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Posts Tagged ‘Michigan Hiking Trails’

In 1954 the state designated the Haven Hill area, a State Natural area and Nature Study area. They did this because of the diversity of habitats there, and because of the big push from the Michigan Botanical Society.

11MarkerMost people do not know that the Haven Hill area is not just a state designated Historical site, due to the remains of the old Edsel Ford Estate that was located primarily on Haven Hill, but actually made up what is now the entire eastern side of Highland Recreation area. That’s right…..all the park lands that are east of Duck Lake road was once the boundaries of the Ford Estate there, with the Lodge and main Estate buildings located on top and around the edge of the main hill.

But……all the lands north of Haven Hill and that surround Haven Hill Lake are part of the state Natural Area. The many natural Springs, the swamps, the deep cuts in terrain and rolling hills have produced many diverse ecosystems. Some of which only exist in more northern areas of our state.

As Spring starts to break and everything goes into blooming stages, it is a wonderful time to take a Hike around Haven Hill Lake. There is a good solid, maintained Trail that encircles the Lake and will also take you through the main Estate on Haven Hill for your return Trail leg. A beautiful Boardwalk takes you around the northern most Swamp areas of the Natural Area. Many small creeks exist here, due to the many Natural Springs through out the northern and western side of Haven Hill Lake.

There are many rare flowers and plants along the way. Just like exploring for remnants of the Ford Estate on Haven Hill, you need to look closely as you Hike the Trail loop around Haven Hill Lake. The Fords did very little to the north and far western side of the Lake Edsel created by damming Cedar creek. So the primary focus on this Trail surrounding the Lake are ecosystems and different environments. If ever you carried Nature ID guides along on a Hike, this would be the place to do so. There are examples of almost every Tree that grows in the state of Michigan, somewhere along this main loop Trail.

Download one of the Maps from the web site and get started not only exploring the past in History, but the present in the extensive Natural world in and around Haven Hill.

DOWNLOAD A GPSED MAP OF THE NATURAL AREA AND HISTORICAL AREA HERE:

HavenHillTrailsMap

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Here is the latest map for the Haven Hill section at Highland Recreation area. The map includes the Haven Hill designated Natural Area, as well as the Haven Hill Historical area too. All Trails Markers and signage is listed, as well as many of the historical and natural features located in the area. A “must have”, for exploring the Nature & History of Haven Hill.  HAVEN HILL AREA MAP

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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.

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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.

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Thanks to Cindy and Lani we have some great photos of the recent HISTORY Hike at Haven Hill. The ladies did a great job at capturing much of the afternoon’s explorations.

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Walking the old, Edsel Ford Historic Nature Trails yesterday, I was surprised by a loud, goose-like HONK from about three feet in front of me. Nope, it wasn’t a goose (the trail’s not that wet). It was a baby deer, well camouflaged against the leaves. I never knew deer could make that sound, but I do know how it translates into English — MOM!!! After he took maybe 20-30 seconds to struggle to his feet, he walked, then ran off. Mom never showed up, but I’m sure she was close and keeping an eye on me, but just didn’t consider me a threat.

Unfortunately, it was so hot and humid yesterday, I only stayed out a couple hours. Fortunately, the August heat wave appears to have broken with last night’s thunderstorms, so now maybe we can go back to normal weather. With all the heat and water, though, the poison ivy has exploded throughout the park, with two out of three of the Haven Hill Project team members currently itching.

Two big Haven Hill Project events coming up soon. The Henry Ford/National Forest Service event at Greenfield Village in Dearborn Rob mentioned in the last post, plus a Haven Hill History Hike (without the foot of fresh snow this time) a week later. More details on that hike should be up within the next few days.

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We were out on Sunday knocking more off our to-do list. There’s really only one major piece of field work left. The day was hot and one of our 4-legged team members, new to the outdoors, was injured (don’t worry, she’s fine now), but except for that, it was a good, productive day.

Next month, we have two public events coming up for The Haven Hill Project. We’ll have a lot more information on those by this weekend, but for now, keep 6/12 and 6/19 open.

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