Description - The terrain at Fort Custer Recreation Area is a mixture of open brush land to mature hardwood forest, with some pockets of open meadows mixed in. Prairie restoration is in progress with excellent results. Three lakes lies within the park boundary: Whitford, Lawler, and Eagle Lakes
Copyright: Patty Elton - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
There are more than 60 species of deer throughout the world; North America holds five
Originally farmland, the area was acquired by the federal government to establish Camp Custer, an induction and military training center for the US Army during WWII. The land was deeded to the State of Michigan under President Nixon's Legacy of Parks in 1971.
The North Country Trail is located just north of the Recreation Area in Fort Custer National Cemetery. This national scenic trail hiking route from North Dakota to New York includes more than 1,500 miles in Michigan.
- The extensive trail system at Fort Custer Recreation Area attracts thousands of visitors each year. The park offers 22 miles of hiking trails, 20 miles of mountain bike trails and 16 miles of bridle trails. The trails are open for cross-country skiing in the winter.
The 112-site year-round campground, two mini-cabins, and three rustic cabins are nestled amid the woodlands and along the banks of the banks of the Kalamazoo River. Modern bathhouse facilities are available mid-April to mid-October.
Hunting for white-tailed deer, wild turkey, goose, rabbit, and squirrel is permitted. State regulations apply. The park is also open to trapping, with Whitford Lake offering excellent muskrat populations.
Recreation - Recreations available include camping, cabin lodging, picnicking, swimming, hunting, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, boating, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing.
Fort Custer- Modern - (800) 447-2757, 219 site(s), $19/$16
Fort Custer- Rustic Cabins - (269) 731-4200, 3 site(s), $60/$80
Fort Custer- Group Use Area - (269) 731-4200, 2 site(s), Contact the park
Fort Custer-Multi-Purpose Trails - 25 (Miles), Hiking, Bridle, Mountain Biking, Dog Sledding, Cross Country Ski
Climate - Mid Michigan has warm to hot summers with temperatures climbing above 70 degrees F (above 21 degrees C). Winter temperatures average between 14 and 22 degrees F (-10 to -6 degrees C). Moisture deposited in this region averages between 28 and 36 inches but can be dramatically altered by the "lake effect."
The park rests between Kalamazoo and Battle Creek on the northern boundary of Michigan's National Guard Reservation. To reach Fort Custer, travel M-96 (Dickman Road) west of Battle Creek 10 miles.