Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Field Trip - Hartwick Pines State Park

I am still at the Michigan Forest Association Teacher Workshop at the Ralph A. McMullen Conference Center in Roscommon, MI.

Today was spent visiting a variety of field site in the Roscommon and Grayling area.  One of our stops was at Hartwick Pines State Park to visit the old growth pine forest and the logging museum.

Hartwick Pines is a great day trip from mid-Michigan.  From Mt. Pleasant, Hartwick Pines is just over 80 miles north along the US-127/I-75 corridor.

Hartwick Pines is best known for having a section of "old growth" pines that were never logged off.  Hartwick Pines used to have one of the largest White Pine (Pinus strobus) trees in Michigan.  Known as "The Monarch", this tree measured 155 feet tall until it was topped by wind in 1992.  Even without The Monarch, Hartwick Pines still features a great collection of old growth pines and other species.

Hartwick Pines Map - from the Michigan DNR website

Here are a few photo highlights of the park.  The first few photographs were taken along the Old Growth Trail.

The standing remains of The Monarch

Another White Pine snag (standing dead tree)

Old growth White Pine trees

Small fungi on thee forest floor - they measured about 1/2 inch tall

Chapel at Hartwick Pines - this chapels is used for weddings and seats 18 guests

A nest in a young pine

The remaining photographs were taken at the logging museum.  In the past I have posted several historical photographs of this type of equipment in use.  Some of these photos can be found here and here.

Replica log jammer and bunk sleigh

Replica sprinkler sleigh - water would run out of the holes in the back of the box to maintain the ice surface of the tote roads

A replica pair of Overpack High Wheels - used to log in the summer months

This replica of a dining hall is in one of several buildings constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s

Michigan Department of Natural Resources field historian Ken Pott discusses some of the tools used by the shantyboys

Although I did not include any photographs, the park contains an excellent visitor center with a variety of displays that highlight the cultural and natural history of the park.  This park is well worth the drive from mid-Michigan.  You can find something for all ages at Hartwick Pines.

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