Color of Fall BEAUTIFUL at Highland State Recreation Area for Festival

Haven Hill area visitors to Highland State Recreation Area in Highland/White Lake. Michigan are in for a big treat at this years’ Haven Hill Festival on Saturday the 19th of October - “peak” Fall tree colors!

The 2019 Haven Hill Festival at Highland State Recreation Area celebrates the beautiful recreation area and the historic Haven Hill estate which was once the country home of Edsel and Eleanor Ford. This year's event will feature a 1860’s style base ball baseball food and beverages, kids games and arts and crafts, historic Haven Hill items on display, and vintage Model A Ford automobiles for everyone to enjoy.

A shuttle bus will take you up to the Haven Hill Lodge site and Carriage House area which will be hosted by volunteer members for tours and info. And the Edsel Ford Barn will show off it’s new doors and paint job which is underway!

The Vintage Base Ball game in Goose Meadow will be played in front of a backdrop of Fall colors and feature the Novi Brass Band playing live brass instrument music as the ball players exhibit how ball was played in the 1860’s. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy a hot dog and snacks as the game is underway.

Come on out with the family and enjoy the day in the park! State park entry is via the Recreation Passport. The event is free to the public. Donations accepted to support the Friends of Highland Recreation Area volunteer organization.

Haven Hill Festival with Fall Colors - Saturday, October 19

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Fall is here and the 2019 Haven Hill Festival is coming on Saturday, October 19!

Everyone will enjoy the beauty, nature, and history of Haven Hill at Highland State Recreation Area with a backdrop of gorgeous Fall colors. In Goose Meadow, the Novi Brass Band will accompany Vintage Base Ball as the Barn Stormers host the Gate House Nine starting at 10:00 am. Festival foods and beverages will be served during Festival hours between 10 am and 3 pm.

Haven Hill history displays at the Gatehouse, Edsel Ford Barn, and on the Hill will inform the public of the State Park's amazing history. Bring your family and enjoy the Haven Hill Festival this Fall on October 19. Visit www.fohravolunteers.org for more information.

Recreation Passport required for Free state park entry.


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.

Vintage Base Ball Players WANTED

The Haven Hill Barn Stormers Base Ball Club is accepting enthusiasts to join them in a vintage 1860’s exhibition on Saturday, October 19, 2019 at the Haven Hill Festival. The Stormers will host the Gate House Nine ball club starting at 10:00 am. Ball players report at 9:00 am. The match will be held at their Goose Meadow Ball Field in Highland State Recreation Area in White Lake, Michigan.

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Have you never played vintage base ball before? Sign up and come learn how easy and enjoyable it is to play ball the way it was back in the 1860’s. It will be a base ball experience that you will cherish forever. No gloves, no spitting, no bad behavior, just great times in the outdoors and great fun! Free Vintage ball cap, lunch meal, and digital team photograph for every volunteer ballist. Ballists ages 13 and older please. Bat boys and girls accepted from age 5 to 12 with parent.

Fans (cranks) and family come on out to the field and watch the match even if you choose not to play. Kids hit and run the bases at an inning break during the game.

Please contact the team via the Friends of Highland Recreation Area at (248) 494-8919, or email them at fohravolunteers@gmail.com for more information.

The Haven Hill Barn Stormers base ball club can also be found on Facebook.

FOHRA is a 501c3 volunteer organization providing dedicated service to the Michigan State park at Highland State Recreation Area, 5200 Highland Road (M-59), White lake, Michigan, 48383.

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.

Youth Volunteer Day at Haven Hill Gatehouse in Highland State Recreation Area

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FOHRA Youth Volunteer Day!

Saturday, September 21

9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Please join FOHRA for a fun day at the Haven Hill Gatehouse in Highland State Recreation Area. Volunteers ages 11-17 are welcome! Saturday, September 21, 2019. 9 AM to 3 PM.

Planned activities include:

  • Introduction to Haven Hill history

  • Painting of Gatehouse

  • Grounds maintenance.

Please pack a sack lunch. Bottled water and prepackaged snacks will be provided to volunteers by FOHRA. Weather appropriate clothing is suggested.

If verification for volunteer hours is needed, please bring required forms to day of volunteering for FOHRA signature.


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.

Come to the Iced Tea Event at Haven Hill - Saturday, August 3rd

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An event presented by the Ladies of the Friends of Highland Recreation Area Saturday, August 3, 2019 from 1 PM – 3 PM

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On the lawn and under the canopies of the Haven Hill Gatehouse…

Sample and sip multiple homemade teas. Enjoy tasty desserts. Have some fun exploring “100 Years of Tea”. Choose a mallet and play a game of croquet!

The Ladies of The Friends of Highland Recreation Area are hosting this fundraiser to support the ongoing efforts to restore and repurpose the former buildings of the Edsel and Eleanor Ford Estate.

Tickets: $20 Per Person; $18 Students/Seniors 55 And Up.

Tickets are available on the FOHRA website in the FOHRA Store.

Tickets Are Limited, Contact Jacqui At (248) 701-0076 With Any Questions.

The Gatehouse is opposite the park entry booth - you must have an MDNR Recreation Passport to enter the state park.

Rain Date Sunday, August 4th, 1-3 pm

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.

New Roads "Pave the Way" for Highland State Recreation Area's Haven Hill Festival 2019 Date Change

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Great news for park visitors that are bothered by unpaved and sometimes muddy or dusty bumpy roads… the long-awaited road paving project at the Highland State Recreation Area will begin in July! New blacktop roads will be installed throughout the summer starting after July 8, 2019.

To avoid conflicts with the paving of roads and of the Goose Meadow and Edsel Ford parking areas, the annual Haven Hill Festival will be moved from its’ currently scheduled date of July 27 to Saturday, October 19.

M-59 Highland Road sign announces the repaving project at Highland State Recreation Area.

M-59 Highland Road sign announces the repaving project at Highland State Recreation Area.

The major road paving project will cause some inconveniences when various areas of the park are repaved and repaired. Park visitors are encouraged to be patient and safe with road crews as they do their jobs throughout the summer.

As a result of the newly announced paving schedule the Friends of Highland Recreation Area have rescheduled the annual Haven Hill Festival to Saturday, October 19. A Fall season theme will add new enjoyment to the day of vintage baseball, beautiful collector cars, outdoor activities, Haven Hill History, and more.

State Park visitors are reminded that 2019 is the 100th anniversary of the Michigan State Park system and that Highland State Recreation Area was a pillar in the newly formed state park system as the lands of Haven Hill were contributed by Eleanor Ford.

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.

Centennial State Parks, Centennial Cars at Haven Hill in Highland State Recreation Area!

Above: Members of the “Casual T’s” with a fine vintage automobile at Haven Hill in Highland State Recreation Area as part of the MDNR 100th year anniversary.

What does a Model T Ford automobile and a Michigan State Park have in common you might ask? Both were created 100 years ago and came together at Highland State Recreation Area on Saturday, May 18 in White Lake/Highland, Michigan of course!

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The members of the “Casual T’s” driving club, members of the Model T Ford Club International (MTFCI), brought a huge collection of their beautiful automobiles to the Highland State Recreation Area to the Friends groups’ annual Redbud Reveal season-opening event at the Park. The Model T automobile was built by the Ford Motor Company from 1908 until 1927. Hosted by the Friends of Highland Recreation Area, their day at Haven Hill (former country Estate of Edsel and Eleanor Ford) was a fantastic celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Michigan State Parks!

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The members of FOHRA wish to thank the Casual T’s for coming to Haven Hill at Highland State Recreation Area on the weekend of the Michigan State Parks’ 100th Anniversary! Fantastic!











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.

Owlets Find Woodcocks at Haven Hill In Highland State Recreation Area

Woodcock: Photo courtesy Audubon Society.

Woodcock: Photo courtesy Audubon Society.

A terrific group of Oakland County Audubon Society members, guests, and Friends of Highland Recreation Area members joined up to enjoy a wonderful evening in the spring forests and fields of the Haven Hill Natural Area in Highland State Recreation Area yesterday. At the Goose Meadow shelter the FOHRA volunteers gave everyone a short Haven Hill presentation, informing them of the amazing history of the area and reminding them that 2019 is the 100th Anniversary year of the Michigan State Parks.

Bluebirds, hawks, geese, sandhill cranes, and the sought-after woodcocks were enjoyed by everyone. After a great hike, the group rejoined at Goose Meadow for a snack and an educational message, and then all listened quietly to the amazing sounds of the woodcocks in the nearby fields.

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The spring courtship ritual of the male woodcock includes a distinctive evening “peent” sound. Kind of like a short but loud buzzing of an insect repeating every 2 seconds or so. Click HERE to hear the sound. If you’ve been outdoors as the evening arrives in the park I’m sure you’ve heard this sound. Now we know it’s the male woodcock preparing for flight!

Audubon and FOHRA Members enjoying the evening woods of Haven Hill searching for birds of all species…

Audubon and FOHRA Members enjoying the evening woods of Haven Hill searching for birds of all species…

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Folks interested in attending future gatherings are encouraged to visit the Oakland Audubon society’s Facebook page, check out the FOHRA website for events, and join the Young Birders program at the Society.

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.

Highland Recreation Area Redbud Reveal May 18 and 100 Year's of Michigan State Parks May 12

The 100 Year Anniversary of our State Parks is arriving soon. Come celebrate by visiting Haven Hill and the Highland State Recreation Area…

“Almost 100 years ago, the Michigan State Park Commission set the course for visitors to enjoy and explore four seasons of fun. May 12, 2019 officially marks the anniversary of state parks, and we are planning a yearlong centennial celebration. Join in and celebrate our rich history and take an energizing look forward as we mark this milestone year with special events, podcasts, historical stories, videos, geocaching and more.” - from our Michigan DNR website.

On Saturday, May 18 come and see the beautiful Haven Hill section of your Highland State Recreation Area, the Cedar Creek Trail, Edsel and Eleanor Ford’s historic Gate House, the Edsel Ford Barn, the picturesque Carriage House, and the Lodge footprint on Haven Hill.  The Haven Hill Gate House garage will be open and informational videos and Haven Hill displays will be shown throughout the day. 

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 A fundraising Sale of Antiques and Collectibles will be held at the Edsel Ford Barn throughout the event. All proceeds of the sale will benefit the efforts of the Friends group and their mission to rejuvenate the structures of the historic Haven Hill Estate.




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.

Nature Hike at the Highland State Recreation Area on Saturday, June 9, 1:00 pm

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Hello everyone! There will be a nature hike at Highland State Recreation Area on Saturday, June 9 at 1:00 pm.  Meet at the Circle parking lot. The hike will be to the Haven Hill Lodge and then back down the road to the loops by the Haven Hill Lake dam.  

Plan for an approximately 4 mile, easy-paced nature hike with plenty of opportunity to take pictures. The trails are moderately inclined and dog-friendly; recreation pass required for vehicle entry.

Go to http://www.fohravolunteers.org/hiking/ for more hike info and links to Maps and directions.

Come on out, meet new friends, and enjoy the beauty of the Haven Hill Natural Area! A Recreation Passport is required for state park entry.

Hope to see you there!

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.