The road monument along Michigan US-31 is more than a star
The road monument along Michigan US-31 is more than a star

Next time you head north, look for this remarkable group of trees.

Technically it is Star Hill 2but “Star Hill”, as it is called, lies along US-31 near Silver Lake and is often used as a landmark for adventure seekers heading to the nearby Silver Lake Dunes. However, this remarkable collection of trees is actually a touching tribute.

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Not long ago, I saw a post by the Michigan-based nonprofit group The Heroes Operation explaining the special importance of this group of white spruce trees.

Star Hill, Oceana County

Star Hill 2 – Google Maps

As a child visiting family in Pentwater during the summer, I always looked out for Star Hill. I admit that while I always found this unique shape fun and quirky, I never knew that TRUE Meaning from Star Hill until now.

Did you? Here’s what the group had to say:

If you’re on your way to Silver Lake this weekend and are driving north on US-31, you’ll pass Star Hill 2. It’s just past the New Era exit on the west side of the road. The “Duners” will tell you, it’s the landmark that tells you you’re almost at the dunes…

According to Shoreline Media on April 6, 2002, nearly 20 volunteers from around Oceana County gathered on the hill to plant 80 white spruces to create a 120 feet high Star along US-31 between New Era and Shelby. Adds the news agency,

The star rising from the hill is a very patriotic tribute to the firefighters, police officers, soldiers, sailors and airmen who gave their lives to protect others.

Essentially, Star Hill is a tribute to those rescue workers who lost their lives in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack.

Read more: Is this the most scenic route in Michigan?

What about Star Hill 1?

The name certainly suggests that there was an original Star Hill before this new monument. Residents of Oceana County Janet Dodge says that the original Star Hill is found on,

Oceana Dr. South of Polk Road where the guardrail is. The hill on the west side. Bigger hill, bigger star and now bigger trees. So the landmark is hard to spot now.

Adds Doug Stafford,

Star (Hill) was on the original 31 hills built after WWII which burned down. The new Star Hill was built on the new highway and built to commemorate all VETERANS.

Next time you travel north, be sure to look west to see this tribute to our fallen heroes. For more information on Star Hills 1 and 2, click here.

Star Hill 2

Google Maps/Canva

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