Hilltop Nature Area

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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.

Park Notices

Unless otherwise posted per City Council resolution, when a park is closed, no person shall remain in or enter it other than to quietly sit or walk.​

Refer to Chapter 39 of the City of Ann Arbor Code of Ordinances for park regulations and rules.

Park Hours

6 a.m. – Midnight

Amenities

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Unpaved Trails


 
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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.​

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Using a phone?

Open the ​Park Finder

Public Transportation

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.

History​​​​

Ann Arbor's city parks sit on the ancestral and traditional homelands​ of several indigenous Native peoples. Read a land acknowledgement​​ from the city and learn more a​bout the early history of the land here.​​

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


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