Haven Hill Hiking: Feel Changes in the Season

An end of summer hike was in order yesterday so I headed into the Haven Hill National Natural Landmark in the early morning on September 2, Labor Day weekend. Quiet forests with the mystical quality of Haven Hill met me with open arms. Love this place!

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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.

Summer Sites in the Woods of Highland State Recreation Area

The Highland State Recreation Area has many wonderful things to experience in the summer. Put on some sun screen and some insect repellent and get outdoors! Brave the heat and some of the parks' natural insect population (read "bugs") and enjoy the trails that traverse the areas deep into the woods of the park... here's a few pics from a hike on July 18th on the trails north of Haven Hill Lake... Above: Ferns carpet the forest floor.

Above: Beautiful wild flowers abound in Highland State Recreation Area.

Look closely for things big and small...

Mushrooms and fungi in the shade on the cool forest floor.

The small glacial ponds are full of almost flourescent green algae...

The wetland trail was filled with bird life...

Such as this Cedar Waxing...

The Waxwing was probably searching for these berries...

On the return leg of the hike the water lillies on Haven Hill Lake had started to open in the morning sun...

Enjoy the summer... hike Highland State Recreation Area... one of Michigan's true wonders.


Redbuds, Dogwoods, Trillium in Bloom at Highland Recreation Area

The dogwoods and redbuds are in full bloom at Highland Recreation Area! A true sign of spring, the Lilacs will soon follow. Park trails are filling with spring foliage. Yesterday I found a trillium just starting to get going.

And a few dogwoods decorated the trail...

Mayapples are filling the forest floor... like small palm trees. No blossoms or fruit yet though.

Kick off your snowshoes and get out to Highland Recreation Area today for a refreshing spring hike.

- Jay

Highland Recreation Spring Hiking

The butterflies are out on the lilacs... Swallowtail HRA 1280x1024 052009 DSC_6844

The pumpkinseed sunfish are on their beds at the dam of Haven Hill lake...

Pumpkinseeds HRA 052009 DSC_6819

The lilypads are ready to bloom on the water...

Lilypads HRA 052009 DSC_6821

And the dogwoods are in bloom on the road sides...

Dogwood Blooms HRA 1280x1024 052009 DSC_6865

Spring is in full-swing at the Highland Recreation Area! Hike by yourself, or grab a friend, or take your family on a hike today!

Posted by: Jay Fitzgerald is an avid hiker and a member of the Friends of Highland Recreation Area. Visit  www.fohra.org for more information.

Sandhill Cranes in the Recreation Area

Eva and I were hiking near Haven Hill Lake and a small group of Sandhill Cranes flew right over our head towards Goose Meadow. Did you know that Sandhill Cranes have one of the longest fossil records of any living bird species on earth? A 2.5 million year old fossil has been found from one of these magnificent birds!

The cranes landed in the meadow and posed for my camera.

Although they can be found in farm fields and other open areas in Michigan, I think it's special that they choose the Highland Recreation Area as a place to feed and rest. Respect their privacy by staying a reasonable distance from them. They are wary and will walk away from you if you try to approach. If you're lucky you might see a mating dance - the large birds dance by leaping in the air! A special thing to see in the wild.

Get out into our Recreation Area and look for the Sandhill Cranes!

If you'd like to learn more... Wikipedia's information about the cranes is wonderful. Click HERE.