Welcome to the Allegan County Heritage Trail!

 

Bradley Train StationStage CoachLine Walker

Travel into the past… see historic villages and towns little touched by modern development.  Experience the sights and sounds of the river and the railroads that were the engines of the country's westward expansion.  View the bountiful farmlands and orchards which were and still are the backbone of this rural county.  Discover the stories, some funny, some tragic, all entertaining, of Allegan County's history.  This is the experience that awaits you along the Allegan County Heritage Trail!

Where does the trail go?
To orient yourself, take a quick look at the route map located in this booklet.  The tour is a loop that runs from Saugatuck east across the farmlands of northern Allegan County and on through the towns of Hopkins, Wayland and Martin down to Plainwell.   From there, the trail heads back along the Kalamazoo River through Otsego and Allegan, then past Lake Allegan and through the Allegan State Game Area.  The tour continues past orchards and vineyards in the Fennville area to Lake Michigan, and then up the lakefront back to Saugatuck and Douglas.

How long is the trail?
That depends on how much time you have!  The tour is designed so that you can take the whole tour loop or take your own shorter route!   If you take the entire tour, figure on taking a full day if you stop to view the various sites and enjoy the experiences along the way.   The entire loop is 122 miles and to drive it non-stop would take around 4-5 hours.

How does the driving tour work?  
You can start the tour from any location on the route.  It’s designed to be driven in a clockwise direction, which provides better scenic vistas. At each turn in the route, you will see a Heritage Trail marker as pictured below. Below the marker will either be an arrow indicating a turn, or a number that corresponds to the tour site number in this booklet.

Route MarkerRoute Marker with Site NumberSite Information

You might want to read ahead in this guidebook to see what the next site is so you will know what to watch for.   Most of the sites have opportunities for you to park your car and explore a little.   A few sites are just “drive-bys”.

Enjoy your journey on the Heritage Trail!


 

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