Michigan County Highpoints

Michigan, United States, North America
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Sign the Climber's Log

County Highpointing in a “Flat” State…

As a Midwestern state Michigan sits amid some of the least interesting terrain in the country. As it is, however, Michigan sits surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes and has a geologic history that has helped create a rather varied landscape. Split into two ecologically, geologically, and demographically distinct peninsulas, the state of Michigan offers the best and worst in county highpointing. The western Upper Peninsula lies within the rugged Canadian Shield and offers some of the toughest cross-country travel in the Midwestern US. The eastern UP and northern LP are characterized by lakeshore plains mixed with glacial hills and uplands. The land is not as rugged here but nonetheless includes some of Michigan’s highest elevations. The southern LP is perhaps the least interesting from a highpointing standpoint. The land is generally flat and you are likely to need a good topo map with you to tell you when you are, indeed, where you need to be.

I don’t consider myself an avid county highpointer, I am awestruck and dumbfounded by the people who take it upon themselves to visit all the U.S. county highpoints. The time and money required for this are far beyond my reach so I have set my sights on a goal more attainable…visiting the county highpoints in my home state. So far I’ve visited a little over half of them, and will hopefully complete the lot of them in the next year or so. Even though none of these highpoints are very dramatic it has treated me to an interesting journey into some of the more remote corners of my home state, each unique in its own way…

Upper Peninsula

County highpointing in the UP is a completely different animal than it is in the Lower Peninsula. Most of the highpoints here lie on public land but due to the difficult terrain and lack of good access roads make these places quite difficult to reach. The eastern half of the peninsula is comparatively flat but the maze of muddy backroads that criss-cross the backcountry here makes finding these highpoints an adventure...

County Elevation Location Access Information
Alger 1170' Unnamed Short Hike Near where Alger, Schoolcraft, and Luce Counties meet. The highpoint is obvious...if you can find it...you'll need 4WD and a good map.
Baraga 1979' Mt. Arvon Short Hike Michigan's Highest Point. SE of Skanee. The route to the trailhead has been much improved in recent years, it's a half-mile hike from the parking area.
Chippewa 1090' McNearney Lake Tower 4WD/Short Hike NE of Eckerman. An old truck trail leads to the summit area (you'll want a 4WD). Hiawatha National Forest
Delta 1068' Unnamed Private Land Near Lathrop off M-35. Highpoint is actually on State Land but you must cross private property to reach it.
Dickinson 1609' Sagola Lookout Drive-Up Just W of Sagola. From reports you can drive up to the old lookout easily.
Gogebic 1870' Unnamed Roadside Extreme SE corner of county. Highpoint is located 50 yards W of FR-321 just inside the state border.
Houghton 1659' The Bluff Bushwhack Extreme SW corner of county. A steep bushwhack, one of the toughest on this page. Ottawa National Forest
Iron 1880' Unnamed Private Land SW of Beechwood near State Line. Highpoint is located within the privately owned Smoky Lake Wilderness, get permission to access this one.
Keweenaw 1540' Mt. Horace Greeley Private Land This highpoint all but impossible to visit as it is on the grounds of a juvenile detention center and is strictly off-limits to the public. The entrance is along Gratiot Lake Road SE of Phoenix.
Luce 1197' Unnamed 4WD/Bushwhack Near where Luce, Schoolcraft, and Alger Counties meet. Logging roads criss-cross the area so have a good map and a 4WD.
Mackinac 1000' Maple Hill & Unnamed Roadside & 4WD/Bushwhack Maple Hill-Adjacent to East Lake Road at Chippewa County line. Unnamed Area-W of Fish Road(two-track), half-mile bushwhack
Marquette 1932' Unnamed North Country Trail Along North Country Trail in McCormick Wilderness, N of Michigammee. A 4-mile round-trip hike.
Menominee 1171' Unnamed Private Land NW of Hermansville near Dickinson line, must obtain owner permission to access.
Ontonagon 1952' Summit Peak Short Hike Highest point in Porcupine Mountains State Park. Access road gets you within a quarter-mile of the top in the summer.
Schoolcraft 1050' Unnamed 4WD/Bushwhack Near where Schoolcraft, Luce, and Alger Counties meet. Logging roads criss-cross the area so have a good map and a 4WD.

Northern Lower Peninsula

The northern LP is a mix of what you will find to the north and south. The amount of public land here decreases, meaning you’ll likely run into more “No Trespassing” signs. The terrain here, however, is still quite interesting. Particularly towards the tip of the mitt glacial activity has created a fairly hilly landscape to explore.

County Elevation Location Access Information
Alcona 1273' Unnamed Bushwhack W of Curran near County Line, Huron National Forest
Alpena 1140' Turtle Lake Tower 4WD Extreme SW corner of county in large roadless area
Antrim 1489' Unnamed Short Bushwhack On Otsego County line just S of Elmira
Arenac 870' Unnamed 4WD Just W of I-75 in Au Sable State Forest
Benzie 1161' Unnamed Private Land Extreme SE corner of county, 4WD will get you close
Charlevoix 1562' Hudson Lookout Gravel Road East of Boyne Falls near Otsego County line, Mackinaw State Forest
Cheboygan 1300' Unnamed 4WD, Short Hike SW of Wolverine within Mackinaw State Forest
Clare 1509' Unnamed Short Hike Just W of Harrison
Crawford 1540' Portage Lake Lookout 4WD, Short Hike SW of Grayling within Camp Grayling(U.S. Army), open to public
Emmet 1329'
& 1338'
Boyne Highlands,
Nubs Knob
Private Land N of Harbor Springs, both are popular ski areas so visit in the summer, steep climbs to the tops
Gladwin 1240' Unnamed 4WD, Mile Hike Extreme NW corner of county on Roscommon County line, Au Sable State Forest
Grand Traverse 1214' Unnamed Private Land W of Traverse City off M-72, must obtain owner permission to access
Iosco 1030' Unnamed Short Hike/Bushwhack 3 Areas in extreme NW corner of county, Huron National Forest
Isabella 1270' Bundy Hill Private, Short Hike SW of Lake Isabella, must obtain owner permission to access
Kalkaska 1476' Cleary Hill Hike/Bushwhack SE corner of county within Camp Gryaling (U.S. Army), open to public. 4WD would be handy to reach trailhead, 2-mile round-trip.
Lake 1410' Unnamed 4WD, Short Hike E of Baldwin near county line; a 4WD will get you close, then it's a half-mile hike.
Leelanau 1165' Unnamed Private Land W of Traverse City, just N of M-72. A short dirt two-track leads to the top.
Manistee 1180' Unnamed Bushwhack SE of Kaleva in Manistee National Forest
Mason 955' Unnamed Private Land SE of Ludington off US-31, must obtain owner permission to access
Mecosta 1280' Unnamed 4WD/Hike W of Big Rapids at Newaygo County line. A 1.5 mile round-trip hike.
Midland 770' Unnamed(x28) 4WD/Hike 28 separate areas around the community of Coleman. This one's a mess, go here for info.
Missaukee 1555' Unnamed Private Land NW of McBain, not far off the road along a corn field.
Montmorency 1440' Unnamed 4WD/Short Hike W of Atlanta near Otsego County line.
Newaygo 1350' Unnamed (1,2) Bushwahck & Private Land 2 separate highpoints. First is west of Big Rapids in Mansitee National Forest, second is farther N on Private Land
Oceana 1058'(x5) Unnamed Bushwhack 5 Areas NW of Walkerville, Manistee National Forest
Ogemaw 1510' Unnamed Private Land W of West Branch at Roscommon County line, located in brand new subdivision so access could become an issue
Osceola 1722' Grove Hill Roadside Park Highest Point in Lower Peninsula, NW of Tustin.
Oscoda 1470' Old Baldy 4WD/Short Hike SE corner of county, numerous ATV tracks make this one tricky, Manistee National Forest
Otsego 1560' Unnamed Private Land NW of Waters, numerous dirt roads lead to gated property, its a decent bushwhack from there.
Presque Isle 950' Unnamed(1,2,3,4) Roadside/Private Land/Short Hikes #1-Mackinaw State Forest, #2-Mackinaw State Forest, #3-Private Land, #4-Roadside
Roscommon 1579' Indian Springs Lookout Short Hike Just S of I-75 near Ogemaw County line, short walk up to radio tower.
Wexford 1706' Briar Hill 4WD or Hike SE of Harrietta, a high clearance 4WD will get you to the top, otherwise a 1.5 mile round-trip hike. Manistee National Forest

Southern Lower Peninsula

This is a true Midwestern landscape in all its monotony. Flat farmland and an unending conglomeration of cities, suburbs, and subdivisions makes for the least interesting highpointing of the entire state. All but a handful of highpoints here lie on private land making access difficult at times though for many you hardly need to leave your vehicle...

County Elevation Location Access Information
Allegan 1000' Unnamed Drive-Up/Short Hike Extreme SE corner of County, highpoint is in a cornfield about 1000' from the road.
Barry 1138' Unnamed Hike/Bushwhack Near Yankee Springs in Barry State Game Area.
Bay 845' Unnamed Private Land Extreme NW corner of county just S of M-61, must obtain owner permission to access.
Berrien 938' Unnamed Private Land S of Buchanan near Indiana line, must obtain owner permission to access.
Branch 1130' Unnamed Private Land SE corner of county near Hillsdale County line, HP is in a field a quick walk from the road.
Calhoun 1106' Dixon Hill Short Hike Just N of M-60 between Tekonsha and Burlington. An ATV trail leads the half-mile to the top.
Cass 1150' Bald Hill Drive-Up/Short Hike Near Swiss Valley Ski Area
Clinton 930' Unnamed Drive-Up Just W of US-127 at Ingham County line, HP is in parking lot of Granger Recycling Center
Eaton 1000' Unnamed Drive-Up South of Eaton Rapids near Calhoun County line, an easy dirt road drive-up.
Genesee 1030' Unnamed Drive-Up 2 HP's on either side of State Road at Livingston County line in Fenton.
Gratiot 890' Unnamed Private Land 5 HP's just S of M-46 W of Alma, must obtain owner permission to access.
Hillsdale 1280' Unnamed Private Land Just S of Hillsdale, the HP is on private property and, according to a recent report, the owners are not very hospitible.
Huron 860' Unnamed Private Land 12 areas just NW of Minden City near the Sanilac County line.
Ingham 1050' Teaspoon Hill Drive-Up N of Leslie, HP is along Covert Road just E of US-127.
Ionia 950' Unnamed Drive-Up 5 areas in extreme NW corner of county, most can be driven right over.
Jackson 1190' Unnamed Private Land HP is located on a dairy farm NW of Hanover, must obtain owner permission to access.
Kalamazoo 1056' Unnamed (1,2) Private Land 8 total HP's all located on private property W of Kalamazoo.
Kent 1063' Fisk Knob Drive-Up Easy to visit HP in NW corner of county. An impressive view for this part of the state.
Lapeer 1280' Mt. Christie Drive-Up/Short Hike S of Metamora on Oakland County line. HP is within Mount Christie Estates but access is not a problem (for now).
Lenawee 1227' Prospect Hill Private Land NW of Onstead, requires a 3/4 mile round-trip hike but owner permission must be obtained to access.
Livingston 1230' Foley Ridge Private Land/Short Hike S of Fenton in Foley Ridge subdivision. The land here is all privately owned but I didn't see any postings on the trail to the summit...nice view!
Macomb 1150' Twombley Mountain Private Land/Escorted Drive-Up Good luck visiting this one! The HP is located on the Ford Motor Company Proving Grounds which are off-limits to the public. You'll have to arrange a private tour to reach this one.
Monroe 735' Unnamed Drive-Up Extreme NW corner of county, an easy drive up.
Montcalm 1120' Unnamed Drive-Up Just NW of Stanton, an easy dirt road drive up.
Muskegon 974' Unnamed Private Land/Drive-Up Just NW of Casnovia. A good dirt road gets you close, the highpoint is in a nearby peach orchard.
Oakland 1230' Grampian Hills Drive-Up NE of Lake Orion. This is the official highpoint but a recent report states that Pine Knob, E of Clarkston, is higer by 50'.
Ottawa 950' Unnamed Private Land HP is in an orchard W of Sparta, a paved road gets you close but you must obtain owner permission to access.
Saginaw 735' Unnamed Private Land 6 HP's located W of Oakley on Shiawassee County line, must obtain owner permission to access.
St. Clair 910' Unnamed Drive-Up A county road passes right over this one, just N of Capac.
St. Joseph 1030' Mount Zion Drive-Up/Short Hike NW of Three Rivers, a short trail leads from the road to this nice wooded HP.
Sanilac 910' Unnamed Private Land/Short Hike Just W of Marlette near Lapeer County line, 5 HP's are located in privately owned fields.
Shiawassee 960' Unnamed Private Land/Bushwhack SW of Shaftsburg on Ingham County line, must obtain owner permission to access.
Tuscola 980' Unnamed Private Land/Short Hike SW of Mayville, HP is in privately owned field.
Van Buren 1060' Unnamed Private Land E of Lawton near Kalamazoo County line, looks like you'll need owner permission to access.
Washtenaw 1150' Sharon Short Hills Private Land/Bushwhack 2 HP's NW of Manchester, both are on private land and require owner permission to access.
Wayne 990' Mayberry State Park Hike In Michigan's most populous county it may surprise you to find out that this HP is along a well maintained hiking trail on State Owned land. Though not visually spectacular, this is one of the nicest HP's in southern Lower Michigan.

County Highpoint Map

This map shows the approximate locations of each of Michigan's County Highpoints. The ones I have visited include a link if you want to get a look at them...

Keweenaw CountyHoughton CountyHoughton CountyBaraga CountyOntonagon CountyOntonagon CountyGogebic CountyGogebic CountyGogebic CountyIron CountyDickinson CountyMarquette CountyMarquette CountyDelta CountyDelta CountyMenominee CountyMenominee CountyAlger CountyAlger CountyAlger CountySchoolcraft CountySchoolcraft CountyLuce CountyChippewa CountyChippewa CountyMackinac CountyMackinac County (1)Emmet County (Boyne Highlands)Cheboygan CountyPresque Isle CountyCharlevoix CountyCharlevoix CountyCharlevoix CountyAntrim CountyAntrim CountyOtsego CountyOtsego CountyMontmorency CountyAlpena CountyLeelanau CountyGrand Traverse CountyGrand Traverse CountyBenzie CountyKalkaska CountyCrawford CountyOscoda CountyAlcona CountyAlcona County
Ogemaw CountyRoscommon CountyMissaukee CountyWexford CountyManistee CountyArenac CountyArenac CountyBay CountyBay CountyGladwin CountyClare CountyOsceola CountyLake CountyMason CountyOceana CountyNewaygo (1)Newaygo (2)Emmet County (Nubs Knob)Mecosta CountyIsabella CountyMidland CountySaginaw County
Saginaw CountyGratiot CountyMontcalm CountyMontcalm CountyMuskegon CountyMuskegon CountyOttawa CountyOttawa CountyKent CountyHuron CountyTuscola CountySanilac CountyLapeer CountySt. Clair CountySt. Clair CountyOakland CountyGenesee CountyGenesee CountyShiawassee CountyClinton CountyIonia CountyAllegan CountyBarry CountyEaton CountyIngham County
Livingston CountyMacomb CountyWayne CountyMonroe CountyWashtenaw CountyLenawee CountyJackson CountyHillsdale CountyCalhoun CountyBranch County
Kalamazoo CountySt. Joseph CountyCass CountyVan Buren CountyBerrien CountyMackinac County (2)

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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Chinigo - Sep 23, 2008 12:22 am - Voted 9/10

Correction to Barry Cty HP

BTW - I really like your page, so this is intended to be constructive! I found that the point called French Benchmark on the Cloverdale USGS topo map is apparently 1138' in elevation. So, maybe you had a typo and then maybe the name was not clear. Best regards, (Pete) Chinigo


dwhike - Sep 23, 2008 7:32 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Correction to Barry Cty HP

Thanks, Pete...you are correct, it was a typo. I got the spot right but apparently misread or mis-typed the topo. I've gone ahead and corrected it on the page. Appreciate the heads up and glad you stopped to visit! Cheers, Dan


Chinigo - May 30, 2011 8:15 pm - Voted 9/10

Name correction needed

Hi Dan, The correct name for the Kent County HP is Fisk Knob, not Fish. It actually has a decent view from the "summit". Also, I attached it to your page as a child. Best regards, Pete


Chinigo - Jul 2, 2011 11:04 pm - Voted 9/10

One more correction

The high point of Cass County is not actually Bald Hill. Bald Hill is a sub-peak of another summit about 0.5 miles SW. I called it Bald Hill SW0.5.

solidago - Mar 1, 2012 9:43 pm - Hasn't voted

Houghton Co. highpoint errors

In terms of the location of the highest point in Houghton County, Michigan, there are two errors. First, the hill called "The Bluff" on the linked map is not "The Bluff." "The Bluff" is located two summits ENE of the hill shown, and is clearly indicated on topo maps by that name. In addition, it has a high bluff on the south side. Second, the location of the highest point in the county is not certain from topographic maps; a survey might be needed. The elevation shown at the summit of the hill shown on the linked map is 505m, and the elevation shown on your site is 1659 feet. However, several closed 505m contour lines are shown in Houghton County in the area. One, about a mile SE of the summit shown on the linked map, has a spot elevation of 507m (1663ft). In summary, I can't guarantee where the highest point in the county is, but it's not where you have it located.

tansor01 - May 2, 2013 9:11 am - Hasn't voted

Grove Hill Elevation Error

The elevation of 1722'listed for Grove Hill (Osceola County, MI)would appear to be in error. The North America Vertical Datum of 1988 (NAVD88)and the National Geodetic Vertical Datum of 1920 (NGVD29)both show an elevation of 1703'for this highpoint. While this location would still be the highpoint for Osceola County, it would appear to be lower than the elevation of 1706' for Briar Hill (Wexford County, MI) -- making Briar Hill the highest point in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan (assuming you use the USGS or accepted surveying benchmarks).

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Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.