Deadman’s Hill Scenic Overlook and Hiking Trails in the Jordan Valley – Mancelona
On our way up to Petoskey State Park a few weeks ago, we took our time heading north and soaked up the scenery while checking out some landmarks we had never visited before. One stop found us enjoying scenic views of the Jordan Valley from the Deadman’s Hill Scenic Overlook, just a few miles away from US-131. We had driven past the DNR sign directing visitors here many times, but had never actually headed in to check it out – it turned out to be worth the time.
Hikers will love it here, as the overlook is part of a hiking trail that covers up to 18 miles depending on which loop you choose. The trail not only showcases grand views of the valley, but gets up close to the Jordan River while taking hikers through the Mackinaw State Forest. Chances of seeing small mammals and birds are quite good on this trail, given its close proximity to the wild and scenic river. Parts of this trail are also part of the North Country Trail.
Deadman’s Hill itself is named in memory of a local lumberjack. According to the sign on site, Stanley Graczyk was 21 years old and working on a nearby hill when the “big wheel” wagon his team was pulling broke loose and crushed him to death. A short gravel path leads uphill to here from the parking lot, and it’s easy to picture just how beautiful this area will look in the fall.