Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Well….the leaves are just about gone and the thick foliage has thinned immensely. Perfect conditions for exploring the Edsel & Eleanor Ford Estate on Haven Hill, at Highland Recreation Area.

Sunday, 11/27/11, 12pm-3pm, Hiking Michigan will be leading a History Hike for the HAVEN HILL PROJECT, and exploring the many features that made up this magnificent estate. We will see the Lodge remains, Carriage house, Pool, Tennis Court, Fountain area, Toboggan Run, Kennels and much more of what mad up this interesting place.

The Ford family built the Estate in the early 1920s as a home to raise their family at. Self sustaining, the Haven Hill estate had a working Farm, pumped it’s own water and handled it’s own Septic systems. Most of the infrastructure was way ahead of it’s time.

We will be examining many details that get overlooked at this Estate. There will be display boards with old Estate pictures and details, for discussion before the Hike. A detailed map of the Haven Hill area of the Park will be given to all in attendance, along with a History Time-line of the Estate and Park.

So relax over Thanks Giving, eat that Turkey, and then come walk it all off and enjoy an afternoon of History, Nature and fun on Haven Hill at Highland Recreation area.

DOWNLOAD A FLYER WITH MORE DETAILS

The Fall season is the very best of times to explore the Edsel Ford Estate at Haven Hill. With the ground cover dieing back and the foliage falling away, much that was hidden by the summers growth is now reveled.

Sign posts, foundations, fence lines and old structures appear almost out of no where with the leaves falling. So download a updated Map from the HAVEN HILL PROJECT web site, do a little studying, and then wait a bit as the leaves start to fall. Then head out to the Estate and do some of the best historical exploring you will experience in almost any place in Michigan.

This is also a great time to hike the Natural Area loop, around Haven Hill lake. Edsel Ford did much around the Dam area at the lake, so keep your eyes open for signs of family activity there. Look for Hiking Michigan to sponsor another Fall HISTORY HIKE this year again. Sometime in October there will be announcements. This is a Fall Tour you should not miss.

It is always a joy to wander around the Haven Hill natural area and at the old Edsel Ford Lodge. But this year, more then ever, there is a huge amount of Poison Ivy lurking in the underbrush. Poison Ivy has always been a part of the environment through out the Park, but this year in particular, it has seen a huge insurgence everywhere.

It is intriguing to wander off the trails and explore some of what remains of the old estate on Haven Hill. But this is when you should be the most cautious on contact with Poison Ivy. learn to ID the plant and just avoid contact. Enjoy the wonders and beauty of Haven Hill, and do it safely.

Great time to head out to Haven Hill at Highland Recreation area. The Natural area’s main trail, around the north side of the Dam is starting to come into bloom with the many wild flowers and plants that grow there. The many different habitats mean there are many different kinds of plants and flowers in this part of the Park.

Download one of the maps from the web site and take a journey around Haven Hill lake and enjoy the Spring blooms. Circle back through the ruins at Haven Hill Lodge. It is much easier to see and understand the Estate at this time of year, due to the lack of thick tree cover and ground foliage. A wonderful way to spend a Spring afternoon.

Haven Hill is like a mystery puzzle. years worth of studying and all the pieces are still not in place. The Ford family are secretive with their family information. As would most of us be as well. Have Hill Estate was Edsil & Eleanor’s place to raise their children, and the family has protected this place very well.

New pieces to the puzzle come in all the time, from all types of sources. Recently we received some great new pieces to the puzzle from Claude. We would like to thank Claude immensely for his contributions of information. New pieces to the puzzle are not always new info, but can also be info that further confirms existing analysis or enlarges existing thought.

We welcome all information on Haven Hill. We try and share this info on our various on-line sites. (website, Facebook page, WordPress Blog, and You-Tube videos) Please feel free to contact us with any information about the Haven Hill section of Highland recreation area. This can not only be Ford family info, but also early settlers, Native presence, Foliage and fauna of the Natural area……anything. There is just so much going on at Haven Hill, in both Historical and Natural surroundings, that the puzzle gets bigger and bigger.

Right now is some of the best times to see things at the Ford estate, that you may not see at any other time of the year. With little foliage and tree cover, many of the now overgrown Estate features, pop out of hiding. Walking the trails, or wandering off the trails can make for some interesting discoveries.

Haven Hill is all about looking closely. Stop from time to time in your travels there, and just look around and see what is hiding in plain view. Is there one of the old stone walls that encircled the main estate on the hill? Maybe one of the many hand-pumps located just off some of the modern trails, that once where used to water the Ford family horses as they traveled the Estate grounds.

There is still so much that has not been discovered or logged at the Estate. Remember…….history has many angles, leave what you find the way it was. Location and how something is places, is just as important as the discovery itself. There are still many secrets to be understood at the Estate.Only the very basics have ever been logged for public knowledge.

Explore, discover, enjoy the history and nature at Haven Hill.

Here is the first in a series of 4 new Haven Hill videos. This first video is an overview of the Estate and it’s main structures and features. There are many new pictures and recent video clips, as well as new detailed maps.

The next video in this series will be exclusively on the Ford Historic Nature Trails. This area of the Estate was developed by Edsel and landscape architect Jens Jensen, as a private nature trails system, for the Ford family and friends. Bridges, benches, ornamental  ponds, structures and all the wonderful things that make up a beautiful nature area as this.

We suggest that you download our newly updated Estate maps from the web site, and go exploring for yourself. The combination of history and nature combined at the Estate is as joy for almost everyone.

Our new Explorer Estate and Park maps will be available next week. These 13″ x 19″ maps are printed on archival paper and show just how the Estate was in 1930 at it’s hay-day. These two maps are different from the free maps that you can download from the web site at this moment. They contain every detail, road, building and feature at the Ford Estate in 1930. We guarantee you have never seen anything like these maps.

So…..get out to Highland State Recreation Area and discover the wonder of what once was the Edsel & Eleanor Ford Estate. There is no place in Michigan quite like it.

Downlo0ad a Trails map of the Estate and state designated Natural area at the park. TRAILS & ESTATE MAP

Download a map of Haven Hill and the locations of the various structures and features that made up the Ford Estate.  MAP OF THE HAVEN HILL ESTATE

Read a two page excerpt from the upcoming Book about the Estate and the history of the area starting from the 1600s and running to the present day.  HISTORY SHEETS

Even in Winter

Anytime is a good time to head out to Haven Hill at Highland Recreation area. Besides the old Edsel Ford estate there, the State designated Natural area is a special place year round. As the snows melt, it is an excellent opportunity to investigate the remaimns of the estate. Rock walls, debris, fencing, nature trails and much more, become most apparent just after the snows have melted and before the area is once again covered in thick foliage.

Grab a map from the Haven Hill Project website and enjoy a wonderful afternoon of history and nature in one place at Haven Hill.

Much Coming in April

To start off the Spring season the Haven Hill Project has a jam-packed schedule of Hikes, Talks and publications to be released. We have had many delays in our Book and some redos on our extensive Maps, but everything is back on schedule and will be released shortly.

There is a Campfire History Talk to be announced in April, followed by a detailed HISTORY Hike of Haven Hill proper. This forth History Hike will be extensive, with a Lunch planned on the hill. We will be exploring the Ford estate and features as well as a extensive look at the State designated Natural area that surrounds Haven Hill lake. This should be our best HISTORY Hike to date.

So stay tuned for many exciting Hikes, Campfire Talks and map and Book releases, all starting in April. Thanks for your patience with these delays, it will be worth the wait!

The HAVEN HILL area at Highland State Recreation area is always a beautiful place to wander. Every season has it’s own feel and look. The old Ford Estate takes on a new look in the winter snows. The Haven Hill Natural area has a whole new feel to it as you walk the trails.

The animal population is diverse and healthy in the Natural area. Wandering around this section of the Park you will see much activity. Look for animal tracks and the many signs of activity along the trails.

Up on Haven Hill, the Ford Estate is always an amazing place to visit. The winter snows only further intrigue one to explore and wonder just how things where almost 90 years ago when the Estate was a bussling place.

Stop in to the web site and download a Map of the trails and Ford Estate at Haven Hill, and spend a wonderful afternoon exploring nature and history together.

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: