Deadman's Hill Loop
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Deadman’s Hill is a beautiful vista with a sad story. One of the most beloved viewing points for leaf peppers in the Lower Peninsula is something of a memorial to a young logger named Stanley Graczyk.
The twenty-one-year-old was a fun-loving lumberjack in the early 1900s, known as “Big Sam” to his friends and fellow loggers. On May 20, 1910, Big Sam was to marry his childhood sweetheart and on that morning he was working the steep ridges of the Jordan River Valley with his crew. Poor Stanley never even made it to the altar. He was driving a team of horses and a “Big Wheel” loaded with timber down the ridge when the huge cart slipped out of control and ran over him, killing him instantly. It’s been called Deadman’s Hill ever since.
Today it’s a scenic spot with views of much of the Jordan River watershed, and an especially popular destination during the height of fall colors. But the top of Deadman’s Hill also serves as the trailhead for the Jordan River Pathway, a 2-day backpacking trip of 18.7 miles, and Deadman’s Hill Loop, a 3.1-mile day hike that combines a walk in the woods with a little bit of logging lore.
The short loop includes a downhill section in the beginning and some uphill walking at the end, but the trail is wide, easy to follow, and a hike that can be accomplished in a pair of sturdy tennis shoes. Just keep an eye out for those runaway Big Wheels.
|Difficulty - Easy|