When I was at the Binder Park Zoo last summer, I took this photo of the turtle house. I just came across it, and I thought I would share this ‘home for turtles’ on my blog. The Binder Park Zoo of course has hundreds of animals, and turtles are not the fastest moving, nor do they seem to draw the most interest. However, they are the only ones I saw that seemed to be attending to house keeping…
A week ago I went out to the Forst Custer Recreation area and did some hiking to get a little exercise. The leaves are beginning to turn color, and there are many colors to enjoy wherever you walk.
The trails are of all types of grades, and many people go mountain biking there, as well as running in addition to hiking. The entrance to the Fort Custer Recreation area is off of Dickman Road, just over the Kalamazoo County line before you arrive at Augusta, Michigan.
Getting ready for the Thanksgiving holiday in Southwest Michigan should always include at least one November visit to Turkeyville just outside of Marshall, Michigan. The Turkeyville farm is a facility perfect for families with children, as they get to experience hay rides, pumpkin picking, pet some farm animals, have ice cream and even see some real turkeys!
As one of the local attractions in the area for family members, Turkeyville is always one I try to mention this time of the year as many people moving into the area do not know about it right away. Turkeyville even has family theatre where they serve dinner on certain days of the week, as well as outdoor festivals on weekends during the spring, summer and fall. There is always something happening at Turkeyville, but the autumn is one of the best time to go visit.
If you like eating Turkey, their restaurant has a wide selection of turkey dishes and other great foods. It is perfect for lunch, or dinner. They even are open for turkey dinner on Thanskgiving, so you do not have to cook if you do not want to. All in all, Turkeyville is a fun place to go for an excursion, and you will always find something fun to do there as a getaway.
Cornwell’s Turkeyville Farm and Restaurant is the official name of the facility, and it is located at the corner of N Drive and 15 ½ Mile Rd, about a mile from I-69 off Exit 42. It has an interesting history. Originally a farm held by the Hawkins family, established in 1836, Asahel Hawkins who had emigrated from Vermont, began with 80 acres of government land and eventually increased his holdings to 240 acres.
After his death in 1881, his son Asahel Myron Hawkins took over the farmstead. He grew
a variety of crops, and held several Convis township civic offices including supervisor, clerk, highway commissioner and justice of the peace. His son Schubail Hawkins ran the farm until 1933. In 1942 the farm was converted to Turkey production and in 1968 the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Generations of Asahel Hawkins opened a restaurant. Today, Cornwell’s Turkeyville Farm and Restaurant still raises live turkeys, and has expanded the facility to include many other attractions as you can see here. A great place to visit!
In Battle Creek, Michigan there is a walking, running and biking trail that totals about 15+ miles that runs throughout the city starting on the outskirts at Dickman Road. It is called the Linear Path, or ‘Linear Park’.
The Linear Path is a paved road that crosses through neighborhoods, over rail road tracks, follows road ways, and goes through over seven separate city parks. There are bridges, boardwalks and even overlooks when near the rivers.
It follows along both the Kalamazoo and Battle Creek rivers at various points along the way, offering great places to fish, picnic or simply enjoy the peaceful setting. The Linear Path travels through both urban and suburban areas of the city, but also has its sections that offer seclusion and a quiet enjoyment of nature.
If you are looking at the map provided on the City parks and recreation website, you might
find it a little difficult to locate the trailhead off of Dickman Road. I actually went looking for it recently, and it was not well marked. It took me quite some time to find it, and it is in fact actually in Springfield at the corner of Brady Road and Dickman.
The map indicates parking is available there, but it is limited and may be partially on a private lot. However on a weekend, or evening in the summer, you should have no trouble parking there.
The trail actually continues along Dickman road from there to the Fort Custer Memorial Cemetery, and ends at its entrance. However, that path along Dickman is a little rough at points, and does not offer much in the way of scenery. The direction you will want to go is towards downtown Battle Creek, which is 6.5 miles following the Linear Path from that point.
Being that the trail goes passes through downtown, this makes for a nice bike ride and give one a place to go have lunch along the way. The Linear Path is a great asset to the Battle Creek community, and there are plans to expand it further towards the south in the future, following Helmer Road.
The Fort Custer Recreation Areais located just 1/4 mile east of the village of Augusta,
Michigan. It comprises 3,033 acres located between Battle Creek and Kalamazoo. The terrain consists of forests and prairies, and the park features three lakes. It also is adjacent to the Kalamazoo river.
The Fort Custer Recreation Area has as one of its highlights an excellent trail system throughout perfect for hiking, biking and running. During the winter the trails are used for hiking, cross-country skiing and snow mobiling. The lakes offer fishing year round, and canoeing and boating during the summer months.
There are also picnic pavilions, camp grounds and a 1000 foot sandy beach along one of the lakes for outdoor fun. You can also rent a cabin if you do not have camping gear. There is hunting allowed in certain areas of the park as well, during certain seasons.
The Fort Custer Recreation Area was originally farmland that was acquired by the federal government to establish Camp Custer, and induction and military training center for the U.S. Army during WWII. The land was deeded to the State of Michigan, under President Nixon’s Legacy of Parks in 1971.
Along the trails one will find a variety of plant species, flowers and berries. There is also a lot of wildlife. Taking a walk along the trails is one of my favorite summer activities, and one can spend an entire weekend there and not see all of the trails which span a distance of over 28 miles. Fort Custer Recreation Area is one of the most exciting getaways in the Southwest Michigan area.
A place that I visited this summer was Boardwalk Plaza in downtown Allegan, Michigan. It is also known as ‘Riverfront Plaza’. What most impressed me were the boardwalks that wound around behind some retail and commercial buildings on one side, and the other side was this beautiful lake.
Boardwalk Plaza in downtown Allegan is nicely landscaped, and quite picturesque. There is a public gazebo for weddings, and the lake has a great backdrop in itself.
No article about Boardwalk Plaza in downtown Allegan, Michigan would be complete without mention of the old iron bridge, which has quite a history in the town. It used to be a two lane bridge until concerns about its strength became a matter of community debate when City Council members suggested the idea of removing the old bridge for over safety concerns.
The members of the community organized and fought the decision, and the bridge has been preserved as a one lane bridge and remains to this day one of the unique features just off of the Boardwalk Plaza in downtown Allegan, Michigan.
When you are traveling around Southwest, Michigan I recommend a stop there during the summer or fall. You can have a relaxing ice cream on the benches, and admire the beautiful scenery of the Boardwalk.
As a Realtor that travels a lot all over Southwest Michigan, Allegan is one of the places I have most enjoyed stopping at. For property information around Allegan, you can contact me through my website at: http://www.michaeldelaware.com/ or call me directly at 269-441-8182 and I can arrange to send you active for sale listing information in the area.
Having a beautiful area like Boardwalk Plaza in downtown Allegan, Michigan is a great community draw, and it is refreshing to see a community take pride in its tourism.