As we’re nearing the end of summer fun, it’s time we slow down and appreciate the little things. Take a moment for one last stop for ice cream at your favorite spot. Enjoy a final boat ride to your favorite restaurant and hike that scenic trail one last time. If you’re looking to slow down summer and truly savor the sunny days, get out and explore the stoplight towns you occasionally pass through. Bloomingdale is the perfect example of a small town. Tucked between your drive from Kalamazoo to South Haven, this town packs a lot more to experience than you first expect.
Many of you may recognize the name. It is a well-known indicator that you are halfway on the Kal-Haven Trail, a former railroad stretching from Kalamazoo to South Haven. Whether you’re out for a hike or biking the full 34-mile path, Bloomingdale is a great resting point. It has bathrooms, a shaded park, and a small cafe to refuel.
Museums and More!
Whether your family is in tow or not, the Bloomingdale Depot Museum is a must see. Located right on the Kal-Haven Trail, the original depot building has been transformed into an amazing collection of the area’s history. The Bloomingdale Area Historical Association has curated unique artifacts in oil, rail, lumber, and local heritage. A secondary building holds antique farm equipment and tools. An 1860’s schoolhouse is currently being restored. Grants, donations, and local volunteers make the accumulation of items in this museum a small town gem. Plus it is free to explore!
If the museum has you in the mood to experience more of the past, take a horse-drawn wagon ride! Bitter-Sweet Acres is one-mile from the center of town. It offers a variety of Belgian horse-drawn carriages, wagon rides, and sleigh rides to suit any occasion or time of year. Take a wagon ride through the woods. After, gather around a bonfire or in their party room with friends and family. Call ahead to plan your stop at their farm.
High Action Activities
If you’re more interested in action-packed, high-speed fun, Bloomingdale has that covered too. It is home to Dutch Sports Park. Tucked back off the road as you enter Bloomingdale, this family ran, dirt track is home to motocross and ATV riders from spring to fall. It’s sure to have you coming back for more – especially this fall for the Chili Cook-Off they host!
If you want to be a part of the action, check out the newest attraction to the Bloomingdale area, Kids In the Mudd Off Road Park. The park is full of the best mudding around. Load up your toys and prepare to get dirty as you speed through water holes and mud pits. This adventure is for the whole family. They have areas designated for kids and adults alike!
Lastly, always take the unbeaten path when exploring small towns like Bloomingdale. You might just find a plethora of lakes and rivers, parks and campgrounds. They host a variety of greenhouses, farm stands, and roadside markets. You can find antiques or even the Bulk Food Store. Not to mention, you’ll pass acres of rolling fields and orchards at golden-hour when you’re heading back home. Now that is a day well spent.
With summer winding down, you’ll find us soaking up our favorite small town spots. How are you slowing down to savor Michigan this summer?