Bishop’s Bog Preserve Trail
Bishop’s Bog Preserve Trail, a 1.2-mile, point-to-point trail with much of it a floating trail, is part of the Portage South-Central Greenway, a series of five parks that total 483 acres and are linked together by 6 miles of trail, a fourth of it floating on bogs and marshes. The parks included in this hike are West Lake Nature Preserve, South Westnedge Park, Bishop’s Bog Preserve, and Schrier Park and only once, while hiking from park to park, do you have to cross a road.
The centerpiece of the greenway is Bishop’s Bog. The 152-acre “relict bog” is a holdover from the last Ice Age and harbors a number of climactically cool-region plants extremely rare for this part of the state. With its extensive mat of sphagnum moss, tamarack trees, and blueberry bushes, the bog is something botanists would expect to find 300 miles to north.
In 1987, the Michigan Nature Conservancy registered the area as the “largest remaining relict bog in southern Michigan,” and that year the Portage Parks and Recreation Department began piecing together the greenway. Bishop’s Bog Preserve Trail, the final link of the trail system, was completed in 1997.
The hike described here is a combination of trails in all the parks. It begins in Schrier Park and makes for an interesting walk of 4.6 miles. For a shorter day, you can just as easily turn around in South Westnedge Park and hike only Bishop’s Bog Preserve Trail for a return outing of 3 miles.
|Difficulty - Easy