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

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 30 miles which are well-suited for hiking, biking, cross country skiing, hunting and wildlife viewing. 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 serving on a steering committee for the property and supporting trail maintenance and other stewardship efforts.  If you would like to join us, sign up for a workday at Glacial Hills on the Events Page (events are updated in the spring) or contact Jake Bournay or Nate Richardson.

Check out the historic Project Description and the Landscript article “A New Trail System for Glacial Hills” to learn more.

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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Glacial Hills Overall Trail Map

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