"Ice Stars" Form on Haven Hill Lake

Haven Hill Lake was created for Edsel and Eleanor Ford and their family in the 1920's by damming Cedar Creek, a part of Michigan’s Huron River watershed. The creek runs out of the lake and eventually becomes part of the Huron River flowing into Lake Erie south of Detroit, Michigan.

In the days of the Haven Hill Estate, the lake was a source of beauty and recreation for the Fords, their family members, and guests. Today it provides the same joys to guests of the Haven Hill section of Michigan's Highland State Recreation Area.

In winter, the lakes' surface freezes and thaws repeatedly throughout the season. Intriguing shapes form on the frozen surface as winter temperatures rise and fall. Sometimes unusual "Ice Stars" can be seen all over the surface of the frozen lake. These star-like shapes are formed when water seeps up through a hole in the ice and snow, creating a spider or octopus-shaped series of channels around the hole at the center.

Watch an aerial video flying over the Ice Stars HERE. 

Visit a great lake ice website in Burlington Vermont for more lake ice information... HERE

The aerial photos and video for this article were gathered using a DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter and a GoPro camera by FOHRA member Jay Fitzgerald and his son Jack.

Snow Snakes Emerging at Haven Hill Near Edsel Ford Barn!

They are returning! The annual Snow Snake event will occur at the Edsel Ford Barn on Sunday, January 31 between 1 and 4:00 pm. Come out and enjoy this modern interpretation of a native american winter sport. Snakes will be available for those not creating their own with the Scout Program. 

Sponsored by the Chief Pontiac Trail Activities Committee and supported by the Friends of Highland Recreation Area. Public welcome. 

Light refreshments and snacks for sale as a fundraiser. Donations to support the Friends group and their efforts at Haven Hill accepted graciously.

John Fitzgerald

The Friends of Highland Recreation Area (FOHRA) volunteer organization was established in 2007, and is a 501 (c) (3) tax exempt non-profit organization operating under lease agreement with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Within one of the most picturesque, fascinating, and historically significant state parks in southeast lower Michigan, our goal is to combine the former Haven Hill estate history with Highland Recreation Area’s existing amenities, wilderness, and recreation.

Snakes Fly at the Edsel Ford Barn!

Another great snow snake race has taken place this last Sunday, February 8, at the Edsel Ford Barn in Highland State Recreation Area! A great time was had by all in attendance. 

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.

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!