Posts Tagged ‘Michigan Recreation area’

We are again in our early Spring planning stage for our first History HIKE of the year. We try and do one every Springtime because of what we talk about here on the Blog, all the time. The foliage is way down and so much more can be spotted while roaming the Estate at this time of year. This year we will be doing our Spring History Hike a little PoisonIvyclose to early Summer, like the first week in May. The only real foliage we will need to be concerned about will be the Poison Ivy.

Poison Ivy has become almost rampant around the Haven Hill, main hill area of the Park. Although found everywhere at Highland Rec., it is very prominent around the Hill itself. It is about the only concern I have when Bushwhacking around the Estate.

This years History Hike will have a couple of twists to it. We have been talking about doing a dual Hike day. One group will head for the Haven Hill top and explore the main Estate features, including the Pump-house, Well house, Formal Gardens and some of the Man-made ornamental Ponds located on the Ford’s private Nature trails, just off the main Estate Hill top.





The other Group will head for a few places we have never taken people before. The Hiking will be pretty tuff and will take us off any map of the Park. We will expl

ore some abandon Cabins dating back to the 1800s, as well as some possible Native Hunting camps and areas. We will circle back and crawl up the North side of the Estate Hill, using some of what is left of the old Toboggan run. But before we do that, we will show everyone where the actual Toboggan run ended and some of what was happening down there when there wasn’t any snow going on.

Bow drill hand hold 1These places are not easy to access, but are very interesting in the whole History of the area known as Haven Hill. Before Edsel and family, there where local settlers. Before and during the Settlers, there where Hunting Camps. before the settlers and Hunting Camps there where Native American encampments and wanderings.

There has even been some talk at one time, that the Huron river came through the back side of Highland Rec. area, and not it’s present day course. This would have made this area of the Park even more attractive to the Natives then it already was. With a water route in the area, the game and many plant & tree species, all the fresh natural Spring waters, this section of Highland Rec. area would have been the perfect Native hunting/Homestead grounds. Just what the white-man made it as he settled into the area.

So this is what we have been discussing as this years dual History HIKES. This is still in the planning stages and we are not sure if it would be best to do two separate Hikes or ParkingLotPeopleone dual Hike afternoon. We will see what response we get from all of you. Our last History Hike had a little over 85 people attend, and we had to split into two separate groups to accommodate the large number of people. Those kinds of numbers would not work on the heavy Bushwhacking Hike. The terrain is much to ruff, and we would loose people for sure. And that is not the point of these hikes. 🙂

So stay tuned for further developments, and in the meantime, head out to the Park and do some roaming. Be cautious while you explore. There are some heavy snow accumulations still hiding in the deeper ravines in-between the many ridges around the main Hill. Enjoy yourself…..EXPLORE…..and BE SAFE!  See you all in May for our first History Hike of the year. One last thing…….we have something very Big coming this Summer. A History Event/Hike like we have never done before. You will not want to miss this one. That’s all I am saying right now. 🙂


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Although it is always beautiful at Haven Hill in Highland Recreation area, no matter what time of year, Fall is the most special of times for exploring the history there. After much of the thick foliage and ground cover has dies off, there is much to be reviled.

Right now is a perfect time at Haven Hill. There are still some very colorful trees with leaves on them, but enough of the thick ground cover has gone away to expose much of the old forgotten Nature Trails and historical features that get swallowed in the Spring and Summer months.

We suggest you download the two maps we offer here on the Blog, and also head over to the Haven Hill Project web site, and get an idea of some of the historical sites you would like to visit on your Fall Colors exploration tour. The Colors happening in the far west end of the old Ford private Nature Trails are just spectacular! Or if you are really energetic……take the long 5 mile journey, all the way around Haven Hill lake and through the heart of the Haven Hill Natural Area. Again……you will experience some of the very best Fall colors anywhere in S.E.Michigan.

No matter what you end up doing at Haven Hill at this time of year, the lack of thick cover, no insects or Skeeters, and the combination of history and Nature will make for just a wonderful afternoon Fall experience you will not soon forget.

See you all out on the Trails at Haven Hill, Highland Recreation area!

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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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With the HAVEN HILL book to be released, weather-proof maps, pamphlets and History papers, there has been little time for any new field work or even much posting. All the final details are being finished in a mass release of many different informational media about the Haven Hill estate at Highland State Recreation area.

It has been two year now, of hundreds of exploration miles through out the Estate. Countless hours scouring over various archives around town, and endless hours editing text and hundred of photos for these many upcoming releases.

I hope it will have been worth the wait when everyone gets a chance to see the results of such extensive investigations, research, study and writings about the Ford family and their estate at Haven Hill. We will start releasing many of our projects very shortly, and the excitement here at our workshop and studio is electric. Stay tuned for the first announcements, right here on our Blog.

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Hiking Michigan will be assisting us in a very special Tour of the Ford estate and the Natural area surrounding the Estate shortly. This extra special tour will be by reservations only, in order to hold the number of hikers to less then 20.

We are holding this special Hike/Your to celebrate the release of both our “Guide Booklet” and hardcover book called simply, “HAVEN HILL”. We wanted this special Tour to be able to visit and examine some of the special and little know places through out the Estate. Something we could not accomplish with the groupd of 75 people we have been getting at past HISTORY HIKES.

Stay tuned of more details and announcement on a first come first serve reservation for this very special Tour. You will simply be bowled over at what you will see and explore with this small group on this unique and extra special Hike/Tour.

So stay tuned for details and be the first of 20 people attending this Tour.

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Just cannot wait for the Fall HISTORY HIKE. The weather is predicted to be PERFECT! Haven Hill is so beautiful at this time of year, and especially with the sun iluminating the Fall colors.

There will be much to see and experience on this HISTORY Hike, 10/9/10. Lots of great historical places to explore, while enjoying the unique natural environments at Haven Hill, Highland Recreation area.

Join us this Saturday for a very unique exsperience at Haven Hill in White Lake Twp. Get further details at the link below.

Haven Hill HISTORY Hike

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It’s almost here. The Haven Hill Project’s Fall History Hike. The reason we are extra excited about this hike, is it will be our first Fall season led exploration. And Fall is the very best time to explore at Haven Hill. With much of the foliage turning colors, or falling to the ground…..much is reveled at Haven Hill. Ford estate features that you would never notice, come to life and are very apparent.

This will also be an extra exciting History Hike, because we will be showing everyone, for the very first time, the Historic Ford Nature Trails. this huge area along the estate was developed by Jens Jensen the famous landscape architect. It was the private nature area for the Ford family and their guests.

Ornamental Fish ponds, The Island of Bridges, Mystery Hill, the Staircase to nowhere, and so many yet unexplained mysteries await us on our Fall History Hike.

So download the Hike flyer and join us for this Free History Hike at Highland Recreation Area. Everyone will receive a very detailed and up to date Map of the Haven Hill area of the Park, and all types of information, we are sure you have never heard, about this unique place, hiding in plain sight, at one of our State recreation areas.

Download a flyer for the Hike here;  HISTORY HIKE

Or go to the Haven Hill project web site for more info:  HHP web site

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Stop in and see our latest displays and finding from Haven Hill at the 33rd annual Rochester Heritage festival. This Sat. & Sun. Oct. 25th & 26th, from 10am-6pm each day.

Take a look at what we have been exploring. See some of the latest pictures and discoveries at the Edsel Ford estate on Haven Hill. We will also have a final copy of our soon to be released Book on hand for examination.

The festival has FREE admissions and FREE parking, so there is no better way to spend the start of the Fall season then roaming the beautiful grounds of the Rochester college campus.

Entertainment, Displays, Scheduled activities, Food and much more will be happening through out the entire weekend. Hope to see you all there!

More info for the festival here:  Heritage festival

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With so much done and so much left to explore, investigate and research, the Haven Hill Project Team is putting together the final details on what will be the first of three Book releases. The first book is due out very soon, followed by second Book focused more on the Mapping, GPS coordinates and Historical layout and placements in the Haven Hill historical area at Highland.

We could have rushed some of this, but wanted to straddle the book releases, so that the focus on each book would be certain aspects of the historical and natural areas at Haven Hill. We thought it easier to follow what will be in each release, rather then a giant volume of everything at once. Plus there will be ongoing research that is getting deeper and deeper as we go.

In a way, each of the Books will be separate volumes of the Master book: The Haven Hill Project.

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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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