Public input sought for Oakland County’s Highland Recreation Area

Highland Recreation Area and Haven Hill are receiving attention from public officials, planners, and citizens interested in both the future and past of these protected pieces of Michigan wilderness.

Phase 2 of the General Management Plan for the Highland Recreation Area is being developed and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Parks & Recreation Division is asking the public for their input. The DNR wants to know what recreation opportunities people are looking for in the Highland Recreation Area. The plan will also assist the DNR in protecting and preserving the park’s natural assets.

Highland Recreation Area is a 5,900-acre site located east of Highland Township. Year-round recreation activities include hiking, cross-country skiing, mountain biking, and horse riding trails. Fishing and boating occur on four different lakes while three recreation areas currently offer opportunities for picnics, horseshoes, volleyball, and swimming.

Visit the DNR website for more information on the public input sessions.

On Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, Oakland County is holding a Planners Gathering at the Edsel Ford Barn located at Haven Hill. A walking tour and presentation on the history and legacy of Michigan’s state parks and recreation areas will be conducted, examining what took place to establish these public lands and what is necessary to preserve them for future generations.

Haven Hill, a 721-acre state-managed Natural Area, is a uniquely unspoiled tract of land located within the Highland Recreation Area. Haven Hill boasts each of southern Michigan’s principal forest types, from tamarack to cedar, beech-maple to oak-hickory.

The land was once the private property of Edsel and Eleanor Ford, where they built an estate that still stands today. Following Edsel’s death in 1943, the land was sold to the state of Michigan in 1946. Eventually management was transferred to the DNR. The land has been largely left undisturbed for nearly 75 years.

Registration for the event is located here.

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