Snow Snake Migration Expected to Return to Highland State Recreation Area This Winter

The Friends of Highland Recreation Area and the Chief Pontiac Trail Committee of the Boy Scouts of America are expecting the annual Snow Snake migration to return to Highland Recreation Area in February of 2015. Snow Snake season typically begins each year as the snow depth reaches 3 to 5 inches, although a covering of even an inch has been enough to afford some lucky folks a sighting of a few of these amazing winter reptiles. A snake watching event is planned for Sunday, February 8, 2015 near the Edsel Ford Barn in Highland/White Lake, Michigan. A "hot spot" for sightings every year at Highland State Recreation Area seems to be around the historic Edsel Ford Barn. Both adults and children enjoy seeing the snow snakes. See the information flyer HERE.  And a great "How To" video below...

For a truly unique experience in the outdoors come and see the Snakes at the Edsel Ford Barn on February 8, 2015.

Chief Pontiac Trail Committee site for this great activity HERE.

Snow Snake Races Cancelled Due to Frigid Weather

The Snow Snake event at the Edsel Ford Barn in Highland State Recreation Area has been cancelled this weekend due to unsafe low temperatures and extreme wind chills. A new date of Sunday, February 9, from 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm has been scheduled.

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Snakes Released in Heavy Snow at Haven Hill

The snow and snakes were flying at the Chief Pontiac Trail Snow Snake Event, held on Sunday, January 29 this year. Everyone had great fun racing their snakes even as snow fell throughout the day at the Edsel Ford Barn.

Snow Snaking at Edsel Ford Barn January 29, 2012

The scouts sponsored the event which was supported by the Friends of Highland Recreation Area (FOHRA). This years' event was in jeopardy of being cancelled due to lack of snow, but snow began to fall the weekend of the event and permitted filling of the wooden snow snake track for everyone to enjoy.

Families enjoyed snow snaking in 2012 even in heavy snow.

Snow snakes of all designs and colors were let loose at Highland State Recreation Area in White Lake, Michigan on Sunday.

Snow Snake Loose!

The Edsel Ford Barn, which is being rebuilt by the volunteer organization Friends of Highland Recreation Area, was the backdrop for this years' Snow Snake event...

Edsel Ford Barn in Snow, Copyright FOHRA 2012

Get outside and enjoy the outdoors this winter at Highland Recreation Area!

Snow Snake Track Testing at Edsel Ford Barn

A snow snake was on the loose at Highland State Recreation Area this last Sunday!

  On Sunday January 22, a team of Friends of Highland Recreation Area (FOHRA) volunteers got together to build the 2012 Snow Snake track at the Edsel Ford Barn in Highland State Recreation Area. Later in the day after the assembly was complete and the track was filled with snow, some "adult FOHRA kids" tested the track by letting a snow snake loose for exercise.

See video below...

Thanks for watching! Come on out to the barn and enjoy the fun on Sunday, January 29th at 1:00 pm. Cold weather permitting of course!

Snow Flying at Haven Hill!

The snow was (and still is) flying at Haven Hill as the Friends of Highland Recreation Area worked at the Edsel Ford Barn and the Gate House today.

Above: Snowy day at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford Gate House of Haven Hill in Highland State Recreation Area, Michigan.

Preparations are underway for the Chief Pontiac Trail scouts Snow Snake races to be held next Saturday, December 18th.

Above: Snow snake track assembled for December 18 races. Snow will be added for the slick course.

Highland State Recreation Area is a wonderful place for winter activities. Snow shoeing, skiing, hiking, and more.

Visit for more information.

Snow Snake Population Growing in Highland Recreation Area

snowy-snake Snow snakes were seen slithering in the snow inside Highland Recreation Area on Saturday, December 20th. Have you ever heard of a "snow snake"?  Do you think maybe it's a unique  reptile that survives Michigan winters slithering in the snow? Have you ever seen one? Maybe you should watch out for them when "Cow Tipping" or "Snipe Hunting" in the Winter. I think maybe their skin is white and camouflages them so that they are rarely seen when a wintry blanket covers the ground... Well those are some of the thoughts that I had when I was first presented with the concept of a Snow Snake. Mr. Dick Russell from the Clinton Valley Council of the Boy Scouts of America (Waterford, Michigan), and Chairman of the Chief Pontiac Trail Committee, explained to me that the snow snake is actually the main object in a Native American Indian winter game, wherein a wooden "snake" is sent hurtling down a track in the snow for maximum distance.

American Indian hurtling a snow snake.

Being originally from sunny Los Angeles, California, all I had never heard of this before, but I liken it to the "craft and skill"-oriented activity of "Pinewood Derby cars" that I modeled and painted in Boy Scouts when I was young. The small wooden cars were raced down a sloped track to see which one was the fastest. But snow snakes can travel even faster and for great distances.

Colorful Snow Snakes awaiting a run in the snow.

In preparation for the HRA practice and the big event in January, the Boy Scouts held a Snow Snake Fabrication Day on December 13 at the Proud Lake Recreation Area, River Hawk Cafe dining hall. About 40 Snow Snake kits were sold to excited participants. Each kit contained supplies to carve a custom-made Snow Snake for the practice races which were held at Highland Recreation Area on Saturday, December 20th.

Snow Snakers line up to throw!

The Scouts held their practice on a cold but beautiful day in the park near the Edsel Ford barn. The actual Race Day for the Snow Snakes will be Saturday, January 31st, at the Proud Lake Recreation area on top of the hill across from the River Hawk Annex building.

Snow Snake tracks.

More information about the 2008/2009 Snow Snaking activities is available by reading or downloading the PDF file HERE.

Snow Snaker 1

Snow Snaker 2

Snow Snaker 3

Here's a great link to an old Sports Illustrated article about snow snaking... "professional" Indian snakes, seven feet long, that travel over a mile! SI Snow Snake Article. And type "snake snake" into the search engine HERE to see pictures of original snow snakes from our continents' native American Indian tribes.

Come out to the Highland Recreation Area this winter to enjoy the season. Annual motor vehicle permits are $24.00 and are on sale at the MDNR website HERE or at the park entrance for the 2009 season. They make great gifts! Day permits are $6.00.

Jay Fitzgerald


Friends of Highland Recreation Area