There is a Snow Snake Race on Sunday, February 8, 2015 from 1:00 to 4:00 PM at the Edsel Ford Barn this coming weekend. Come out and enjoy seeing the kids race their snakes!
During the snowy and wet spring season of 2014, many Highland State Recreation Area park-goers in Highland/White Lake, Michigan thought that a new and improved Haven Hill Road was being cut through the hillsides and forests of their favorite outdoor place. The recreation area’s roads do need a lot or work, to say the least, and a new road was a natural conclusion to some who saw the bulldozers and excavators clearing a wide path from the Haven Hill Gate House at the entrance to the park, all the way back to Teeple Lake. But what everyone was actually witnessing at the time was the initial construction phase of the new Cedar Creek Trail.
Above: The Cedar Creek Trail circles back onto itself at M-59 near the entrance to Highland State Recreation Area. The Friends of Highland Recreation Area volunteers are excited about the trails’ path through the historic Haven Hill Gate House.
At approximately 2.4 miles in length from M-59 to its’ terminous in the south at Teeple Lake, the trail winds through most of the north to south length of the Haven Hill section of Highland State Recreation Area. Hikers, bikers, and equestrians will all be able to enjoy portions of the trail during all seasons.
Above: A Google Map shows the circuitous north to south path of the new Cedar Creek Trail at Highland State Recreation Area in Oakland County, Michigan. The trail closely follows Haven Hill and Moraine Roads. Safety and emergency access considerations were kept in mind during the trail’s early design stages.
Above: The initial phases of the Cedar Creek Trail were began in the late winter and early spring 2014.
The first clearings of timber and soil were quite shocking and disturbing for nature enthusiasts and many of Highland State Recreation Area forest “regulars”. The width of the trail clearing was considerable, and watching the established trees being plucked from the ground by the giant and powerful machinery was difficult indeed. The heavy work combined with the sparseness of the forest in the early part of the season made for some fairly gruesome images of the “progress”.
During the summer months, construction crews scraped and sculpted the trail and prepared it for a layer of fill material and eventually a topcoat of compacted crushed granite.
Throughout the last several weeks leading up to fall, the new pedestrian and equestrian (some portions) trail has been developed from it’s rough beginnings into a much more pleasant project in final stages of completion. In August, the new trail was even run through the Haven Hill Gate House and now circles up around the front of the park near M-59 (Highland Road) on its way back over itself to the rear of the park.
Above: At the entrance to the park the new trail replicates the original road into Haven Hill. The Friends of Highland Recreation Area volunteer organization had found the evidence of the original entrance road under the front lawn’s sod form many years ago.
Below: The Livingston A’s model A Ford driving club were able to drive on the new trail with special permission during the Haven Hill Festival last August. Edsel and Eleanor Ford would have been proud to see the Model A’s rumbling through their once grand country estate entrance.
The Cedar Creel trail has portions that skirt the edge or even cross wetland areas. New decking has been installed to minimize impact on the landscape. The deck will also provide a nice view to the east.
Above: The new deck under construction along the Cedar Creek wetlands near the entrance to the Haven Hill Section of Highland State Recreation Area. This new wetland crossing will afford a beautiful view to trail-goers that was previously an obstructed roadside horizon.
Below: The new deck and creek crossing nearing completion.
Some sections of the trail have guardrails installed (see photos above and below) for safety, as well as fences in order to minimize intrusion on the landscape.
The trail construction project has now obviously run up against an early frigid and snowy start to the 2014/2015 winter. Completion may have to come next spring if work is further hampered due to weather. The Friends of Highland Recreation Area will host their annual Redbud Reveal season-opening event on Saturday, May 9, 2015 that will feature the new Cedar Creek Trail in the Spring.
Friends of Highland Recreation Area
Dine with Edsel and Eleanor Event is Tomorrow at the Highland Station House
Sunday, October 5, 2014
A cold and rainy fall weekend is a great time to visit a cozy and warm indoor table settings event! Come and enjoy beautiful table settings displayed alongside the art at the Highland Station House, the Huron Valley Council for the Arts building.
Table Settings Event
The second annual table settings event, “Dine with Edsel and Eleanor”, will take place in the historic Highland Station House (HVCA Building) tomorrow, Sunday, October 5, between 12 noon and 5 pm. The event is a fundraiser for the Friends of Highland Recreation Area. The HVCA building is located at 205 W. Livingston Road.
If you have not heard of this unique type of event before, a table settings event displays a variety of beautiful and uniquely-themed table settings for public enjoyment. Be inspired to create your own unique table settings for special events and the upcoming holidays, or just enjoy the interesting beauty of a well decorated dining table. Your contributions during the event will help with the refurbishing and re-use of the former Haven Hill Estate Edsel and Eleanor Ford buildings in Highland Recreation Area.
Live Artist Working and Display, Music, and Refreshments
In addition to the table settings displays, Artist Larry Falardeau will be sketching and showing some of his wonderful Haven Hill Ford family artwork during the event which will also include music and light refreshments.
Asa Smith Mobile Station Historic Display
Gentlemen (and Ladies) attending this year’s fund raiser will not only see a special “Fishing In Da U.P.” table setting, but also a special outdoor display just down the street on the corner of Livingston and Milford Roads where some vintage automobiles will be on display throughout the day.
Tickets at the door are $15 for adults, and $10 for seniors and students. Call 248-698-2737 or 248-701-0076.
The Ladies of the Friends of Highland Recreation Area
P.O. Box 800
Highland, MI 48357
Phone: (248) 787-1750
Fax: (248) 232-1531
Saturday, August 23rd, at Haven Hill in Highland State Recreation Area
The Haven Hill Festival is a celebration of the amazing natural and historic resources of the Highland State Recreation Area and the former Edsel and Eleanor Ford Haven Hill Estate. This year’s free event will include activities for everyone of all ages. Vintage Model A Ford cars will be on display and an 1860’s Base Ball match will start at 10:00 am with live brass band music performed by the Novi Brass. Summer foods and beverages will be available for purchase while enjoying these other great activities:
- Model A Ford Car Display
- 1860’s Vintage Base Ball Game with Base Ball History Information
- Edsel and Eleanor Ford Haven Hill Estate Historic Photographs and Found Items Displays
- Children’s Activities Tent
- Drawing Fundraiser for a Night’s Stay at Highland State Rec Area’s Bass Lake Cabin
- Haven Hill National Landmark Area Photography Exhibit
- Art Exhibits at the Haven Hill Gate House
- Haven Hill Gate House Garage: Open to the Public
- Self-guided Tours of the Haven Hill Lodge Footprint
- Volunteers Dressed in Period Attire
- And more!
The Festival will be held on Saturday, August 23, 2014 between 10 am and 3 pm at the Goose Meadow Picnic site and ball field. Follow signs in the park to the Festival on the day of the event. The Haven Hill section of the park can be entered at 5200 Highland Road (M-59) between Duck Lake and Bogie Lake roads. The Festival is provided to the public at no charge, while entry into Highland State Recreation Area is now via the Recreation Passport on your license plate. Day passes are available for a nominal charge at the front gate if you do not have a Recreation Passport. Food and beverage sales serve as a fundraiser for the Friends of Highland Recreation Area volunteer organization. These funds will be directed towards the general operations of FOHRA and their continuing efforts to revitalize the historic Edsel Ford Haven Hill estate structures within the park.
The Haven Hill Festival is an alcohol-free, family-oriented event now in its’ 6th year at Highland State Recreation Area in Highland/White Lake, Michigan. The celebration continues to benefit the state park and the surrounding communities now and into the future.
More Info? visit www.havenhillfestival.com
The Friends of Highland Recreation Area are a 501(c)3 charitable organization. Visit www.fohra.org for more information.