Al Sabo Land Preserve LbNA # 2411 (ARCHIVED)
|Owner||pale puppy posse|
|Placed Date||Jan 2 2003|
Placed by Kazoo Dog with help from Golden Retrievers Triscuit & Dewar and adopted in May 2009 by pale puppy posse.
Easy to Moderate Hiking (depending on weather/trail conditions)
The 741 acres of the Al Sabo Land Preserve is a City of Kalamazoo Preserve, established in the early 1970s to protect the groundwater supply of the Atwater wellfield. This preserve contains a diverse mix of woods, wetlands and open meadows. There are 25 miles of trails within the preserve, about 7 of which are open to bicycles. There are no entry fees to this preserve, which is very popular with hikers, cross-country ski enthusiasts and bicyclists.
To learn more, visit: http://www.wmich.edu/environmental-studies/drew/alsabo.htm
Al Sabo Land Preserve can be reached from Stadium Dr, Kalamazoo, MI, by turning south onto Drake Rd. Take Drake Rd. to Parkview Ave., turning right onto Parkview. Go over the overpass and turn left onto 12th Ave. Continue on 12th Ave. to the 4-way stop at Texas Dr.; turn right onto Texas Dr. The preserve is 1.25 miles on Texas Dr., right side of the road. There is no sign for the preserve, so look for the orange entry gates. If you pass the Camp Roti-Kiwan sign on the right (the camp entrance is adjacent to the preserve entrance), you just missed the preserve! There is free parking. Those from outside Kalamazoo can reach Stadium Dr. from US-131.
Once parked, proceed to the inner orange trail gate by the preserve information sign where you'll find a trail that leads immediately right. Follow this trail, which goes through a pine grove that leads to a fork in the trail where there is a marker post. Follow the orange arrow, which is off-limits to bicycles. This trail, with no markings, meanders through a pine forest (take time to enjoy the wonderful aroma) and seems to be one that even a novice can follow naturally, even without signs. Follow this natural pathway that, at one point, seems to break into a somewhat mixed group of trees; don't get worried, though! Continue to follow this unmarked path that will again become largely pine forest. Just when you get a bit worried about being on the right trail, you'll see your second orange marker. After that, you'll pass by many downed trees, most of them on your left. Soon you'll spot a tree with a green metal marker and then a second. After the second tree, you'll come to a cross trail, marking a bicycle trail, beyond which you'll see another orange marker as well as a green marker. Keep going! At the 5th green metal marker, proceed right into the woods, hiking up toward a natural ridge; about 30 steps* or so past the marked tree, you'll surely spot a very large oak tree (not to be confused with an even larger oak that lies deeper in the woods (southeastly). Near the top of the ridge and about 13 steps before you reach this first oak tree, you'll find some fallen trees that form a "Y" on the ground. Near the place where the "Y" is a "V", you'll find the letterbox.
*Reminder: I'm a short-legged person; two of my steps may equal just one of anyone else's. In addition, there are many shrubs, small trees and brush here, so you won't be able to make a "bee line" to the oak tree or the alphabet tree. After finding the letterbox, you may wish to proceed along the trail not yet traversed or to retrace your steps back to the parking lot.
Caution & Notes:
In icy or wet conditions, this trail can become quite slippery with ice, mud or wet fallen leaves. The trail is a good one for cross-country skiers or snowhoe aficionados in the right snow conditions. Those with dogs will enjoy these trails at all seasons -- and are reminded to clean up their dogs' droppings.