Every single one of us has had the kind of day where it's necessary to just take a load off our feet and perhaps sit in silence. We, as humans, need that activity that allows us to unwind and let the stress of our day roll off of our shoulders.

For Heidi K., that activity might be sitting next to a body of water. In the Facebook group, Kalamazoo/Portage Online Marketplace, Heidi asked:

Hey guys! Still kinda new here I’m looking for a nice place to reflect at the end of the day. Preferably by water. I’m from Oceana Co where it’s all water, I just need a quiet place to sit and think. Ty

As a fellow water lover, this caught my attention because I, too, like to sit in silence with just the sound of flowing water calming my nerves.

With over 30 comments, locals had plenty of suggestions. Here are at least 7:


1. Celery Flats 

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This suggestion comes from Morgan E. who wrote, "Personally I enjoy celery flats walking path. It has a bench near a stream/river and it’s pleasant." Located in Portage, Celery Flats is a part of Portage Creek Bicentennial Park and features several historical buildings. Pets are allowed in most areas. Read more here.

2. Leila Arboretum 

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This one was suggested by Sandra M. who said, "The arboretum in Battle Creek is really nice." Taking a quick look at Google Maps, there doesn't seem to be many bodies of water within the arboretum:

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Although, the North Branch Kalamazoo River is right across the road. The arboretum itself does feature sculptures, classes, and a Fantasy Forest. See more here.

3. Kalamazoo Nature Center 

I can speak to this one personally although it was recommended by DM Killarney on the original post. I recently visited the Kalamazoo Nature Center and if you're looking for some peace and quiet by the water, there are so many options in this one space. Keep in mind that there is a charge to enter the Kalamazoo Nature Center whether you're just hiking the trails or visiting the Visitor Center. Prices range from $3 to $7 depending on your age and what time of day you're visiting. Read more here.

4. Lakeview Park at Austin Lake

Chelsea Rose
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Austin Lake was the suggestion from both Jodi S. and Jordan T. While the lake itself is surrounded by homes, there does seem to be one publically accessible park which is Lakeview Park. Judging by Google Maps, the park offers a decent size trail, tennis courts, and what looks like two docks extending from the park over Lake Austin. Learn more at portagemi.gov.

5. Romona Park 

Chelsea Rose
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Right around the corner from Lakeview Park is Romona Park which sits on Long Lake. Recommended by Azeneth D., they say, "Ramona park is free for Portage residents." Indeed, according to portagemi.gov, the park is free to Portage area residents and costs about $10 per non-residential vehicle. You can even rent kayaks at this park. Learn more here.

6. Asylum Lake Preserve

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According to Patti V., a great spot to relax by the water is, "Asylum lake. Kalamazoo. Lots of trails & nature." Owned by West Michigan University, the area serves as a passive recreational area and is often used for research purposes by students at WMU. You can learn more about the area and plot your course here.

7. Fort Custer Recreation Area 

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Before you visit Fort Custer Recreation Area, be sure to have your route planned out because this area is huge. Recommended by Teresa H., Fort Custer has three lakes, a swimming beach, and looks to border the North Kalamazoo River:

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With 25 miles of multi-use trails, you definitely want to make sure you know where you're going. Keep in mind that a Recreational Passport is required to visit Fort Custer Recreation Area. Learn more here.


There are annual passes you can buy for Kalamazoo County parks. It's $25 for a vehicle. Learn more here. As well, the Recreational Passport required for state parks costs $12 to $17 depending on whether you purchase it during your license renewal. See all the details here.

Of course, if you're looking to sit by a pool instead, there's an option for that too. Check out this new app that lets you rent private pools by the hour:

At Least 3 Pools You Can Rent by the Hour in the Kalamazoo Area

Did you know that you can rent pools by the hour with an online service called Swimply? Here are three that are available in the Kalamazoo area.

Lovely Battle Creek Area Frank Lloyd Wright Inspired Home is Now An Airbnb

You could stay in a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired home right here in SW Michigan. For a price, of course.