Ward Hills
Exact Location:
Lake County- the rolling hills roughly bordered by US 10 on the south, Weldon Creek floodplain on the west, Big Sable River to the north and Brooks Road on the east. The NCT passes directly through this area.
map of Ward Hills
Ward Hills and the approximate route of the North Country Trail in blue (derivitive of USGS Topo Map)

Ward Hills was named for Eber Brock Ward (1811-1875) who was President of the Flint and Pere Marquette Railway. He bought up huge tracts of land for the timber rights, including the hills that now bear his name. Ward was better known for his iron and steel business dealings. He was considered to be the richest man in the Midwest, and was Detroit's first millionaire. He is recorded as being the first to use Bessemer steel for railroad rails.

Eber Brock Ward
E.B. Ward (image public domain)
His personal history is also entwined with other local names. His second wife, Catherine, was the sister of Justus Stearns' wife, Paulina. Both women were sisters of Thomas Rice Lyon who was instrumental in the founding of the Lake County Railroad.

It can safely be assumed that these hills were denuded of trees around the turn of the 20th Century but are now covered in second growth timber.

Also see:
Stearns Siding
Lake County Railroad
Flint & Pere Marquette Railroad

Lake County Historical Society
Life and Legacy of Justus Smith Stearns
Bigford, Paul. A History of Tank Creek Ranch and Surroundings. 2011. p 15.
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The North Country National Scenic Trail is 4800 miles long, spanning eight states. For more information, visit the North Country Trail Association