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Fort Custer Recreation Area, Michigan - Rustic Cabin Trip

Fort Custer Recreation Area, Michigan - Rustic Cabin Trip

This is also posted to the Hiking Group.

Dates: March 22, 2013 to March 24.

Cost: $22 for cabin rental (2 nights) and pay-pal fees.

It will be bring your own food and beverages. I am thinking that we can head to town to eat Saturday Evening. I’ll bring a 2 burner stove, 2 lanterns, and a water container.

Fort Custer is 2 hours and 38 minutes from Navy Pier (164 miles). Take I-94 to Michigan. The park is located 15 miles off I-94.

What are Rustic Cabins?

The cabin is 36 x 20. It has bunk beds that sleep 12, gas heat, a small charcoal grill outside, fire ring outside, and picnic tables. The cabin has an adjacent outhouse. There is no electricity or lights. This time of year, showers or flush toilets are not available.  There is a hand pump for water. Campfires are permitted only in designated fire rings. Dead and down wood may be used for campfires. Alcoholic beverages are allowed from the day after Labor Day thru March 31.

Campers should bring their own linens (sleeping bags), cook stove, cookware, tableware, lanterns, flashlight/headlamps, and water containers.

Michigan State Parks require a passport on all motorized vehicles that enter a park. Non-Resident annual passport is $30.50. Non-Resident daily passport is $8.40.

About Fort Custer Recreation Area:  DNR Website

Beautiful lakes, rolling hills, and miles of trails can be found at the Fort Custer Recreation Area.

Fort Custer Recreation Area comprises 3,033 acres located between Battle Creek and Kalamazoo. The terrain is typical of southern Michigan farm country, with 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. The area features three lakes (Whitford, Lawler, and Eagle Lakes), the Kalamazoo River and an excellent trail system. 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.

Fort Custer Recreation Area features 22 miles of hiking trails, 20 miles of mountain bike trails and 16 miles of bridle trails. Trails are open for cross-country skiing in the winter. In terms of trails, Fort Custer Recreation Area is composed of four loops: Blue 3.6 miles, Red 7.2 miles, Green 5.6 miles (the most scenic trail), and Yellow 5.6 miles. The trails traverse hills, ravines, bogs, and streams.

Click on map for larger view.  The cabins are by 3 and 4 on the blue trail.





















I hope to see you there,


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  • Kevin

    Great people, great fun!

    May 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Interesting place. Followed the signs to Lake Whitford past the headquarters but saw no cars in parking lot at end of road. Was everyone already at the pubs in Augusta? Would have hiked into cabin site if I'd seen some cars. What did I miss?

    March 22, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Dear Gayle,

      March 26, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Dear Gayle, I'm so sorry but I was back in saugatuck when I emailed you. But reception there was lousy so couldn't check anything. My apologies. Sorry if I caused any trouble.

      March 26, 2013

  • Jeanie H.

    Great weekend with old friends and new! As always, Kevin picked out a unique outdoor getaway to explore! Cabin was more than adequate and had beautiful view of the lake. Great hiking trails and pretty Park. Thanks Kevin and Debbie for such a nice weekend! Had an awesome time with wonderful people! : )

    March 24, 2013

  • mac0218

    Last minute change of plans - I'm not able to attend after all. Sent a note to Kevin - hope it was received!

    March 22, 2013

  • Jeanie H.

    Bring your snow-gear! There is 5 inches on the ground in Kalamazoo with 1 more inch expected. Thawing over the weekend...

    March 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Quick question. The posted meetup time is 7 pm. Is that Michigan time (EST) or Chicago time (CST)?

    March 20, 2013

  • Gayle U.

    Fort Custer is in my neck of the woods so I thought I would join your group. See you all in a couple of weeks!

    March 8, 2013

  • Kevin

    This is also posted with the hiking group.

    March 5, 2013

  • Sharon

    Working that weekend.

    March 4, 2013

  • mac0218

    Hi, I'm fairly new to Chicago but not new to camping / hiking. This will be my first trip with this group.

    March 4, 2013

  • Tim S

    Can not get this weekend off from work.

    February 23, 2013

  • Birt H.

    Hey! That's a pretty cheap weekend! I hope my schedule is clear when the RSVP's open.

    February 12, 2013

12 went

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