Alligator Hill

Location: The trailhead is south of the DH Day Campground off Stocking Road.

Parking Lot: Gravel

Restroom: An accessible vault toilet is near the parking lot.

Water: No drinking water is available at the trail.

Trail Length: 8 miles total in 3 loops. Each loop is 3-4.6 miles long.

Terrain: Long gradual hills through beech-maple forest. Much of the forest that this trail runs through was severely damaged by a wind storm on August 2, 2015. As you hike this trail, you will experience how nature recovers from a devastating event.

Trail Tread: Packed earth. The trail is quite wide.

Difficulty: The trail from the trailhead parking lot is relatively flat and firm for about .25 miles before the slope becomes steep. The “Easy Loop” is a relatively continuous grade up to the lookout point, which has panoramic view of Lake Michigan and the Manitou Islands. The “Advanced Loop” has several steep slopes and some water bars, which create steps about 6 inches high. Once you are at the lookout point, the trail to the Glen Lake Overlook is relatively flat and hard packed earth.

Click on the links to see a detailed description of the trail. This report describes trail obstacles and trail surface. Cell phone coverage may be limited in the Park, so download and save. 

Comments: The concrete bunker structure at the trailhead is an historic charcoal kiln from the logging and lumber days. The slab wood was placed in these bunkers, started on fire, and the bunker was closed off to limit the amount of oxygen. The result after a few days was that the wood was converted to charcoal, which was then sold.

There is a bench with a great view of the Manitou Island sat the top of Alligator Hill. You can often watch Great Lakes freighters travel through the Manitou Passage from here. A 1.6 mile spur along the ridge takes you to a view of Glen Lake. This was once a golf course – part of a planned resort. You might still be able to identify some of the greens or fairways. Alligator Hill was hit hard by a severe windstorm in August of 2015, which uprooted or broke many of the trees in this area. This changed the habitat opening the forest up to different species of birds and providing new habitat for small mammals. You can now witness the recovery of this damaged forest.


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