The Radar Hill Hiking Club is starting out in the winter of 2021 as an informal, loose organization – essentially an email list. Our goal is to promote the use of trails within a 5-mile radius of the Blue Star Bridge. As the pandemic clears up we plan to sponsor regular hikes and help maintain our local trails. We hope the club will evolve into something a bit more formal over time.
Why Radar Hill?
Radar Hill is more commonly known as Mount Baldhead, the iconic dune just east of Oval Beach in Saugatuck. The name comes from the radar tower that looks like a big white ball on top of old Baldy. From 1958 through 1968 the tower was an active part of a Cold War system that monitored the northern border of the United States, on the lookout for encroaching hostile aircraft.
These days the tower serves only as a landmark. On summer days it is easily visible from Lake Michigan and on winter nights Saugatuck Harbor is crowned by the giant star that hangs from the tower’s supports.
The area around the radar tower is a hotspot for hiking. After climbing the 300 steps to the top of Mount Baldhead hikers have their choice of four trails back down, and three other trails are to be found within half a mile.
The Radar Hill name is not well known, so we hope it piques curiosity and spurs interest in local history.