Oakland County Highpoint Trip Report

four areas (1,230+ ft)

Date: May 25, 2002
Author: Bob Schwab

There are four natural 1,230+ foot contours in Oakland County, Michigan. Two other sites (Mt. Holly and Pine Knob, both ski hills) claim higher elevations in the county but both have been enhanced (raised) during the past 30 years to improve the skiing.

one small area north of Pontiac

From the intersection of I-75 and Route 15 north of Pontiac (Exit 91) head north on Route 15 for about 0.75 mile to Deer Ridge Drive (2nd light north of I-75 interchange). Turn right and drive east for about 0.75 mile through a very nice residential area. Along the way, you will first encounter a stop sign (turn left), followed shortly by a yield sign. At this point (the yield sign) turn left onto Deerwood. and drive north about 0.3 mile to an intersection at a crest in the road. Turn left again (this is West Crest Forest Court) and drive to the circle at the end. The lady who lives just east of the road gave me permission to park on the circle and hike south into the woods. The property is protected by the North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy, and there is a nice nature trail that leads to a bench and picnic table at the top (area 1). A nearby sign says "Oakland Crest, 1240' Elevation" (which is wrong, the highest contour is 1,230 feet).

one area south of Oakwood Road

This approach starts where Route 24 crosses the Oakland/Lapeer County line just a mile or so east of Mount Christie (the highpoint of Lapeer County). From the county line, drive south on Route 24 for about 1.1 miles to the Oakwood Road intersection. Turn left and drive east on Oakwood Road for about 4.2 miles to Duffield Farms (3400 Oakwood Road) on the south side of the road. I drove in and got permission from the stable manager to hike south on a farm road that passes the paddock. When the road turns west, hike south directly up into the woods to the top (area 2). The highest ground is near a couple of trees and some flatish rocks.

two areas in the Grampian Hills

As you leave Duffield Farms, turn right and drive east on Oakwood Road for about 1.5 miles to the intersection with Lake George Road. Turn right and go south on Lake George Road for 4 miles to Drahner Road. Turn right again and go west 1 mile on Drahner to the intersection of Hosner and the entrance to the Saint Benedictine Monastery. These two areas are in the Grampian Hills, roughly between the Saint Benedict Monastery and the Saint Augustine Vespers House along Drahner Road.

The first tiny area is just west of the Drahner Road--Hosner Road intersection. As you drive west from this intersection (past the monastery), note the small "bump" on your left (south). This is area 3. You can find a place to park near here and just stand next to the fence post (or somewhere close by) to claim this one. As you go a little farther west on Drahner Road, you'll cut across the southern tip of the large fourth area. There is a white rock just south of the road here, and a pull-off with a "No Hunting" sign. Hike north into the woods to an east-west stone wall that cuts across the higher-feeling area of this contour.