Maritime Trails2024-06-05T09:04:01-04:00

Maritime Heritage Trails

In the spring of 2019, South Haven received the designation of Pure Michigan Trail Town by the Michigan DNR and Travel Michigan. The Museum is proud to be part of a community, state and region that strives to develop, promote and protect our land and water based trail assets whether they be natural or cultural. 

Maritime District Harborwalk

Enjoy the beautiful and historic Maritime District of South Haven through the Harborwalk walking tour. The Harborwalk runs from pier head to pier head. Historic markers along the Black River provide fascinating and informative information for the imaginations of visitors to this once busy commercial and recreational harbor.

From start to finish it is roughly 3.2 miles (5k).  It is a great way to get those 10,000 steps in and be active while experiencing some fascinating South Haven maritime history!

Harborwalk Map

Bangor/South Haven Heritage Water Trail

The Bangor/South Haven Heritage Water Trail is one of nine designated heritage water trails in Michigan, offering 15 interpretive signs along the river. This water trail encompasses 21 miles of the South Branch of the Black River between the cities of Bangor and South Haven in Van Buren County, Michigan. The trail was designated to celebrate the waterway of the Black River and promote canoeing and kayaking. The Bangor/South Haven Heritage Water Trail Association is a volunteer 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation whose mission is to protect and present the scenic beauty and the heritage along the Black River. This organization is committed to the planning and implementation of a trail as well as maintaining it for paddlers. The Museum host the Black River Open Paddle each fall to promote the beauty and use of the Black River.

When completed, signs along the route will educate and inform trail users about local history and the environment. The trail will provide creative ways for people to enjoy nature and history while promoting environmental awareness, local tourism, and economic development.

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Great Lakes Fisheries Heritage Trail

The Great Lakes Fisheries Heritage Trail is a story of people, fish, and fishing. It demonstrates how we relate to aquatic ecosystems, biodiversity, water quality, and environmental change. The fishery is the thread running through all these, serving as a gauge of resource sustainability and quality of life. Great Lakes fisheries heritage sites throughout Michigan offer residents and visitors a unique opportunity to explore and experience the dynamic social, technological, and environmental changes that have shaped today’s fishery.

The trail reflects a network and partnership among museum, maritime heritage, fisheries and other partners cooperating across Michigan and the Great Lakes region to promote our rich fisheries heritage. The collective efforts of these partners is helping to preserve and interpret historical artifacts, enhance local communities and heritage-based tourism, and offer educational opportunities focusing on Great Lakes literacy and stewardship.

The Museum’s 1939 gill net fish tug Evelyn S. as well as the historic Jensen Fisheries buildings are part of this heritage trail.

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