Washtenaw county will never claim any awards for impressive topology. The fact is that in the last ice age, when massive glaciers moved through this part of the continent, they made sure to grind down anything in their path, leaving behind flattened lands and huge furrows that would become the Great Lakes.
However, as these walls of ice retreated, they dropped off mounds of sand and gravel in the otherwise smooth plains. One of the places this happened was in Sharon Township, creating the Sharon Short Hills.
The hills have a gentle slope, making the trail’s 1-mile loop relatively easy, and at the top of the path, you will find yourself on one of the highest points in the county at 1060 feet. You will find forests and scenic views along the way, making this one of the nicer hikes in the area.
- Scenery – 4
- Trail Condition – 5
- Quiet/Solitude – 5
- Difficulty – 2
- Overall – 4
Starting at the parking lot, the trail heads east into the woods at the base of the hill. The trail branches as short distance in, either direction is OK as the trail is a loop, however it’s steeper to the left/south so it only depends on if you want a steep grade going in or out.
We branched to the right and passed trough some fields and up into a meadowed area. The meadow and the field next to it were filled with Sandhill Cranes taking a pause on their migration south.
After crossing the meadow, we reentered the forest and began to climb up to the high point in the park at the far point in the trail loop. The high point is in the forest, so there are no sweeping vistas of the county, but there still is a sense of accomplisment at having summited a high point in the county.
The trail back out stays mostly in the forest, but passes by some fairly open areas on the way back down to the parking lot.
The whole loop is about one mile and although you reach a high-point in the county, the elevation gain from front to back is only about 90′ (970′ -> 1060′). The trail can be steep but is well maintained and is a great easy walk for anyone.
Note – Images from this walk were lost. Will return for new ones.
Where is this?
Sharon Short Hills Preserve is located at 6700 Hashley Rd near Manchester, MI. From I-94, take exit 159 for M-52 and head south. After about 4 miles, turn west on to Grass Lake Rd and then turn south on Hashley Rd.
|Address||6700 Hashley Rd, Manchester, MI 48158|
|Trail Length||1 Mile|
|Highlights||Scenic views from some of the highest hills in the county|
|Access||Unpaved Parking Lot|
|Accessibility||Hard packed earth trails that are well mowed. Some steep spots, but the trail is generally easy.|
|Website||Washtenaw County Parks & Rec|
|Map||Sharon Short Hills Preserve Trail Map (PDF)|
|Best time to visit||Anytime|