Free Fall Color Tours of Haven Hill This Saturday

The Haven Hill Festival will feature free shuttle bus rides up and down historic Haven Hill to and from the main Festival grounds at Goose Meadow on Saturday. The forests of Highland State Recreation Area are reaching full peak color this weekend and the free shuttle rides will allow visitors to see the beauty along the winding (and in some portions steep!) Haven Hill road up to Edsel and Eleanor Ford’s former Carriage House and Lodge site.

The shuttle will be a rare opportunity for many folks to receive a free and easy bus ride up and down Haven Hill. Some sections of this beautiful road have a high incline and the bus ride will make it easy for otherwise challenged would-be hikers. A historic photo display and Friends of Highland Recreation Area members will be available at the Hill top of the Hill to provide historic information about Edsel and Eleanor Ford’s era.

The top of Haven Hill is a gorgeous sight during the Fall color season. Come to the Haven Hill Festival on Saturday to enjoy the beauty of your state park… especially with a Free ride up and down Haven Hill!

Recreation Passport required for free entry.

HHF 2019 85x11 Flyer as PNG.PNG

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 Thanks ahead of time!

Haven Hill Lodge Ruins

Well I finally did it... I grabbed the dog and we headed over to the rec. area and hiked up to the ruins of the Edsel Ford Haven Hill lodge. Beautiful in winter, the ruins seemed kind of pristine covered by a blanket of snow. This was my 1st visit to the ruins - I had heard of the site that is inside of the Highland Recreation Area in Southeast Michigan several years ago. From the parking area the hike appears to be just at or under a mile (I'm guessing) until you come upon the "carriage house" or what appears to have been the "welcoming building" for guests.

Haven Hill Lodge 1

This is an amazing little cabin - the only remaining structure from Edsel's day.

Haven Hill Lodge 2

I am told that this carriage house is an excellent example how the lodge was constructed - solid stacked logs and a wonderful stone chimney.

Haven Hill Carriage House Logs

From the backside it's obvious that vandals have broken into the old building - a gaping hole in a plywood board covering the window to a bathroom. Shame.

Haven Hill Carriage House 2

Here's a great photo (below) of the Haven Hill Carriage House - larger size. Click to view the full-size image.

Haven Hill Carriage House

As you look North and slightly west you then see what appears to be the remnants of an arched entranceway to what I assume was a walkway to the lodge's front door.

Haven Hill Archway

Then a large fireplace/chimney appears and you can begin to understand the actual size of the lodge by the ruins of the foundation. I wish I had seen the actual building before it was burned to the ground in 1997.

Haven Hill Fireplace Chimney

This day in mid February the snow was obscuring the ground all around and inside the foundation.

Haven Hill Lodge 3

The building must have been truly amazing in it's hay day! And to think that the likes of Thomas Edison, Admiral Bird, and other famous figures have stood right there many years ago!

PRESERVATION: Sometimes I wonder if the information that I'm posting on this website might result in those with "ill-wills" damaging a historic site like this. I hope not. As a matter of fact, I believe that by sharing this information maybe attention can be drawn to this amazing location that might inspire caring persons to visit the area and be a part of its' preservation. Come and see and join the forces for good will!

The Haven Hill Archway