Gladwin County Highpoint Trip Report

one small area on north county line - section 5-20N-2W (1,240+ ft)

Date: April 29, 2007
Author: Andy Hatzos

Navigating to Gladwin County's high point was a real challenge! The area in question is located along the north county line (to Roscommon County) and is in the Tittabawassee River State Forest. The spot is along the M-18 corridor and the small community of Meredith served as my starting point.

My first attempt to navigate the confusing trails of the State Forest area was a failure, though I would later come to realize that I made it within a half mile of the highpoint! At the suggestion of some people I asked along the way, I returned to Meredith to find a better map. Meredith is nothing more than a gas station, a bar, and a general store. I stopped in the store and was able to find a map of Roscommon County which had enough of a bleed-over to Gladwin County to help me out. As it turns out, all of the trails I ended up needing to use were marked on the topo.

I must make two important points. First, none of the roads that appear to connect to M-18 near the county line actually do. The trip must begin in Meredith. Secondly, none of the trails are signed or marked in any way -- not even Sargent Road, which is the road that runs along the county line and passes the high point. Close attention should be paid to the double-dashed lines on the topo map, as these are the good trails to use. I'll use mileage readings to duplicate my path as best as I can.

I zeroed the odometer at the intersection of M-18 and Meredith Grade and headed east. Distances are in miles.

1.5 - Turn due north.
2.3 - There is an intersection. There is a slight jog to the west but
        the main trail continues north. This trail is not marked on the topo.
2.8 - Near the 1,080 foot spot elevation, there is a confluence
        of three trails. I took the one to the west.
3.6 - A trail splits off to the west but the desired route continues north.
        Here, there is a gate. It was open when I passed but, in the event that
        it is closed, the high point could probably be hiked to from here.
4.5 - The northbound trail makes a sharp bend to the east. I parked here.
        There is a steep ridge directly north of here and a sandy trail leads to the top.
        There are large pits in the sand along the path.

At the top of the ridge is an east-west road which runs right along the county line. The highest point is fairly obvious here and I walked along the center of the road and then along the south edge to claim the county. Remember that any point north of the road is not part of Gladwin County. I will also note that I never found a good way to actually drive up to this road and it's likely easiest to approach the high point the way I did.

I returned down the sandy trail to my car. The road was too narrow here to safely turn around, so I followed this trail as it looped back around to the roads I drove in on. In general, some of these roads were very difficult to make it through in my car and I would certainly recommend a vehicle with a higher clearance to anyone attempting this county.

report with links to photos