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About OREA

We are a fun group of friends and families who love horses and enjoy trail riding.

Who We Are

The Ortonville Recreation Equestrian Association (OREA) was formed in 1989 to help the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) create a place where horse riders can come to camp, enjoy nature and ride the beautiful trails of Hadley Hills.

Our Purpose:

  1. To preserve, protect and improve the Ortonville Recreation Area equestrian campground, facilities and bridle trails used by the general public for recreational equestrian activities, and;

  2. To assist and support the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in their efforts to preserve, protect, maintain and improve Ortonville Recreation Area equestrian campground, facilities and bridle trails, and;

  3. To establish and maintain a good working relationship with the DNR's Parks and Recreational Division focused on clear and effective communication, and;

  4. To promote and educate the general public on equestrian recreational activities and benefits.

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Our Team

OREA is run by an enthusiastic group of leaders and volunteers who strive to create wonderful experiences for you, your horse and our wonderful community.

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About the Park

For generations, the Hadley Hills  have been a source of wonderment to the many who have partaken of their beauty.  One of these glacial hills, probably the steepest and the highest, is appropriately known as "The Pinnacle." It sits in the middle of a heavily wooded area at the heart of the equestrian area and nearly one half mile from a mere trail once named Jasmond Road.

 

Atop the goliath hill are the remnants of an old stone foundation.  Once part of a large estate owned by William Neer, former president of the historic Detroit Stock Exchange and owner of the celebrated Tam O'Shanter Country Club in West Bloomfield, a unique building sat upon that foundation. Erected in 1926 by Edwin Seelbinder, caretaker of the property, the six sided lookout building was an attraction for Neer's guests. Only twenty-four feet in diameter, it featured a native stone fireplace sixteen feet tall and was illuminated at night by kerosene lamps on each of the windowed exterior walls. Model T trucks and horses pulling stoneboats hauled the stone, logs and timber up the hill during its construction.

 

During World War II, the area was rumored to be a Nazi spy camp.  This, and other rumors of a similar nature, arose as a result of the many Germans who had settled in the Hadley Hills area.  Of course, the rumors were false.

 

In 1946, Neer sold his Hadley Hills property to the State of Michigan and in 1949 the lookout was destroyed by fire.  The few other buildings on the estate met similar fates in later years.  None remain today, although a stone stairway and partial foundations may still be seen along the trails.

Join the OREA Family TODAY!

1

Single Membership

Best for single riders

$20/year

Renews Annually

2

Family Membership

Best for couples & families

$30/year 

Renews Annually

3

Sponsorship

Bronze: $25/year

Silver: $50/year
Gold: $100/year

Platinum: $250/year

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