23 Outdoor Activities in South Haven, Michigan

Nestled along the shores of Lake Michigan, South Haven is a small town with a big heart and an abundance of natural beauty. 

From sandy beaches and rolling dunes to lush forests and sparkling waterways, South Haven is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. 

Here we highlight some of the best outdoor activities in the area, from hiking and biking to fishing and kayaking. 

So pack your sunscreen and grab your adventure hat because we’re about to embark on a journey through the great outdoors of South Haven, Michigan.

A picture of the South Haven lighthouse with waves crashing around it.

South Haven Outdoor Activities

1. Hiking & Biking

Hiking and biking on the Kal-Haven Trail, a 34-mile long, converted railroad bed that runs from Kalamazoo to South Haven.

2. Swimming

Swimming and sunbathing on South Beach, North Beach, or one of the many other sandy beaches in the area.

A screenshot of a google map showing the Black River running through South Haven, Michigan.

3. Fishing

Fishing for salmon, steelhead, and trout on the Black River or in Lake Michigan.

4. Kayaking

Kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding on the Black River or Lake Michigan.

5. South Haven Center for the Arts

Visit the South Haven Center for the Arts and take a scenic walk through the sculpture garden.

6. Birdwatching

There are several great places to go bird watching in South Haven, Michigan. Some popular spots include:

  • Van Buren State Park: Located just a few miles south of South Haven, this state park is home to a variety of bird species, including warblers, vireos, and thrushes.
  • Black River Preserve: Miles of hiking make it a great place to spot a variety of birds.
  • Lake Michigan Beach: The shores of Lake Michigan are a prime spot for

7. Ice Rink

Exploring the South Haven Ice Rink and trying your hand at ice skating.

8. Maritime Museum

Visit the Michigan Maritime Museum and learn about the history of the Great Lakes.

9. Local Produce Stands

Take a scenic drive through the countryside and stop at roadside farms and markets to pick up local produce.

10. South Haven Lighthouse

Visit the South Haven Lighthouse and is a magnificent sight to see.

11. Golf

Play a round of golf at one of the local courses, such as the Beeches Golf Club.

12. Horseback Riding

A picture of a women riding a brown horse at the edge of the water. A dog trailing behind.

Go horseback riding at the South Haven Farm.

13. Boat Tours

Take a scenic boat tour of the harbor and the surrounding waterways.

14. Beach Volleyball

Play beach volleyball at North Beach or South Beach.

15. Playgrounds

Visit the Kids’ Corner Playground and let your children burn off some energy on the swings and jungle gym.

16. Farmers Market

Visit the South Haven Farmers Market and sample local food and drink.

17. Hike Van Buren State Park

Take a scenic hike through the Van Buren State Park and explore the sandy dunes.

18. Pilgrim Haven Natural Area

Go birdwatching at the Pilgrim Haven Natural Area, where you can spot various species.

19. Dune Climbing

A picture of sand dunes looking out at the water. Dune grass blowing in the wind.

Go dune climbing at the Van Buren State Park or the Warren Dunes State Park.

20. Local Craft Beers

Visit the South Haven Brew Pub and try a selection of locally-crafted beers.

21. Wineries

Going for a scenic drive through the countryside and stopping at wineries and tasting rooms to sample local wines.

22. Geocaching

Go geocaching and searching for hidden treasures around town.

23. Sunset Walks

Take a sunset walk along the pier and watch the sunset over Lake Michigan.


In conclusion, South Haven, Michigan, offers a wide variety of outdoor activities for visitors and residents alike. From the sandy beaches of Lake Michigan to the lush forests and rolling hills of the surrounding countryside, there is something for everyone.

Next time you’re looking for a fun and exciting outdoor getaway, consider a trip to South Haven and experience all that this beautiful area has to offer.

Related: Are vacation rentals allowed in South Haven Township?