Glacial Hills Pathway and Natural Area

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Other Protected Land Activities

Before You Head Out

Please review the preserve rules and the hunting rules, which vary by preserve. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us.

Support Our Work

To support this protected land, preserve or any other initiatives:

Support This Protected Land

Protected & Managed by The Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, owned by Antrim County, Forest Home Township & The Village of Bellaire. 

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The extreme ecological diversity found at the Glacial Hills Pathway and Natural Area speaks to its statewide significance. The property contains 12 distinct habitat types, including two hardwood forest types, three wetland habitats, and the shrub thicket and wet mesic forest types that support more than 20 species of trees, over 100 species of flowers, and over 100 species of birds, including great-horned owls, eagles and the threatened red-shoulder hawk.

The protection of natural land parcels, like these, within Forest Home Township and Antrim County is critical to safeguarding the quality of Torch Lake, Clam Lake, Lake Bellaire, and Intermediate Lake–forever. Additionally, preservation of this property permanently protects the headwaters of Grass Creek. Not only does this effort ensure the continuance of high water quality in the Chain of Lakes, but it preserves a critical wildlife corridor containing both east-west and north-south links.

Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy assisted Antrim County and Forest Home Township in acquiring 345 acres of property which consolidated fragmented holdings into a contiguous 763-acre publicly-owned block. Although the parcels are owned by separate units of government, the Natural Area shares a combined trail system of over 28 miles which are well-suited for hiking, biking, cross country skiing, hunting and wildlife viewing (Trail Maps). Located only 1/2 mile northwest of the Village of Bellaire, the successful protection of this land coupled with the trail system allows for the numerous, widely-recognized economic benefits of trails and greenway corridors to impact the entire Bellaire community.

GTRLC’s work continues in the form of trail design as well as overseeing a substantial volunteer effort to construct and maintain the trail system.  Check out the Project Description & the Landscript article “A New Trail System for Glacial Hills” to learn more about the volunteer efforts, our community partnerships and the project’s financial requirements. If you would like to pitch in and learn how to build and maintain sustainable trails sign up for a Trail Building Day on the Events Page or contact Jake Bournay (jbournay@gtrlc.org) or Nate Richardson to join the Glacial Hills Friends group.

Antrim County. 345 acres acres.

Maps + Directions

Eckhardt Road Parking Area & Trail Head

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Vandermark Road Parking Area & Trail Head

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Orchard Hill Parking Area & Trail Head

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Mountain Biking is indicated where there are marked trails that are designed for and capable of handling bike traffic.
Birding can be done on all properties so we have added an icon to lands that are either exceptional for birding in uniqueness or diversity or are being specifically managed for bird habitat.
Fishing is indicated where it is a primary feature of the property.
Hiking is indicated where there are marked trails.
Hunting is indicated where it is legal to hunt however each preserve has specific stipulations which are specified for each preserve.
Kayaking/Canoeing is indicated on properties that either have a put-in on the land or have off-property public access proximal to the preserve. Some preserves are only accessible by boat.
Sanctuary properties have ecologically sensitive features and active use is discouraged.
Parking is indicated where there are designated areas for parking. Many lands do not have specific parking so please be safe and respectful of your parking choices when you visit a preserve w/o designated parking.
Skiing / Snowshoeing is indicated where back country (non groomed) skiing and snowshoeing is recommended and the road and/or parking lot is plowed.
Scenic Vistas are indicated where a grand view of the surrounding area is available.
Trail Running is indicated where there are marked trails that are capable of handling the rigors of trail running and are at least one mile in length.
Swimming is indicated where there is specific access to water and is swimming is a primary feature of the property.
Volunteers are needed at this preserve.