Up Front

Five Faves - Best Hammock Spots

Have a hammock? Here are five great spots to hang out
Asylum Lake Preserve, 3836 S. Drake Road

© 2021 Encore Publications/Brian Powers

Hammocking has become so popular among Western Michigan University students that the school is incorporating an indoor hammocking lounge in the new student union that’s currently under construction.

Hammocking typically involves hanging a hammock between two trees in a public space and lying in it, and this trend among the college-age set is moving into the mainstream.

No backyard? No problem. The portability of today's compact, lightweight hammocks allows hammockers to make parks, preserves or any public green space into a place to "hang" with friends, read or even nap. Here are five favorite places where I like to hang out:

Asylum Lake Preserve
3836 S. Drake Road

With an abundance of trees in this beautiful nature preserve, there are countless spots to hang your hammock. You can hang near the water for a scenic view of Asylum Lake or off the trails amidst the oaks and grasses. No matter where you go, there is a guaranteed scenic view.

Miller Auditorium Plaza
Western Michigan University

Located in the heart of WMU’s campus, Miller Plaza has great trees to hang your hammock on, right next to the famous Miller fountain. Enjoy some shade while relaxing to the sounds of splashing water or engaging in some serious people watching.

Heritage Hall
Western Michigan University’s East Campus

Situated on top of a hill along Oakland Drive, Heritage Hall is the refurbished East Hall from WMU's early days, and its grounds offer a great view and quiet spot for hammocking. The best location to do it is on the west side of the building, in the trees facing the football stadium.

Kalamazoo College campus
1200 Academy St.

Founded in 1833, Kalamazoo College has beautiful historic buildings that make a perfect backdrop for hammocking. A favorite spot is by Trowbridge Hall, which is situated near the top of Academy Street and has plenty of hammock-friendly trees and a picturesque view of the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership.

Al Sabo Land Preserve (on cover)
6310 Texas Drive

Al Sabo’s expansive 741 acres provide plenty of places to hang your hammock. With countless trails to hike or mountain bike and several bodies of water, the preserve is the perfect place to spend a day out in nature. There are so many trees that you and several of your hammocking friends can hang out together. The pine forest on the Tibet Trail, not far from the preserve’s parking lot, is an especially popular hangout spot for hammockers. But be forewarned, it's also got pockets of poison ivy, so choose your spot carefully.

About the Author

Maggie Drew is a senior at Western Michigan University majoring in journalism. When not giving campus tours to incoming freshmen through WMU's Admissions Office or working as an intern at Encore, she likes to hammock with friends, such as Emma McCleary (black print top) and Amanda Vallejera (white t-shirt), pictured in the photos.