I‘ll take the opposing view to the previous status report on the $3 parking fee. If parking just 100 yards is all I have to do to park for free I‘m going to do it. I came to hike anyway and I spent enough on gas to get there why blow any more to save a few steps. They clearly label where the fee parking begins, and if it‘s worth it to you to park there go for it. Adding the fee there helps keep the parking lot from being too crowded for the campers and people spending the day there.
On another note. Do not speed on the Kite Lake Road west of Alma. The town owns the road for over a mile and has posted a ludicrous speed limit of 15 mph on this wide smooth section of road. They are heavily enforcing it too (I can only assume to fund the police department). Fortunately another user posted this info and I was going the speed limit as I passed the speed trap. However another driver I saw was not so lucky.
The road has been worked on this year so at least as of this past Sunday there were very few potholes and the road was relatively smooth. The trailhead can be reached by any car, but low clearance cars will need to drive cautiously.