While there are miles of serene hiking, biking & horse riding trails throughout Highland State Recreation Area, there are plans for much more, through the assistance of Oakland County Planning & Economic Development. These plans include trail links, interpretive displays of both the landscape and history, benches, and much more.
Park acreage & amenities (Highland Rec), including picnic shelters.
The Haven Hill Natural Area has all of southern Michigan's principal forest types within one small area, including swamp forest of tamarack, cedar, beech-maple forest, oak-hickory forest, and mixed hardwood forest. The area has remained largely undisturbed for the past 75 years and has retained its natural character as well as some unusual flora and fauna. It is an excellent educational facility which is used by universities and international organizations. Late April and early May are the best times to view warblers and spring wildflowers.
A visit is literally a “day in the park”
Highland Recreation Area Park & Trails
Northern Exposure Experience
Within seconds of entering Highland Recreation Area, you’ll know why Edsel Ford nicknamed this property a “Nerve Retreat”!
It begins with a soothing drive and the realization that city life is truly left behind. Give in! It’s time to surrender and enjoy the nearly 6,000 acres of majestic rolling hills and all its related beauty!
· Striking views from Western Oakland County’s highest natural hill
· 721 acres of National Natural Landmark designation
· Jens Jensen landscape design throughout the Haven Hill area
· A recipient of the American Society of Landscape Architects “Centennial Medallion Award”
· Abundance of wildlife (from snapping turtles to white tail deer)
· Extensive variety of flora and fauna
· Common & not-so-common bird species (from owls to vultures)
· Edsel Ford’s 69 acre Haven Hill Lake
· Cedar Creek Dam
· Hiking Trails
· Picnic shelter* w/water & electricity
· Scenic Riding Trails
· Staging Area w/ample parking, water, grills & picnic tables
· Beach & changing/restrooms
· Fishing & boat launch
· Two large picnic shelters* w/grills & tables
· Hiking Trails
· Volleyball & horseshoe pits
· Teeple Hill scout camping
· Rustic campground (equestrian-ready)
· Bass Lake Lodge rental cabin (one of our finest state park cabins!)
· Dodge #10 picnic shelter* w/kitchen, restrooms and fireplace
· Mountain biking trails
· Dog Trial areas
· Cross country ski
· Trailhead step off point for Chief Pontiac Trail, an historic BSA backpacking trail founded in June, 1958.
· Ample parking for school & tour buses
· Hotel accommodations & dining are within 10-15 minutes
*For picnic shelter and Bass Lake Lodge reservations please call 248-889-3750.
For rustic camping reservations please call 800-44-PARKS
Friends Of Highland Recreation Area
Highland Recreation Area 5200 E. Highland Rd, White Lake, Michigan
Highland Recreation Area is located west of Pontiac on Highland Rd. (M-59)
between Duck Lake and Bogie Lake Roads
Highland Recreation Area is open from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm every
day of the year, including holidays
Highland Recreation Area is located west of Pontiac on Highland Rd. (M-59) between Duck Lake and Bogie Lake Roads
Highland Recreation Area in S.E. Michigan. Approximately an hour away from Detroit, Flint, and Lansing Michigan.
New for the year 2012, Michigan Recreation Passport is required for access to the State Park. For the price of only $10, the Michigan Passport gives you more access than you may know. Not only will you have access to the many State Parks, but it also entitles you to much more. It’s easy, when you renew your Michigan License plates, be sure to select YES for the Recreation Passport. By doing so you will also have access to State Forest Campgrounds, non-motorize trails, Boat Launches, and Hundreds of Passport Perks Discounts from around the state. Be sure to select YES when you renew your license, take advantage of the many discounts, and make sure that you stop by to experience Highland Recreation Area’s many beautiful sites. Click the link below for additional Information on the Michigan Recreation Passport.
Highland Recreation Area State Park
Much of what is now Highland Recreation Area, was once the country estate of auto magnate Edsel Ford. Looking for a “nerve retreat,” Edsel developed an elaborate country estate throughout the Haven Hill and Teeple Lake Area. The area included a self-sufficient farm, sheep barn, gardens, riding stable and the lodge atop Haven Hill.
As a result of the infamous Lindbergh kidnapping, and later, violent union struggles in the 1930’s, the high security of Haven Hill estate more and more replaced the Grosse Pointe Ford Mansion as home for the Ford family. The four Ford children spent most of their childhood within the security of the Haven Hill compound. The site was also the location of choice for entertaining close family friends such as Thomas Edison and Charles Lindbergh.
Edsel Ford died on May 26, 1943 at the age of 49. As part of Department Director P.J. Hoffmaster’s philosophy of “bringing the parks to the people,” 5,407 acres were acquired between 1943 and 1946.
Today, many of the original Ford buildings are still park facilities. Haven Hill Lodge was used as a conference center between 1949 and 1972, and as a Natural Resource Learning Center from 1972 to 1980.