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.

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.


Fall Color Started at Haven Hill Lake

The colors are beginning to change on the shores of Haven Hill Lake in the Highland Recreation Area. Get your cameras (or just yourself) and go capture one of the area's best fall color photos! Haven Hill Fall Color Cloudy Day

Despite a cool day yesterday, the colors still popped. This is the western edge of the Lake which has a nice combination of forest types.

Haven Hill Fall Color Clouds

The Highland Recreation Area is located off of M-59 in White Lake/Highland, Michigan and is the home of the Friends of Highland Recreation Area.


HRA History: Pontiac Press Lodge Photo


Digitizing of some fantastic photos and newspaper articles that were collected by Marge Sawruk of the Friends of Highland Recreation is underway. This wonderful old photo of the lodge (below) from the October 31, 1962 edition of the Pontiac Press shows its magnificent sloping roofs and two of the six giant chimneys. For those of you who didn't know, the Pontiac Press became the Oakland Press in 1972.

Click on the photo to see and read the text. Use your "back button" to return to this page.

Marge Sawruk is the Secretary of the White Lake Historical Society and a long-standing member of the Friends of Highland Recreation Area. Our sincere appreciation goes out to Marge for saving and collecting  such wonderful historical records.



The FOHRA would like to extend a formal request for any and all old photographs that reflect the natural and man-made hsitory of the Highland Recreation Area and Haven Hill. We'll carefully scan your pictures of the park and return them to you unaffected. In retun, the FOHRA will send along with a free computer disk containing all of the preserved images. Please contact Jay Fitzgerald (FOHRA group Secretary) at (248) 494-8919 or write a email to jayman@friendsofhighlandrec.org. Thanks ahead of time!

HRA Edsel Ford Barn Winterization Weekend A Success!

The members and guest volunteers of the Friends of Highland Recreation Area (FOHRA) worked feverishly on Saturday and Sunday, November first and second, to stabilize and "winterize" the Edsel Ford Barn inside of the Recreation Area. The volunteers worked in the cool Fall weather and Sunday rain these last two days to clear the huge mass of debris that fell around the historic barn during the severe storms in June of this year.

An outdoor extended-reach forklift was used to perform the heavy lifting of debris from the south side of the barn, and to clear a safe path around the remaining "cube" section of the structure.  Volunteers sorted debris into designated areas for recycling.

Volunteers cleared the southern side of the remaining structure in order to provide easy access to the barn for installation of tarpaulins in preparation for the oncoming winter. Members of the FOHRA wore hard hats, safety glasses, and safety shoes to minimize the possibility of job-site injuries.

Above: The Edsel Ford Barn at the beginning of the weekend winterization effort.

Below: The historic Edsel Ford Barn at the end of the day today.

The Friends of Highland Recreation area would like to sincerely thank the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for the opportunity to assist in the preservation efforts put forth towards this important natural historic resource. Special thanks are also sincerely extended to the Michigan Barn Preservation Network without whom our efforts would never have been realized this weekend.

More to come as the progress continues! Please come out and enjoy the special resources that the Highland Recreation Area has to offer. And make sure to consider joining the FOHRA in our effort to preserve and protect the things that the Highland Recreation Area has to offer. See our website at www.friendsofhighlandrec.org.

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!

The Turtle and the Hair

One day back in June of this year, my wife Eva and I were exiting the park and saw a rock in the middle of the road... the rock turned out to be a big turtle! We stopped, snapped a few photos, and put him back in the forest off of the road.

I don't know what kind of turtle he was... but by the looks of his "hare/hair" (bad joke) algae covered shell he was obviously a pond/lake dweller who lives in the wetlands most of the time. He tried to bite me when I picked him up. A snapper?

Highland Recreation Area has many animals both warm and cold blooded. Go to the park and enjoy natures' bounty!

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.