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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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.


No Grapes on These Vines!

Now that the leaves have fallen, the amazing large vines around some of the trees in Highland Recreation Area are exposed to view.

Some are 2 - 3 inches in diameter. They look large and strong enough to support a climber!

They are another of the great things that nature has to offer for viewing in Highland State Recreation Area. Get outside and see something "divine"... sorry for the bad pun.


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.

Winter Polypores

Today's hike through the Recreation Area found me photographing an unusual site - a fungus adhering to a tree in winter. hra-polypores-012109

I wonder if they're dead or dormant or what? They were on a dead tree... near the arched beauty below.

hra-snowy-arched-tree-012109Spring will be here soon and a whole new crop of fungi will sprout in the park.  Come out and enjoy the crisp clean air and the wonderful wintry sites in Highland Recreation Area! You might even find a fungus on a tree in the winter.

Haven Hill Lake Peaking

Here's my favorite fall photograph area... the southwest shore of Haven Hill Lake inside the Highland Recreation Area. You can see that I used a trimmed version of this photo as the FOHRA Blog's changeable border at the top of the page too!

And below, a dew-covered spider web from Goose Meadow in celebration of Halloween! Boo!

Fall Clean-Up on Haven Hill

This last weekends' Sunday work party (October 12) included a visit to the Haven Hill Gatehouse, a review of the Edsel Ford Barn, and some productive clean-up on the hill at the circle in front of the Haven Hill Lodge ruins.

Above, members of the Friends of Highland Recreation Area (FOHRA) enjoy a clean-up day on Haven Hill in front of the ruins of Edsel Ford's Lodge. The group cleared overgrowth, removed piles of storm-damaged tree limbs, and raked and shoveled there way through the afternoon. It was a nice day (70's to near 80 degrees), and the group was visited by 10 - 12 people hiking the Haven Hill in the great weather.

The location on the hill inside of the Highland Recreation Area is a wonderful place to hike and enjoy the fall color. If you can make some time available for a good cause, come on out and join us in helping our local recreation area on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month! Look for the FOHRA gang.

REMINDER: Click on the pics to see the full-sized images. Have a great day!

Fall Colors Painting Haven Hill Lake!

Haven Hill Lake has some wonderful fall colors blooming right now. Go to the dam and look to the north and you'll see a nice patch of color.

The ability to see the vibrance of these colored trees has a lot to do with the time of day and the stillness of the wind. Early morning and late afternoon are best. Soon the whole area will be lighting up.

Just like most people, I always look for combinations of colors like reds and oranges and yellows, so I was surprised at the photo above - it's kinda special with the striking palette of yellow and gold!

Enjoy the fall colors inside of Highland Recreation Area!