The Battle Creek Linear Park Trail covers about 20 miles of interconnected paved path in and around the city of Battle Creek, which is situated at the confluence of the Kalamazoo and Battle Creek rivers. A former railroad line is the spine of the trail system, which hugs the river banks. Several pathways depart and rejoin the main corridor form distinct trail loops. Despite its urban setting, the trail takes you over winding waterways and past woodlands before heading straight through the heart of downtown Battle Creek.
The trail provides education as well as recreation. Dozens of signs indicate the surrounding animal and plant life, as well as the area’s history and culture. To fully experience this trail system, start at the westernmost point, off Dickman and Brady roads. Here, the trail passes through a country setting as it winds east through neighborhoods and parks, and past schools and museums.
Just a mile from the start the trail begins to travel along the banks of the Kalamazoo River. Before you cover too much ground, pick up a trail map and brochure from one of the boxes along the path. These brochures detail the four distinct loops (color-coded on the map) into which the system is divided. The map will help you plan a self-guided tour.
When you reach downtown you’ll find numerous points of interest, such as a bronze statue paying tribute to the Underground Railroad and the W.K. Kellogg House, the former home of the founder of the cereal company that still dominates this city. Bailey Park, at the trail’s northeast corner, offers picnic areas, a ballpark and playgrounds, and restroom facilities. From here, you can follow the winding trail back to your starting point at Dickman and Brady roads.