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OREA Occasionally Asked Questions

This section is currently under construction and is therefore dynamic!

Let's be honest. I have seen our site hit numbers. We do not have enough traffic on our website to have Frequently Asked Questions.  So, in the following sections we will hit upon the things that if you knew enough to ask about you would have!

OREA Membership

How do I become an OREA Member?

You can become a member of OREA by applying through the website using a credit card  with the Stripe interface.

You can become a member of OREA by filling out an application and mailing it in with a check per the instructions on the Membership form.

You can become a member of OREA by filling out an application at one of our events and paying with cash or a check.

You can become a member of OREA by filling out an application at the park and paying one of our Board Members using cash or a check.

You can become a member if OREA by emailing a completed application to OREA.Treasurer@google.com and paying via PayPal via any means PayPal allows.

The OREA Board of Directors can also designate ways that you can do things to contribute to OREA that result in you being awarded a membership.

How long is my OREA membership good for?

OREA membership is good for one year from when your membership is received. If you are renewing using the Membership application and your renewal is received before the full year of your membership has been used up, your membership will extend one year from the date it would have expired.

How much does it cost to become an OREA Member?

Personal OREA Memberships are just right for just you and are $20. Family Memberships include you and your Spouse and any minor kiddos and are $30. At $20/$30 it’s a steal of a deal!

Are OREA Memberships tax deductible?

OREA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, so all donations - including membership - are tax deductible if you are one of the people who itemize their deductions or there are special charitable deductions allowed in a particular tax year.

Campground

How many campsites?

21 Campsites. 

 

While there once were 25 sites and that is what is listed on most reference sites, that was before one became a vault toilet to reduce us to 24. We further reduced the number to 21 when we reconfigured the campground based on USFS equestrian campground guidelines.

How many campsites have corrals?

4 Campsites currently have a pair of corrals (as of February 26, 2024). 

 

Our Goal is to have both high lines and corrals available at all 21 campsites. It costs between $1000 and $1200 to put a pair of corrals on a campsite, so we are installing them one at a time. If you want to contribute, send an email to OREA.Treasurer@gmail.com.

How do I reserve a campsite?

Ortonville will be on the DNR Reservation System at Michigan State Parks Reservation System (midnrreservations.com) as of April 1, 2024. 14 of the 21 campsites will be reservable including all sites with corrals. 

 

Until April 1, 2024 none of the sites at Ortonville will show as available. While we expect reservations to be open on April 1, there may be unexpected things that delay that launch! Reservations are available on a 6-month advance window, so if you are looking more than 6 month ahead it may appear that no spaces are available. They are - but they are not open for reservations yet

To reserve a spot, click on Equestrian, then select Ortonville in the Park drop-down and enter your Arrival and Departure dates, the number of individuals in your Party, and the size of your rig in the Equipment drop-down and click on Search. Click on Rustic Equestrian on the Map to display the Equestrian Campground map. Available sites will be Green.

Can I get a campsite without reservations?

Any campsites that have not been reserved are available on a first-come first-served basis. 

 

Currently 7 of the 21 campsites are NOT on the Reservation System. If you look them up on the Reservation System they will show as unavailable - because they ARE unavailable to be reserved - but that does NOT necessarily mean that they are occupied.

 

For reservable campsite, there will be some type of indicator when you arrive at the park if a campsite is reserved. If it is not reserved or occupied, then it is available.

How do I know where my site is? Where do I park my trailer?

Each campsite will have a park stop that both indicates what site number that site is and where you should back your trailer to. 

 

The campsite number will be on the park stop itself. If you back to it, you will have plenty of clearance for an awning towards the passenger side of your vehicle and the site is laid out so the picnic table, fire pit, and horses are also towards the passenger side.

In the future we are hoping to have some sort of pad to better guide you to the best parking orientation and provide a consistently level spot - but that is the future!

What do with my horse manure?

Until there is a manure bunker, please spread the manure in the woods behind your campsite.

 

There will be a manure bunker at some point in 2024. On the Reservation System, it will likely be referenced as a Manure Collection Area. It will likely be centrally located. Once it is installed, park regulations will require all horse manure to be piled there. Some type of transport will be provided - whether that be a wheelbarrow or a sled or some form of telepathic magic is yet to be determined.

I see that there is a big fire pit west of the trail head. What's the deal with that?

The fire pit west of the trailhead is a community fire pit!

 

If you are willing to share a fire with others, you are welcome to use the community fire pit. It is intended to help us get to know each other - so if there is a fire going please join in! If there isn't, feel free to start one. Others may join you - or not.

Can we use the pavilion?

As long as there is no OREA event going on, the pavilion is available to anyone to use.

 

If you want to have an activity that uses the pavilion, please contact the park office at the Metamora-Hadley Recreation Area Headquarters. Be aware the only non-equestrian parking is at the Day Use Area. (You need a horse to occupy the campsites in the Equestrian Campground and you also need to be camping to park in the campground.) There is a grill available behind the pavilion. There is currently no electricity at the pavilion.

Is there water available?

There is a hand pump next to the pavilion.

 

The hand pump is not fun, but it will fulfil your needs for potable water (water that people can drink) as well as providing water for your horses. That being said, depending on where you are camped a bucket of water starts at about 30 pounds and if you are parked by the entrance and are carrying the bucket it will feel like about a ton by the time you get it to your campsite!

The DNR has applied for a Green Initiative to have solar installed at the pavilion which would both make electricity available at the pavilion AND provide power for a solar-powered water pump. 

What is the bathroom situation?

There are two vault toilets in the campground area.

 

The first vault toilet is located at the south end of the campground just east of the campground entrance.

 

The second vault toilet is west of the circle drive near the trailhead. There is a hitching post available as well as mounting steps.

When can I use my generator?

You can use a fuel-powered generator between 8 am and 10 pm. You can use the non-fuel noiseless generators anytime.

 

The use of fuel-powered generators is not allowed during established quiet hours (10 p.m. to 8 a.m.). To help visitors with medical needs, electric and solar-powered generators are allowed.

What are the camping fees?

The basic camping fee is $20 per night plus a reservation fee if you use the reservation system. 

 

You must have a recreation passport for your vehicle to use any Michigan DNR site including the Ortonville Recreation Area Equestrian Campground. 

Day Use Area

Are there Bathroom facilities in the Day Use Area?

Unfortunately not.

 

The nearest facilities are in the Campground Area. Follow the trail to the Campground. The vault toilet is west of the circle drive near the trailhead. There is a hitching post to secure your horse and mounting steps to get back on your horse.

There are plans to install a vault toilet in the Day Use Area in 2024. If you would like to make a contribution, send an email to OREA.Treasurer@gmail.com.

What amenities are available in the Day Use Area?

There are a couple of picnic tables and a mounting block.

Why do I have to park in the Day Use Area? I used to be able to park in the Campground to day ride.

With the Campground moving to the DNR Reservation System, regulations require only registered campers may park at the Equestriam Campground.

 

We are however in the process of completely reimagining the Day Use Area. We are expanding the size of the Day Use Area, making it level with a more solid surface without trees blocking where you can park. In addition, there will be designated parking for non-equestrian vehicles to accommodate hikers and hunters. We are hoping to implement this vision in 2024.

Trails

How many miles of trails are available at Ortonville Recreation Area / Hadley Hills?

Once our new trail is officially opened in 2024, there will be 12 miles of official trails.

 

We are looking to work with the DNR to have additional trails added into the trail system. There are trails within the park that are known to locals that we are proposing to have added to the official trail system. In addition, we are exploring opportunities to identify new trails to expand opportunities to enjoy the trail system.

What are the trails like?

The area is known as Hadley Hills for a reason! We have hills. The trails run mostly through wooded areas with numerous ponds, swamps, and small lakes interspersed.

The trails in the southern portion of the trail system (nearer Fox Lake Road) are the hilliest. They are where you are also likely to encounter intermittent rocky areas. In the center of the original trail system is Pinnacle Point - one of the highest points in the current trail system with the old foundation of a hunting cabin at its peak. As you get more north, the trails are sandier. Some areas of trail including most of a circle starting from the field after coming up from the bridge over the creek and proceeding counterclockwise through Trail Marker 2 to Trail Markers 3 and 4, then following the northern (outside) route to Trail Marker 5, then circling around to Trail Markers 6 to 11 to 12 to 15, then back to 2 is relatively unhilly. In fact, the section of trail from Trail Marker 2 north (and south) used to be part of Jasmond Road! Trail 3A and the New Trail in the northern part of the park aren't so much hilly as riding along some ridges.

The New Trail overlooks much of Spring Bank Creek, riding a ridge that overlooks it from a pond at the end of Jasmond Road at the north end to where it originates by the bridge at the south end of the trail.

Some sections of the trail are muddy - an issue we are attempting to address. The muddy areas include various areas between the campground and the first bridge as well as the northern portion of Trail 3A after you come off the ridge (riding clockwise) that runs through a wet meadow. The initial part of the New Trail coming off Jasmond Road also has some muddy area.

As you ride the trails you may encounter a number of foundations from old hunting cabins - and some accompanying wells. Use caution in those areas! One of the most visible foundations is at Trail Marker 9 where you can ride your horse up (or down) some old stone stairs.

What bridges are on the trail system?

We have three structures crossing water in the trails system - 1 bridge and 2 bridgelets.

 

The bridge is between Trail Marker 1 and Trail Marker 2 where Spring Bank Creek originates from a pond. The New Trail also has its southern entrance right in that vicinity. There is also a creek crossing option adjacent to the bridge where you can water your horse.

The first bridgelet is between Trail Marker 3 and Trail Marker 4 and crosses a small stream / wetland right near Trail Marker 3.

The second bridgelet crosses a small stream near Jasmond Road between Trail Marker 3 and the southern Trail Marker for Trail 3A.

How many loops are there?

There are between 8 and 11 loops - depending on how you count loops.

Click on the buttons to access maps and more information on each loop.

Is there a pond / small lake to walk horses into?

Not on the trail system.

 

One could theoretically exit the trail system at the Tody Road gate at the Southwest corner of the trail system, follow Tody Road north then West to the Tody Lake Boat Launch and ride in there - but that would NOT be a recommendation! We are exploring some trail possibilities that would possibly facilitate lake access. That would be 2027 at the earliest though!

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