The Kal Haven Trail State Park is over thirty miles of old railway tracks which have been reconditioned for recreational purpose. The trail, which was previously known as the Kal Haven Trail Sesquicentennial Park, is a great place for hiking with a dog, horse-riding or cycling. Many of the small towns along the old rail line and some of the depots too now offer vacation accommodation or have camping facilities.
The Kal Haven Trail snakes its way through scenic forested areas from the town of South Haven in Michigan to Kalamazoo where it links up with the Kalamazoo River Trail. Dogs should be on a leash while using the trail, particularly when traversing the eleven-mile long section which has been designated for horse-back riding.
Dogs need to be current on all their parasite treatments as there is a lot of wildlife in the Kal Haven Trail State Park and pups can easily pick up ticks or fleas. The trail is surfaced with crushed limestone which, as well as being dry and dusty, can be harsh on the paw pads of younger dogs.
If hiking a long distance with a pet, it's worth checking their paws every so often to make sure they're not suffering any injury. Keeping an eye out for puppy poop is essential, and none should be left behind. While a river does run alongside parts of the trail, dogs are not permitted to swim there, and it's preferable they don't drink from it either.
Pet parents should take an adequate supply of fresh water for their pups. Most visitors who want to hike the trail, don't do the whole length of it in a day. There are parking lots in several places where vehicles can be left and then returned to after a walk. The ones easiest to locate are at the South Haven trailhead and the Kalamazoo trailhead.