Deadman’s Hill – A Sunrise Trip in the Fall


Before we left for Maui, Tony and I did something we almost never do. We got up before sunrise (this is the part we never do), and drove up to Deadman’s Hill (we do lots of things like this). Following a short walk up a gentle hill, view-seekers are greeted with expansive views of the Jordan River valley where rounded peaks tumble into the distance, reminiscent of the Appalachian foothills.

We arrived at the trailhead at about 7:30am, delighted that the moon still hung in the sky. A light layer of fog wafted out of the hollows, reaching for the low cloud ceiling. Somehow the morning’s general gloom highlighted the brilliance of the autumn oranges and crimsons. From specific perches, we glimpsed the Jordan River snaking through the surrounding wetlands.


After allowing us to absorb the crisp morning air, the sun peaked through behind us to burn off the dew. We drove back home, rejuvenated for the day ahead.

We enjoyed our recent time in Maui (and Meg even more), but Michigan is Home. Do you love your home like I love mine? I hope so.

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16 thoughts on “Deadman’s Hill – A Sunrise Trip in the Fall

  1. You continue to amaze me. These colors are just breathtaking. I believe we are about a week late to the state park..but it is still a beautiful park. Off to the Wilds in the morning, and I think we have convinced ourselves to do the zipline tour. Adventure! for Mom & Dad!!

    • Aww. You amaze me, too. *Internet hug!*
      Those pictures are from a day or so before we left for Maui. We were gone when peak hit here, but I’ve still gotten some beautiful shots. The time of day/angle of light makes a big difference in how your pictures turn out.
      DOOOOOO the zipline tour! And tell me all about it! And don’t break your ankle!

      • Hi. Here is a link http://sparkleypinklemons.wordpress.com/2012/10/03/hiking-deadmans-trail/

        I did the 3-mile, it was prolly the most colorful hike I have did thus far. Even better then the hikes I have down out west with the pretty Aspens. My bf and I plan to do the overnight hike next spring/summer. I want to do a backpacking hike where you mainly hike the whole time. We usually do a backpacking/camping trip Memorial weekend on Lake MI over in the Manistee National Forest. Have you guys thought about doing the hike or any other suggestions??

        • We haven’t hiked either of the Deadman’s Hill hikes, but we have tentative plans to hike the 18 miles next fall. As for other hikes in the area – I highly recommend the out-and-back at Wilco Road, just south of Empire. Also, I like the trail with the Pyramid Point overlook in Port Oneida. You can make it short by just going to the overlook, but the trail continues through some woods and meadow. (Pictures of this soon, since we were just there a few days ago). Also, we really like the trails at the end of Densmore Road in Leelanau County. I think there are 6 or 7 miles of trails there. The fall color is beautiful as of today, and there’s nice lake access and an overlook.

  2. Such wonderful fall colors – your photos remind me of Vermont, high on a hill, looking down at the forests dressed in their finest. I love that you and Tony do these things, I envy that.

    • Now that you mention Vermont, I can see that. Or at least I presume I can from seeing a friend’s photos from there – I’ve not yet been.
      Part of our decision to move up here was to change our lives. We opted to do things differently so that we could enjoy our youth instead of waiting until retirement when we might be less able to do the things we like. It was hard walking away from a career, but things have fallen into place and we are so glad we opted for the big, scary change.
      I’m happy to be able to share our adventures and that people enjoy tagging along through words and pictures 🙂

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