White Lake


Highland Recreation

 Located in White Lake Highland Recreation Area offers 5,900 acres of forest, marshes and lakes. With trails to accommodate equestrian riders, mountain bikers, hikers and skiers. The park provides ample space for picnics, swimming, horseshoes or volleyball. Access sites are located on four lakes within the park for fishing and recreational boating.

The Haven Hill Natural Area has all of southern Michigan's principal forest types within one small area. The area has remained largely undisturbed for the past 75 years and has retained its natural character.  Late April and early May are the best times to view warblers and spring wildflowers.

Haven Hill History


Edsel Ford, only child of Henry Ford, began purchasing parcels of land in Highland and White Lake Townships in 1923. The plan was to construct self-sufficient retreat as a diversion from the hustle and bustle of city life - a retreat that was more convenient than a lengthy drive north.

During the Edsel & Eleanor Ford family years, the Haven Hill Estate consisted of five structures:

  • Gate House - the estate’s primary entrance
  • Riding Stables - home to the family’s prized riding horses
  • Barn - housing for sheep, work horses and Black Angus cattle
  • Carriage House - three car log garage with living quarters
  • Lodge - the Ford family’s residence at Haven Hill

The role of this 2,422 acre estate, was that of relaxation and creation, a leisure estate that included:

  • 3,000 ft tow-return toboggan run
  • Swimming pool
  • Tennis court
  • Horseback riding
  • Fishing and more

Three years after Edsel’s passing in 1943, Eleanor sold the estate to our state park system, which eventually became Highland Recreation Area.

Please check out Friends of highland recreation area to lean more. 

48327, 48383, 48386


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