Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Hartwick Pines Hike

On my way home from down state I decided to stop and take a hike at Hartwick Pines State Park. When my kids were little, we stopped there often -- but it has been a long time. This state park has the largest contiguous stand of old-growth white pine in the Lower Peninsula. These 49 acres are representative of what Michigan forests looked like before European settlement of the Great Lakes region. The Hanson Logging Company ceased harvesting operations in this area in 1893. Most of the rest of the park was logged over and now is a northern hardwood ecosystem made up of mostly beech and maples.

Here are a few pictures of the old growth forest. These trees are between 300 and 400 years old. The size of the trees and the space between them indicate that this is an old growth forest. Similar forests can be found in Tahquamenon and Porcupine Mountain state parks.

Along the old growth forest trail there is a chapel.

Here is a picture of the mixed hardwood section of the park.

Within the park there is a building that remains from the Civilian Conservation Corp camp that was located here between 1933 and 1942.

At the entrance to the park there is this big wheels on display.  There is also a logging museum within the park, which I didn't take time to check out since it probably is not open this time of year.

The other day I included photos of the Lake Michigan shoreline.  In just two days, the shore ice built up considerably more.

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