Sometimes the word “bog” makes people just a tad nervous, wary, or cautious. Maybe it’s because the image of a bog brings to mind swamps and the creepy moors of England. The moors was where the eerie Sherlock Holmes tale “The Hound of the Baskervilles” took place, with strange sounds emanating from the moors at all hours of the night. I guess the American equivalent to a moor would indeed be a bog.

Michigan does have bogs of its own. There’s the scary Minden Bog, a place in the Michigan Thumb that you should not visit alone. Then there’s the “Kingdom of Darkness”, a/k/a the Gogomain Swamp in the Upper Peninsula, where some people have gone in but never came out.

But one Michigan bog you shouldn’t be too leery of paying a visit to is Bishop’s Bog in Kalamazoo County, a holdover from the last Ice Age. Yeah, it’s boggy, it’s foggy, it’s froggy…but there are some beautiful things found here – like the rare orange fringed orchid. The bog is also home to three meat-eating plants, ladyslipper orchids, and an awesome boardwalk that takes you smack thru the swampy bog.

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Wear waterproof boots or shoes when walking the boardwalk, as heavy footsteps will cause water to shoot up at you thru the cracks. Also, many times after snow melts or a good rain, water flows over the walk.

Bishop’s Bog Reserve is 152 acres, ancient, mostly untouched by humans, and is the largest relict (surviving from an earlier period or in primitive form) bog in Southern Michigan… Seriously, the boardwalk is great!

It’s located at 9920 S. Westnedge Avenue, Portage, in Kalamazoo County.

Bishop's Bog, Kalamazoo County


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