Maplehurst property is now open to the public

Linda Gallagher, Contributing Writer

Photo by Greg MacMaster

Shown is an aerial view of the former Camp Maplehurst, which is now the Maplehurst Natural Area. The 400-acre property in Milton Township officially opened to the public last week.


KEWADIN – Those who enjoy cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, biking and a host of other outdoor activities can now add one more property to their list of areas to explore with last week’s opening of the new Maplehurst Natural Area in Milton Township.

The Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy (GTRLC) officially transferred the Maplehurst Natural Area property to Milton Township last week after successfully reaching the organization’s fundraising goal to cover the estimated $3.9 million cost of the land. With the transfer complete, the park officially opened to residents and will remain dedicated for public use.

The project was several years in the making, with township officials and GTRLC partnering to acquire the former Camp Maplehurst property after the popular summer camp closed its doors in 2011. The camp had operated on the site since 1955. When the property hit the market, it drew attention from multiple potential buyers – including builders and developers.

Milton Township approached GTRLC to ask for help in acquiring the land – one of the largest intact and undeveloped parcels still remaining near Torch Lake – to protect it for public use. 

The former camp comprises 400 acres, with more than 150 acres of hardwood forested bluffs, rolling meadows, cherry orchards, a 60-acre lake, and picturesque views of Torch Lake, Elk Lake and Grand Traverse Bay.

“A project of this size would have been impossible for us to handle on our own,” said Milton Township Treasurer and Parks & Recreation Committee member Liz Atkinson, who shepherded the effort for the township with GRTLC.

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