Fall foliage nearing peak in West Michigan, here are some spots to get in on the show

The Sky Eye 3 drone captured beautiful fall colors along the Kalamazoo River near Otsego on Wednesday, October 14, 2020. Fall colors will likely reach their peak by about October 20, 2020. (WWMT/Sky Eye 3)

As the chill of fall returned to the forecast, fall colors were nearing their peak across West Michigan.

As fall colors in the Northern Peninsula begin to fade, several spots across West Michigan began to offer leaf peepers plenty of beauty to take in.

We've put together a list of some of our favorite leaf peeping spots in the Kalamazoo area.

Kal-Haven Trail State Park

If you're a fan of biking or trail running and walking, the 33-mile long linear state park follows a former railroad bend and links South Haven to Kalamazoo. The trail crosses over covered bridges, goes through small towns, and passes points of historical interest. Whether you're biking, running or walking, you're sure to encounter fall's beauty as your traverse through farmland and wooded terrain.

Asylum Lake Preserve

Owned by Western Michigan University, the Asylum Lake Preserve boasts 274-acres of property open to the public. The lake and adjoining property lie in the West Fork of the Portage Creek Watershed. Trails loop through woods, prairie, and savanna areas. Used by professors and students as a research area for anthropology, biology, geography, hydrogeology and environmental studies, the preserve offers a glimpse into several different ecosystems. In 2019, WMU released a story map that serves as a self guided educational tour of the preserve.

Chipman Preserve

A somewhat hidden gem of Galesburg, the Chipman Preserve offers six miles of moderate trails through rolling savanna, forest, and grassland habitat. It's a popular destination for dog walkers and trail runners. Owned and operated by the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy, the preserve is open to the public from dawn to dusk with no admission fee.

Al Sabo Land Preserve

Established in the early 1970’s in order to protect the groundwater supply of the Atwater wellfield, the Al Sabo Land Preserve offers trails through woods, wetlands, and open meadows. The preserve has over 25 miles of trails to enjoy, so there's always a new corner to explore. A boardwalk meanders through one of the wetland sections that cuts through the middle of the preserve, and the area is rich with wildlife.

Kalamazoo Nature Center

Located about five miles north of downtown Kalamazoo, the Kalamazoo Nature Center is a great place to get wide-spanning views of fall color. One trail in particular, the Raptor Ridge trail, offers views from one of the highest points in the county. Visitors can overlook the Kalamazoo River valley and examine rocks in the old gravel pit. There is a small fee for admission, and dogs are not permitted on trails.

W.K. Kellogg Forest

Operated by the Michigan State University Department of Forestry, the W.K. Kellogg Forest is known worldwide for research relating to tree breeding and genetics, planting techniques, and plantation establishment and management. Established on abandoned agricultural land, there are 716-acres to explore.

Yankee Springs Recreation Area

The Yankee Springs Recreation Area features 5,200 acres of rugged terrain, bogs, marshes, lakes, streams and unique beauty. Nine lakes are located within the park, offering leaf peepers great opportunities to capture stunning mirror image landscape photos on calmer days. Between the 30 miles of hiking trails, 12 miles of mountain bike trails you're sure to see some lovely fall foliage around every turn.

If you're out and about, be sure to capture natures beauty. We'd love to see your photos! You can share them with us via the Chime In gallery below.

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