Kalamazoo County Parks and Expo Center

Activities at the Kalamazoo County Parks & Expo Center

Summer Activities


Camping is available at Cold Brook and Markin Glen from late April through the end of October.

Cold Brook offers 29 sites with 30 or 50 amp electric and water hook-ups, modern restroom facilities, and dump station.

Markin Glen offers 38 modern sites with 50 amp electric, water and sewer hook-ups, modern restroom facilities, and dump station.

Advance reservations are required for either park and can be made by calling the Parks Office at 269-383-8778 Monday-Friday, 8am-4:30pm.

Special event camping for rallies and large events is available at the Kalamazoo County Expo Center & Fairground. Call 269-383-8778 for more information.


All of the parks are great for picnics. Whether you're planning a family picnic for four or a company picnic for 2000, there's a spot for it at one of the parks.

Picnic Shelters are available at each of the parks and can reserved by calling 269-383-8778. Seating at the various shelters ranges from 30-280. Larger groups can be accommodated at several of the shelter sites if the groups bring in additional equipment.

In addition to the picnic shelters, there are many family picnic areas for a quick lunch or a leisurely gathering with a few friends.


What better way to cool off during the hot summer weather then to visit one of the Kalamazoo County Park's three swimming beaches.

Cold Brook has a swimming beach located on the shores of Blue Lake.

Markin Glen has a swimming beach with handicap access right into the water.

Prairie View has a swimming beach on pristine Hogsett Lake.

Beach Rules

Splash Pad

The splash pad features fun in-ground and above-ground water spray elements. There is also a playground near the splash pad. Both areas have specific elements designed for children ages 2-5 and ages 6-12.

Hours: 10:00am - 8:00pm, Memorial Day through Labor Day
Fees: Splash pad use is included with your park admission. For Group rentals, call the Parks Office at 269-383-8778.

Splash Pad Rules

Dog Parks

The Dog Parks feature fenced park areas for dogs to exercise and socialize off leash. The parks feature grass areas with plenty of shade trees and wooded sections. There are also small dog areas only for dogs under 25 lbs.

Prairie View Dog Park features 7 acres of fenced park area. The park has a three acre grass area with plenty of shade trees and a three acre wooded section with a walking trail. Plus there is a one acre area for dogs under 25 lbs.

River Oaks Dog Park features 4-3/4 acres of fenced park area. The park has a four acre grass area with plenty of shade trees. Plus there is a one acre area for dogs under 25 lbs.

Access to the dog park requires either payment of the daily vehicle entrance fee or an annual park pass Please see our brochure for Dog Park rules.

Dog Walking

Dogs are welcome at all Kalamazoo County Parks. Pets must be on a leash with the exception of the Prairie View Dog Park & The River Oaks Dog Park. They are not allowed at the swimming beaches and owners must clean up after their pets.

The Kalamazoo River Valley Trail offers dog walking programs. For specific details visit the Trail Events Calendar.


River Oaks offers a beautiful facility that features 20 soccer fields ranging in sizes full, mid and junior. The fields are available for game, league, practice, and tournament rentals. Improvements to the complex were completed in 2005 and include new fields, 650 paved parking spaces, restroom facilities, and a concession stand. See a detailed map of the complex.

This facility is home to AYSO Region 212, DBSS Sting, Kingdom Soccer, Pfizer Soccer League, and Kalamazoo Ultimate Disc League. Several Tournaments are held at the complex annually.

For information on field availability, rental costs, or to schedule a tournament please call 269-383-8778 or contact the parks director.


All of the County Parks offer great fishing opportunities.

Markin Glen is great for shore fishing with a fishing lake and two fishing piers. Scotts Mill and River Oaks also offer shore fishing.

Cold Brook offers fishing opportunities on Blue Lake and Portage Lake. A fishing pier is available as well as a boat ramp.

Fish on Gourdneck Lake or Hogsett Lake at Prairie View. A boat ramp is available.

River Oaks also has a boat ramp to access Morrow Lake and the Kalamazoo River.

A fishing license (not available for purchase at our parks) is required and all Department of Natural Resources regulations are to be followed.

Hiking/Jogging and Walking/Nature Trails

All of the Kalamazoo County Parks have trails providing places to hike, walk, jog and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Kalamazoo River Valley Trail currently has 24 miles of non-motorized asphalt trail. Eventually the KRV Trail will encompass 35 miles of trail connecting Battle Creek to Lake Michigan, D Avenue to Portage, and eventually Lake Michigan to Lake Huron. See the Trail Map for current and future trail plans. Walking clubs, Nature walks, History walks and 5k Run/Walks all take place on the trail. Visit the Trail Events Calendar for more information on meeting times and places.

Cold Brook offers 2.5 miles of hiking trails.

Markin Glen offers hiking trails and a 1 mile multi-use paved trail.

Prairie View offers 2.5 miles of hiking trail plus a .3 mile multi-use paved trail.

River Oaks offers 6.5 miles of hiking trails.

Scotts Mill offers hiking trails.


All of the county parks offer great locations for a wedding! From lakes and ponds to intimate wooded areas, you're sure to find the perfect place to say "I Do." The parks also have a number of Picnic Shelters that can be rented for receptions.

Scotts Mill offers a special wedding package. The historic mill, waterwheel and natural landscape make a lovely backdrop for a wedding. The package includes a picturesque wedding site next to the historic mill, electricity as needed, the Gregersen Shelter and all vehicle entrance fees.

For more information about this package or weddings at any of our parks please call 269-383-8778.

Disc Golf

Cold Brook is home to a championship 24-hole disc golf course. There are no green fees. Access to the course requires either payment of the daily vehicle entrance fee or an annual park pass. You must bring your own equipment.

Several disc golf leagues play at Cold Brook though-out the week. Tournaments are also held through-out the year.


Kalamazoo County Parks offers boat rentals at Cold Brook. Boats are non-motorized and are $12.00 per half day.

Boat ramps are also available at Cold Brook, Prairie View and River Oaks for guests to launch their own boat. Vehicle entry fee is required.


Children's playgrounds are available at all the parks and campgrounds.

See the Park Maps for specific locations.


The Kalamazoo River Valley Trail offers many programs for families, adults and children. Programs on the trail provide endless health, recreational and educational benefits. They also provide enjoyable outdoor opportunities for you and your family.

Visit the Parks & Trail Events Calendar to see all the opportunities available!

Special Events

The Kalamazoo County Expo Center & Fairground is home to over 100 national, regional and local events drawing over 275,000 visitors each year. The flexible and spacious facilities with professional staff make these events a great experience. Visit the Expo Center Events Calendar for specific event dates and details. To book space for your event call 269-383-8778 or fill out our online request form.

There are also many special events held at the parks and on the trail throughout the year. From triathlons and lacrosse tournaments, to dog walk-a-thons and antique tractor shows you'll find a variety of events to entertain your whole family. Visit the Parks & Trail Events Calendar for specific event dates and details. To plan a special event call 269-383-8778 or fill out our online special event form.


At Markin Glen there is a one mile paved multi-use trail available.

The Kalamazoo River Valley Trail features 8.4 miles of paved asphalt trail. It is now possible to bike from Downtown Kalamazoo to South Haven via the KRV Trail.

The Maple Hill Trail is located on the West Side of Markin Glen Park, and features nearly five miles of mostly machine build singletrack. Riders can look forward to banked turns, tabletops, jumps, and rock features. Most features are designed to be rollable at slow speeds for beginner riders, but reward intermediate and advanced riders who hit them at higher speeds. There's a surprising amount of climbing and grade for West Michigan, but long descents are the reward. The trail is well signed and alternates directions depending on the day of the week. A changing station, drinking water, pavilion, bike parking, and restroom are available at the trailhead. For more information please contact 269-383-8778.

Bicycles are welcome at all the Kalamazoo County Parks and the entrance fee is $2.00 if biking into a park.


Volleyball nets are available near many of the picnic shelters. Equipment is available from park staff for a $10.00 deposit.


Cornhole is available at all of the picnic shelters. Equipment is available from park staff for a $10.00 deposit.


Softball fields are located near many of the Picnic Shelters. Equipment is not supplied. See our Park Maps for specific locations.

The Wenke Softball Fields are located at River Oaks. Comstock Township and Kalamazoo County partnered with local donors to construct the Wenke Softball Complex. The four fields are maintained and operated by Comstock Township Parks. For league or field information, contact Comstock Township Parks at 269-343-8212.

Model Airplane Field

The River Oaks Modelers operate the River Oaks model airplane field. For membership and field information visit

Winter Activities

Ice Fishing

Ice fishing is one of our most popular winter activities at both Cold Brook and Prairie View Parks.

A fishing license (not available for purchase at our parks) is required and all Department of Natural Resources regulations are to be followed.


The beach hill at Prairie View makes a perfect spot for sledding in the wintertime. The Beach House is used as a warming shelter to take a break and warm your toes between runs down the hill. Bring your own sleds.

Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-country skiing is welcome at any of the parks. We do not groom trails, but skiiers are welcome on park trails.