KALKASKA, Mich. (Michigan Back Roads) – The Seven Bridges Park is a great place to stop stretch your legs any time of year. In fact, it’s right in the middle of a beautiful drive to see the fall colors.

When you get out of your car, the first thing you are aware of is the sound of tumbling water. Just a few feet down the rustic path you come to the first bridge. By the time you pass the first bridge on the Seven Bridges Park Trail you will have left the everyday world behind and entered a world of tranquil natural beauty.

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Locals refer to the Seven Bridges Park as the “Jewel of Kalkaska County.” It is best known for its rustic wooden bridges that cross the Rapid River and its adjacent tributaries. The trail is only a mile long and is almost entirely forested. Along the streams and river, wildflowers will add their special beauty to scene.

This river is a blue-ribbon trout stream, and the Seven Bridges area has over one mile of river frontage. It isn’t unusual to encounter trout fishermen along the patchwork of interconnecting streams.

The paths are nicely groomed, the boardwalks are well maintained, and the bridges are in excellent repair. While a few miles from anywhere, the music of the running water, the shaded pathways, and profusion of wetland wildflowers, make this spot one of my favorite 15 minute vacations, while traveling the back roads. This level, one mile trial is an easy walk for most anyone.

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A Bit of History:

In the 1880’s a sawmill was built which dammed the Rapid River creating a holding pond for logs. The remains of the dam can still be seen when crossing the first three bridges in Seven Bridges Park.

Directions: Seven Bridges Park, is east of Rapid City on Valley Rd. Valley Road is west of Kalkaska of Route 72.

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The parking area, for Seven Bridges, is just a gravel space off the side of the road.

Important Note: There is private property around the park. It’s best to stay on the main pathway.

© Ron Rademacher 2016