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Hilltop Nature Area

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 Park Address: 111 W Huron River Dr, Ann Arbor MI 48103​

Acce​ss          A​menities          Hist​ory


Hours and Rules

Open 6 a.m.-midnight with quiet hours beginning at 10 p.m. Refer to Chapter 39 of the City of Ann Arbor Code of Ordinances for park regulations and rules. Smoking is prohibited, ​and dogs must be on leash.​

Overview

​Hilltop Nature Area is a 7.7-acre natural area connected to Kuebler Langford Nature Area​, which connects to Bird Hills Nature Area​, and within walking distance of Sunset Brooks Nature Area. View the Ann Arbor Parks and Nature Areas map​ for location context. There are no signs or markers showing the border between Kuebler Langford and Hilltop, ​which is considered a separate nature area due to the history of the old Camp Hilltop, the park's namesake. Its ecosystem consists of oak-hickory forest and a small prairie pocket. This nature area has spectacular views of the Huron River valley with rich carpets of wildflowers in the spring as well as a small​​ creek. ​​Rare and interesting plant species found in Hilltop include broad-leaved puccoon, Michigan lily and wood betony.

Access and Parking

Hilltop Nature Area is accessible by walking through Kuebler Langford Nature Area​, which borders it to the south.  

There is some parking for Kuebler Langford available on Beechwood​​ Drive​ and limited shoulder parking on the east side of the park along the western shoulder of Huron River Drive. Kuebler Langford can be reached on foot and bicycle by walking and riding along the neighborhood streets to the south of the park, using the Beechwood Drive entrance.​ There are bike racks at this entrance.​

The nearest bus stop is on Sunset Road, a short walk from the entrance to Kuebler Langford.​​​ Visit The Ride for closest stops and route details or check out the parks ride guide.


Amenities

  • Unpaved trails



Volunteer

There are ongoing and limitless opportunities for volunteering and getting engaged with the Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation Services Unit. Natural Area Preservation has volunteer opportunities that support their mission to protect and restore Ann Arbor's natural areas and to foster an environmental ethic among its citizens. If you are feeling the call to volunteer or give some time, reach out or explore the website above to see what’s upcoming or how to get involved.​​​​

Report a Problem - A2 Fix It

To report any maintenance issues or other problem during your park visit, please report through A2Fix It. When reporting an issue in a park please include location details. There is a details and description section near the end of the request process to help you provide this. In addition, users can utilize the pin (website) or X (mobile app) feature to provide specific location information inside the park. Finally, please consider including a wide angle photo or include background landmarks, which helps staff find and fix the problem.​​

Gifts and Donations 

Information on donating to the parks and the Guide to Giving can be found he​re​. For special projects ideas in natural areas, Natural Area Preservation​ staff will guide you and provide project guidelines unique to natural areas.​​​

History​

Before Hilltop Nature Area was a park space, it was Camp Hilltop, which was owned and used by the Girl Scouts of Huron Valley. In the early 1940s, the land was owned by DTE energy, who allowed the Girl Scouts to use it. The land was purchased by Cone W. Lighthall in 1946 and then donated to the Girl Scouts the next year. A lodge was envisioned and then built in 1948, being completed and dedicated in 1949.  The Girl Scout troops used the land until April 2006, when the lodge burned ​down. Luckily, no one was there, but with all the damage to the lodge, the Girl Scout council decided to sell the property. The city purchased it in summer 2006 for $2.24 million​, using funds from Ann Arbor’s Greenbelt program. It was officially named “Hilltop” in 2009. If you visit Hilltop Nature Area today, you can still ​​see an old marker and a flag pole from the scout camp.​

 

Girl Scouts dedicating a flag at the Camp Hilltop lodge in 1949 (Source: AADL)

Read a NAP Newsletter ​article ​describing the restoration of Hilltop ​early after the city acquired the land:​

​2008 ​Park Focus: Camp Hilltop​​ by ​​Billy Kirst and Jason Tallant​​


Updated April 2022. Email [email protected] for incorrect/outdated information. ​​​​​