Redbud Reveal 2013

To celebrate the arrival of the 2013 spring and summer season, the "Redbud Reveal" will be held from 12 noon until 4:00 pm on Sunday, April 28. Visitors are encouraged to come and see the historic Haven Hill Gate House, the Edsel Ford Barn, the Carriage House, and informative art and history displays atop Haven Hill.

Read More

2012 Redbud Reveal and Art on the Hill, Sunday, April 29

Redbud Reveal 2012

The 2012 "Redbud Reveal" ceremony will be presented on the lawn of the Haven Hill Gate House at Highland State Recreation Area on Sunday, April 29 at 1:00 pm. Our organization's President, Mr. Dick Russell, will give a kick-off speech for the 2012 spring and summer season. Casual refreshments and snacks will be served.

Redbud Reveal 2012

"Art on the Hill: Maps Art - Haven Hill in Place and Time" In addition to a few words from Mr. Russell at the Gate House, FOHRA is pleased to announce a 2012 season event series "Art on the Hill" that will debut on Sunday morning. During the day we will display an art show on Haven Hill on the lower section  of this beautiful and historic road. Our first display, "Maps Art - Haven Hill in Place and Time", was curated using amazing full color graphic maps that were designed, developed, and donated by Oakland County Planning & Economic Development Services. The maps depict many fascinating aspects of our local area. Please park at the circle parking lot and walk a short distance to see this outdoor presentation before or after the Redbud Reveal at the Gate House.

Come out and visit historic Haven Hill on Sunday, April 29th!

Fall Colors Peaking on Haven Hill

Head on over to Highland Recreation Area this season and see the wonderful Fall colors throughout the park...

Above: Haven Hill Road as you head into Highland State Recreation Area. Taken October 15, 2010.

Above: Haven Hill as seen from the eastern shore of Haven Hill Lake. October 15, 2010. Photo by Jay Fitzgerald, Friends of Highland Recreation Area.

The colors atop Haven Hill, Oakland county Michigans' highest natural hill, are equally as spectacular this time of year. Get on out and take a refreshing hike this fall.

Haven Hill Summer Landscaping

Below, the Haven Hill Carriage House rests peacefully in the dappled sunlight of a summer morning on the Hill in Highland State Recreation Area. Nearby, the Friends of Highland Recreation Area (FOHRA) performed some summer landscaping on the Lodge site. Carriage House

The Haven Hill Lodge was once the home of the Edsel and Eleanor Ford family.

Haven Hill Lodge Site 07/25/10

The Friends group and a WWAM Team from Oakland County completed some routine summer landscaping maintenance on Haven Hill during one of their regularly scheduled work days. Below, Jerry McManus uses the tractor to clear some roadside growth from haven Hill Road.

McManus on the HillSee the FOHRA website at for more information on how to volunteer.

The Friends of Highland recreation area also readying Haven Hill, the Edsel Ford Barn, and the Gate House for the summer Haven Hill Festival to occur on Saturday, August 28 from 10 am until 4 pm in Goose Meadow. Check out for more info. The event will include a Model A car show, and a vintage base ball game. It is free to the public. State park vehicle fees apply.

FOHRA "Paves the Road" to Haven Hill

The Friends of Highland Recreation Area, the MDNR, and Cadillac Asphalt, L.L.C. worked together to put some much-needed repairs into the Haven Hill Road up to the historic Edsel Ford Carriage House and Lodge site this last weekend. Haven Hill Road Gate

Some areas required small patches, others whole sections of roadway.

Road Crew

Repairs were in dire need, as sections of the roadway were worsening with the spring run-offs each year.

Repair Asphalt Section

The team at Cadillac Asphalt put down 30 tons of asphalt into many severe potholes and damaged sections of the old road. Donated manpower, time, and energy were a much-appreciated gift from the folks at Cadillac.

The Friends of Highland Recreation Area are assuming a Lease soon that includes the upper section of the road. Eventually, even the old parking area up near the site will be refinished.

There's a lot going on with FOHRA at Highland Recreation Area. Come on out and join us as we "pave the road" to saving the historic features of the Recreation Area.

Early March Haven Hill FOHRA WWAM!

While reading this posts' title you might ask yourself what's a "FOHRA and a WWAM"? Well FOHRA is the Friends of Highland Recreation Area and WWAM stands for Weekends and Weekdays Alternatives for Misdemeanants. WWAM is an Oakland County program that was created as an alternative for misdemeanor offenders wherein participants not only pay for the option to work, but the work itself is provided free to various community projects... fohra-hh-logo-fohra-320x240On March 7, 2009 the FOHRA team met 12 to 14 WWAM participants and their Supervisor on Haven Hill inside of Highland Recreation Area. It was a dark and rainy day, but by the end of the work bee the group had transformed the Haven Hill area around the Carriage House back into the park-like setting that it once was years ago.

carriage-house-lawn-view-after-clean-upAbove: FOHRA set up a tent for the WWAM crew during the rainy day at the Haven Hill Carriage House. Photo by Tom Slaga.

Years of forest debris had covered the wonderful pathways that surround the Edsel Ford Carriage House and the road leading up to the Haven Hill Lodge Ruins. WWAM support, FOHRA members, and a heavy excavator were used to clear the road and the pathways.

parking-path-before parkling-path-after

Above: The path to the old parking area before and after the volunteer efforts. Photos by Tom Slaga.

heavy-equip-030709-haven-hillAbove: FOHRA member Dean Sutton uses his heavy equipment to clear Haven Hill Road.

FOHRA has scheduled more Spring clean-ups at the Edsel Ford Barn, the Carriage House, the Lodge Ruins, and the Gate House for 2009.

circle-drive-looking-n-wAbove: The circle of Haven Hill Road after FOHRA and WWAM clean-up on March 7, 2009. Photo by Tom Slaga.

We would like to sincerely thank the WWAM program organizers and participants for their work.

FOHRA will continue its efforts to improve and maintain the natural settings within the Highland Recreation Area. Look out for more announcements of upcoming events soon! Come and join us!

3 Men and A Truck

Dick, Tom, and Jay started some clean-up of the overgrown Haven Hill hill road this last Sunday, September 14th. Leaves, grass, saplings, and brush have encroached over 5 feet onto the road in some areas!

Even the area in front of the lodge ruins got a little trimming...

And below, just one of the piles of debris from our clean-up...

We'll be looking for help to do more soon. Get out your trimmers, gloves, and be ready to join us in the great outdoors!