The next time you're headed Up North keep an eye out for this remarkable group of trees.

Technically it's Star Hill 2, but "Star Hill" as its referred to is located along US-31 near Silver Lake and is often used as a landmark for thrill seekers heading to the nearby Silver Lake Dunes. However, this notable collection of trees is actually a touching tribute.

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Not too long ago I saw a post from Michigan based non-profit group The Heroes Operation sharing the special meaning behind this group of white spruce trees.

Star Hill, Oceana County
Star Hill 2 - Google Maps

As a kid who spent summers visiting family in Pentwater I always kept an eye out for Star Hill. I'll admit that while I always thought this unique shape was fun and quirky, I never knew the true meaning of Star Hill until now.

Did you? Here's what the group had to say,

as you are on your way to Silver Lake this weekend, if you are heading north on US-31, you will pass Star Hill 2. It is just past the New Era exit on the west side of the road. The “Duners” will tell you, it’s the land mark that tells you are almost to the dunes...

According to Shoreline Media on April 6, 2002 nearly 20 volunteers from across Oceana County gathered on the hill to plant 80 white spruce trees to create a 120 foot tall star along US-31 between New Era and Shelby. Adds the news outlet,

the star emerging from the hillside 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 emergency responders who lost their lives in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack.

first responders

What About Star Hill 1?

The name certainly implies  there was an original Star Hill before this new memorial. Oceana County resident Janet Dodge says the original Star Hill can be found on,

Oceana Dr. South of Polk road where the guard rail is. The hill on the West side. Bigger hill, bigger star and now bigger trees. So it’s hard to see the landmark now.

Adds Doug Stafford,

Star [Hill] was on the original 31 created after WW 2, It burned. The new Star hill was built on the new highway and built in remembrance of all VETERANS

The next time you're making a trek Up North be sure to look to the west to see this homage to our fallen heroes. You can read more on Star Hills 1 and 2 here.

star hill 2
Google Maps/Canva

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