Chief Noonday Chapter

About the Chapter:

Our Chapter invites you to join us for our monthly group hikes, our monthly Chapter meetings (sometimes with speakers), and our monthly work sessions on the Trail. If you are looking for volunteer opportunities, we will use your skills, or help you develop new skills.

Connect:

Please contact us to find out about upcoming events and volunteer opportunities:

Maps:

Events:

Click on an event to see more details.

Trail Overview

The Chief Noonday Chapter welcomes everyone to explore the section of Trail in Southwest Michigan that we build, maintain, protect, and promote. Located within Calhoun, Kalamazoo, and Barry Counties; we have a unique blend of sections in villages and cities, and in rural areas, including State Game Areas, and State Recreation Areas.

Marshall – Trail Town

Full of small town charm, unique and beautiful history and attractions, Marshall is perfectly positioned at the intersection of I-94 and I-69, or the old blue highways of Michigan Avenue and Old US 27 in Southwest Michigan. Learn more about the Trail Town of Marshall here.

Middleville – Trail Town

Located in the Thornapple River Valley, the Village of Middleville is located about 16 miles southeast of the metropolitan area of greater Grand Rapids. Learn more about the Trail Town of Middleville here.

Area Links:

Suggested Hikes:

Show Suggested Hikes

Fort Custer National Cemetery Section, in Kalamazoo County

Length: 2.9 miles

Why Hike this section: Located in the back country section of the Cemetery property, the Trail transverses (from the east) an old pine plantation, then into a hardwood section. It drops down slightly to a wetter area, and we use old dikes crossing a bog in beaver habitat, before crossing a stream on our new bridge on Fort Custer Recreation Area property.

Driving Directions: (to get to the trailhead, starting location, etc) East of Augusta on M-96, turn north on Armstrong Road going 0.7 miles north, past the VA Hospital to the east end of the Trail section. The west end is just across the bridge from Augusta on M-96, on the northeast corner of the Fort Custer Drive intersection.
Hiking Directions: This section is on hallowed ground. Dogs, weapons, bikes, and use of the Trail during hours of darkness are not allowed. If you park on Armstrong Road, please notify VA police at 269-223- 5365.

Historic Bridge Park to downtown Battle Creek, in Calhoun County</h3?

Length: 10 miles

Why Hike this section: Visit old bridges along the Kalamazoo River within Historic Bridge Park, before joining sections of the Calhoun County Trailway in Kimball Pines Park and the Ott Biological Preserve. We then join the Battle Creek Linear Park along the Battle Creek River as we head downtown.

Driving Directions: Historic Bridge Park is located on Wattles Road, about 0.7 miles south of E. Michigan Avenue on the east side of Battle Creek. The Trail downtown passes next to the Underground Railroad Memorial, and Clara’s Restaurant in the old train depot.

Hiking Directions: After leaving Historic Bridge Park, we cross Wattles Road following the Calhoun County Trailway until the bridge crossing a mile down the Trail. We hop off onto a hiking path for about a half mile before rejoining the CCT until it enters the Ott Biological Preserve, where again we split onto a hiking trail. At the end of the OBP, we rejoin the CCT until the parking area on Raymond and Emmett Streets (about 5 miles so far). We cross the big overpass bridge, and turn left along the river as we join the Battle Creek Linear Park. Follow signs to downtown.

Yankee Springs Recreation Area, in Barry County

Length: about 8 miles

Why Hike this section: This trail travels through the woods of the Yankee Springs Recreation area, before a short section of the Barry State Game Area. About 2 miles in, you reach Hall Lake, and a little farther along, there is a spur trail to Devil’s Soup Bowl

Driving Directions: The trailhead on the south end of this hike is on Norris Road (use the west trailhead, about ¼ mile south of the Yankee Springs Road /Gun Lake Road intersection (Yankee Springs Road ends just before the trailhead, and the road continues south as Norris Road). The north end of this hike is at a trailhead 1/3 mile west of the Yankee Springs Road/ M-179 intersection, on the north side of the road.

Hiking Directions: Cars should have the Recreation Pass to park in YSRA, or a day pass from Park Headquarters. Hiking from Norris Road, head west, soon crossing some puncheon installed in 2014. After a couple miles along, you will cross Gun Lake Road, with Hall Lake on the north side of the road. Hiking along the west side of Hall Lake, you continue north until near McDonald Lake, then heading east to the trailhead.