more info go to
The Kal-Haven Trail State Park is operated by VanBuren County and promoted by the Friends of the Kal-Haven Trail. Originally a railroad linking Kalamazoo and South Haven, the railbed has been converted to a multi-use park with a limestone/slag surface. Pit toilets at trail head, many benches along the way. Easy walk, approx. 1.5 miles round trip.
Stop at the shed to pay fee, maybe grab a water for one dollar. Head on down the trail. Just a few paces in, a place to rest already (!) and get your bearings.
Follow the trail, enjoy the sights. Some wild sweet pea, a little marina on the left, a big deck on the right, another bench to rest, this is going to be E-Z!! :) Pass under a catalpa tree, smells so good. Very shortly, leaving the wood. At the big red sign you'll have to pause, just because, "It's The Law". Never mind the Dead End, follow the trail around the bend. Under the roadway into the woods again. Enjoy the peace and serenity as others rush above at lightning speed. A diamond in the rough predicts historical stuff. If you're walking a dog, Ruthie says, "Wuf". Just a little bit further, it ain't so tough. Approximately 150 PACES from the bridge there's a field o'cat tails on the left. On the right, a 6 stumped tree, what a sight! No letterbox there, one false move and it would be lost for good. Keep Following The Trail. Very soon you will see a tiny footpath that crosses the trail. Choose liberally and climb the naturally occurring staircase. At the top, a double trunk tree. Good place for a letterbox? Looks dangerous to me. Follow the path. On the left, another 'V' tree, "Oh Phooey!" a geocacher beat me. Keep following the path. On the left you will see a fallen hollow tree, nope, not there either, too creepy for me. Continue on the path. Another fallen tree, over the path. Step ON the log, not over it, in case there are snakes. I read that recently...Continue on the path. A little group of fir trees line the path. Duck under the boughs to enter a clearing. Nice view of the Black River on left, but nowhere else to go. Turn Back, to face the way from whence you came. Formerly a large tree, seemingly snapped in half, South Haven Vacation Rookie letterbox is at the trail end of the former top of tree.
6/28/07...The box is missing. Replaced 6/29/07 with these additional clues. Go back to creepy tree, see double tree ahead with a little hollow saying, "Oh!" Tiny path that's not a path in between. Follow it around, see three broken stumps. The middle child holds the treasure you seek.
Updated 6/27/08...Wow! There have been "improvements" along the trail...! The "little clearing" is now a picnic area with tables and fire pits...The middle child stump is now a tree branch refuse site...Go back to the Geocacher's tree...the Geocacher box is gone, the letterbox is there.