The Blog of the Friends of Highland Recreation Area
Great news for park visitors that are bothered by unpaved and sometimes muddy or dusty bumpy roads… the long-awaited road paving project at the Highland State Recreation Area will begin in July! New blacktop roads will be installed throughout the summer starting after July 8, 2019.
To avoid conflicts with the paving of roads and of the Goose Meadow and Edsel Ford parking areas, the annual Haven Hill Festival will be moved from its’ currently scheduled date of July 27 to Saturday, October 19.
The major road paving project will cause some inconveniences when various areas of the park are repaved and repaired. Park visitors are encouraged to be patient and safe with road crews as they do their jobs throughout the summer.
As a result of the newly announced paving schedule the Friends of Highland Recreation Area have rescheduled the annual Haven Hill Festival to Saturday, October 19. A Fall season theme will add new enjoyment to the day of vintage baseball, beautiful collector cars, outdoor activities, Haven Hill History, and more.
State Park visitors are reminded that 2019 is the 100th anniversary of the Michigan State Park system and that Highland State Recreation Area was a pillar in the newly formed state park system as the lands of Haven Hill were contributed by Eleanor Ford.
What does a Model T Ford automobile and a Michigan State Park have in common you might ask? Both were created 100 years ago and came together at Highland State Recreation Area on Saturday, May 18 in White Lake/Highland, Michigan of course!
The members of the “Casual T’s” driving club, members of the Model T Ford Club International (MTFCI), brought a huge collection of their beautiful automobiles to the Highland State Recreation Area to the Friends groups’ annual Redbud Reveal season-opening event at the Park. The Model T automobile was built by the Ford Motor Company from 1908 until 1927. Hosted by the Friends of Highland Recreation Area, their day at Haven Hill (former country Estate of Edsel and Eleanor Ford) was a fantastic celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Michigan State Parks!
The members of FOHRA wish to thank the Casual T’s for coming to Haven Hill at Highland State Recreation Area on the weekend of the Michigan State Parks’ 100th Anniversary! Fantastic!
A terrific group of Oakland County Audubon Society members, guests, and Friends of Highland Recreation Area members joined up to enjoy a wonderful evening in the spring forests and fields of the Haven Hill Natural Area in Highland State Recreation Area yesterday. At the Goose Meadow shelter the FOHRA volunteers gave everyone a short Haven Hill presentation, informing them of the amazing history of the area and reminding them that 2019 is the 100th Anniversary year of the Michigan State Parks.
Bluebirds, hawks, geese, sandhill cranes, and the sought-after woodcocks were enjoyed by everyone. After a great hike, the group rejoined at Goose Meadow for a snack and an educational message, and then all listened quietly to the amazing sounds of the woodcocks in the nearby fields.
The spring courtship ritual of the male woodcock includes a distinctive evening “peent” sound. Kind of like a short but loud buzzing of an insect repeating every 2 seconds or so. Click HERE to hear the sound. If you’ve been outdoors as the evening arrives in the park I’m sure you’ve heard this sound. Now we know it’s the male woodcock preparing for flight!
The 100 Year Anniversary of our State Parks is arriving soon. Come celebrate by visiting Haven Hill and the Highland State Recreation Area…
“Almost 100 years ago, the Michigan State Park Commission set the course for visitors to enjoy and explore four seasons of fun. May 12, 2019 officially marks the anniversary of state parks, and we are planning a yearlong centennial celebration. Join in and celebrate our rich history and take an energizing look forward as we mark this milestone year with special events, podcasts, historical stories, videos, geocaching and more.” - from our Michigan DNR website.
On Saturday, May 18 come and see the beautiful Haven Hill section of your Highland State Recreation Area, the Cedar Creek Trail, Edsel and Eleanor Ford’s historic Gate House, the Edsel Ford Barn, the picturesque Carriage House, and the Lodge footprint on Haven Hill. The Haven Hill Gate House garage will be open and informational videos and Haven Hill displays will be shown throughout the day.
A fundraising Sale of Antiques and Collectibles will be held at the Edsel Ford Barn throughout the event. All proceeds of the sale will benefit the efforts of the Friends group and their mission to rejuvenate the structures of the historic Haven Hill Estate.
Hello everyone! There will be a nature hike at Highland State Recreation Area on Saturday, June 9 at 1:00 pm. Meet at the Circle parking lot. The hike will be to the Haven Hill Lodge and then back down the road to the loops by the Haven Hill Lake dam.
Plan for an approximately 4 mile, easy-paced nature hike with plenty of opportunity to take pictures. The trails are moderately inclined and dog-friendly; recreation pass required for vehicle entry.
Go to http://www.fohravolunteers.org/hiking/ for more hike info and links to Maps and directions.
Come on out, meet new friends, and enjoy the beauty of the Haven Hill Natural Area! A Recreation Passport is required for state park entry.
Hope to see you there!
Today's hike (Saturday, October 7) is scheduled from 2:00 - 5:00 pm and will start from the Goose Meadow parking lot. Children and dogs welcome. Sunshine is in the forecast before rain starts again later tonight. Be sure to bring plenty of water (even if it's not warm outside) and wear shoes with good tread - they will keep you and your feet happy.
Come and enjoy a free guided nature hike in the Haven Hill Natural Area on Saturday, October 7th. Friends of Highland Recreation Area volunteers will take you on a journey through a portion of the park to see the waters, wildlife, and forests of this special natural preserve. The hike will be slow-paced to enjoy nature and the fall colors, with plenty of opportunities for taking photos.
The trail traverses through woods and hills and alongside Haven Hill Lake. Interesting information will be shared such as some history of the park, the importance of controlled burns, and why leaves turn color in the fall. Look for turtles, frogs and possibly a water snake or two as the group crosses the Haven Hill Lake dam!
Live brass band music, vintage baseball, history, great weather, Model A Ford cars, summer foods and beverages, and more. The Haven Hill Festival is a celebration of Edsel and Eleanor Fords’ historic Haven Hill Estate and the natural beauty and historic wonders of the Highland State Recreation Area in the townships of Highland and White Lake, Michigan. This year’s family event on Saturday, August 26 will be held between 10 am and 3 pm. The event will feature vintage Model A Ford cars from the members of the Livingston A's driving club, an Antiques and Collectibles Sale at the Edsel Ford Barn, an 1860’s exhibition Vintage Base Ball Game, guided short hikes, summer foods and beverages, Haven Hill art and history displays, and children’s activities in Goose Meadow. Baseball fan? Bring along a picnic blanket, sun umbrellas, and folding chairs and watch the historic Vintage Base Ball Game at 10:00 am played the way the American sport of "base ball" originated in the 1860's. A live brass band will accompany the Ball Game.
The arrival of the Model A Ford cars and the 1860's Base Ball game will begin in Goose Meadow at 10:00 am. Several locations throughout the park will provide other exhibitions and activities during the Festival such as an art display at the Gate House, self-guided tours of the Haven Hill Lodge grounds, and the Edsel Ford Barn. Volunteers will be dressed in period costumes.
The food and beverages available for purchase in Goose Meadow will be a fund raiser for the efforts of the volunteer group Friends of Highland Recreation Area. The park can be entered on 5200 Highland Road, M-59 between Duck Lake and Bogey Lake roads. Parking is at the Goose Meadow picnic shelter area, the 1st right turn on Haven Hill Road after you enter the park off of M-59 between Duck Lake and Bogie Lake roads. The Festival is provided to the public at no charge, and yet entry into the state park is now via the Recreation Passport on your license plate. If you do not have this great State Park feature on your license plate, you will be asked to buy one. It's a great deal!
The Friends of Highland Recreation Area (FOHRA), is a non-profit organization supporting the Highland State Recreation Area in Highland/White Lake, Michigan, and the historic Edsel Ford Haven Hill Estate structures within its boundaries. The Haven Hill Festival is an alcohol-free, family-oriented event in its' 8th year at Highland State Recreation Area. The celebration has grown yearly, and will continue to positively benefit all of those who attend as well as the surrounding communities now and into the future.
SPECIAL EVENT at 1:00 pm Saturday in Goose Meadow
Read about the Girl Scout 1956 Roundup sign dedication and some great little-known Highland Recreation Area history.
Lots of folks have heard of Boy Scout "Jamborees" but few have heard of Girl Scout "Roundups". The 1st ever Girl Scout Senior Roundup was held at Highland State Recreation Area in 1956. The Park was transformed into a small "tent city", and thousands of Scouts and their Leaders attended. The following are excerpts from the official Friends of Highland Recreation Area Press Release:
On Saturday, August 26, 2017, at 1:00 pm EST, a special commemorative informational sign created with the assistance of the MotorCities organization of the National Park Service, will be unveiled at the Park during the 2017 Haven Hill Festival. Girl Scouts young and old are encouraged to attend the Festival to learn of and recall the memories of one of the organizations’ most significant outdoor gatherings. The ceremony is open to the public and everyone is encouraged to attend.
The Friends of Highland Recreation Area volunteers are pleased to announce the commemoration of the first-ever Girl Scout Senior Roundup which was held at Michigan’s Highland State Recreation Area in 1956. Scouts and their Leaders from all 48 states and the territories of Alaska and Hawaii traveled by plane, train, bus, and automobile to attend the 12-day gathering from June 29 to July 10, 1956. Ten other countries from around the world were also represented at the giant multi-day campout.
In preparation for the 1956 Roundup, an enormous one square mile encampment was created on the land of the former Edsel and Eleanor Ford Haven Hill Estate within the Highland State Recreation Area with the help of the United States 5th Army. The military troops built roads, assembled large tents, installed shower facilities, and even erected a press tent. The hundreds of large and small tents and other US Army-constructed facilities resembled a small city with water pipes and electrical power, telephone lines, food facilities, and even a small hospital for the over 6,000 Girl Scouts, their Leadership, guests, and visiting dignitaries.
An informative display of re-printed original photographs telling the story of the 1956 Roundup event will be on display at this years’ Haven Hill Festival on Saturday, August 26 from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm in the Goose Meadow festival tent.
The Haven Hill Festival is an alcohol-free outdoor family event held yearly at Highland State Recreation Area in White Lake, Michigan. In addition to the Scouts Ceremony, this year’s Festival will include summer foods and beverages, live brass band music, a barbershop quartet, a vintage base ball exhibition game, a fundraising Commemorative Brick Sale at the Gate House and an Antiques and Collectibles Sale at the Edsel Ford Barn. Proceeds from the food, beverage, and fundraising sales provide funding for the Friends group to continue their renovations of the remaining Edsel and Eleanor Ford Haven Hill structures and properties.
The Highland State Recreation Area is located at 5200 Highland Road (M-59) White Lake, Michigan, 48383. (248) 889-3750. Admission is with your Michigan Recreation Passport status on your vehicle license plate.
For more information go to www.fohravolunteers.org.
Article Contact: Jay Fitzgerald, Secretary, Friends of Highland Recreation Area. Ph.: (248) 494-8919
The 2017 Haven Hill Festival begins next Saturday at 10:00 am at Highland State Recreation Area. This year's Festival lasts until 3:00 pm and will include the following activities:
Summer Foods, Music, and Fun for All Ages!
Haven Hill Art and History Displays
1860’s Vintage Base Ball Game -10:00 am
Antiques and Collectibles Sale
1956 Girl Scouts USA Senior Roundup Commemorative Sign Dedication -1:00 pm
Novi Brass Band Live During Ball Game
The Jesters Barbershop Quartet from 12 Noon until 1:00 pm
Brick Paver Sale at Haven Hill Gate House
The Haven Hill Festival is a celebration of Edsel and Eleanor Fords’ historic Haven Hill Estate and the natural beauty and historic wonders of the Highland State Recreation Area in the townships of Highland and White Lake, Michigan.
Admission to the Park is via your Recreation Passport on your license plate.