Hartwick Pines State Park


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Hartwick Pines State Park

Hartwick Pines State Park of Crawford County, Michigan

Hiking Hartwick Pines State ParkCross Country Skiing Mountain Biking Hartwick Pines State Park

Trail Distance:

Over 18 miles long with many loops ranging in size from 1 mile to over 7.5 miles long.

Directions:

N.E. of Grayling, I-75 Exit #259, North on M-93 three miles.

Trail Difficulty:

Hiking: Easy to Moderate

Cross Country Skiing: Novice to Intermediate

Mountain Biking: Novice to Intermediate

Trail List:

Trail Description:

4216 Ranger Road
Grayling MI 49738
Phone Number: (989) 348-7068
TTY/TDD711 (Michigan Relay Center)
Motor Vehicle Permit Required: Yes
Approximate Size: 9762 (Acres)
Make a Reservation at this Park

Cross Country Ski trail is groomed.

With an area of 9,672 acres, Hartwick Pines is one of the largest state park in the Lower Peninsula. The park's rolling hills, which are built of ancient glacial deposit, overlook the valley of the East Branch of the AuSable River, four small lakes and unique timber lands. The principal feature of this park is the 49-acre forest of Old Growth Pines which gives the park its name. This forest is a reminder of Michigan's past importance in the pine lumber industry as well as a source of inspiration for the future of our forests. The park is rich in scenic beauty and because of the different habitats it encompasses, there is ample subject matter for the sports person, photographer, or naturalist throughout the year. The park is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. year round.

The Story Behind The Pines In 1927, Karen Michelson Hartwick purchased over 8,000 acres of land, which included 85 acres of old growth white pine, from the Salling-Hanson Company of Grayling. Mrs. Hartwick was a daughter of Nels Michelson, a founding partner of the Salling-Hanson logging company. A short while later, Mrs. Hartwick donated the land to the State of Michigan as a memorial park to be named for her husband, the late Major Edward E. Hartwick of Grayling. Edward Hartwick had died overseas during World War I. Also wishing to commemorate the logging history of the region and of her family, Karen Hartwick requested that the Hartwick Pines Logging Museum (jointly administered with the Dept. of History, Arts and Libraries) be built in the park.

In 1934 and 1935, a Civilian Conservation Corps work crew located within the park built two log structures to house this museum. Today, the museum uses exhibits, artifacts, and photographs, to recreate the atmosphere of a logging camp and tell the tale of the "shanty boys" who turned Michigan's vast forests into timber. Period settings depicting a bunkhouse, mess hall, blacksmith shop, camp office, and van (store) give the visitor a sense of what logging camp life was like.

Mrs. Hartwick was also involved in the naming of two of the park's lakes. Nels Michelson had a team of oxen which he used for skidding logs out of the forest. They were named Bright and Star. Karen Hartwick requested that the former Alexander Lakes be renamed in their honor. The state board of geographic names felt that there were already too many Star Lakes in Michigan, but they settled on Glory instead, and our Bright Lake and Glory Lake became named after logging oxen.

In November of 1940, a fierce wind storm struck the area of the park and removed nearly half of the old growth pine. Today, only 49 of the original 85 acres remain standing.

Hartwick Pines Logging Museum The Logging Museum is located along the Old Growth Forest Foot Trail, a 1/4 mile walk from the Visitor Center. Open from May 1st through October 31, the museum is closed for the winter season. Guided, educational experiences are available for schools or groups calling the Visitor Center. The Logging Museum is jointly operated by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources' Parks and Recreation Division and the Michigan Department of History, Arts and Libraries. The Logging Museum is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily from Labor Day through October and May 1st through Memorial Day. It is closed for the winter season from November until April.

Please check the DNR Calendar for upcoming events at this location and at all state parks and recreation areas.

Features:

  • Visitor Center - Exhibits, interactive displays, multi-image slide shows and other nature programs to orient visitors to Michigan's unique cultural and natural features. Michigan Forest Visitor Center programs, exhibits and displays tell the story of our state's forests. Schools and groups can make reservations for guided tours and programs by contacting the Visitor Center at (989) 348-2537. Hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., daily from Labor Day through Memorial Day excluding the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
  • Hunting - Outside of the old growth forest and the developed park areas, hunting is available. Signs mark the areas closed to hunting.
  • Designated Watchable Wildlife Site - The Wildlife Viewing Guide is now on line at www.michigan.gov/miwildlifeviewing
  • Playground - These play areas offer a variety of playground equipment for children.
  • Fishing - Four small lakes can be found within the park boundaries. Lakes Bright and Glory have accessible fishing piers with a trail from the campground to access them.
  • Picnic Area - Picnic tables and fire pits/grills Picnic Area. Located near the old growth forest, this area has grills, tables, a modern bathroom facility and drinking fountains.
  • Picnic Shelter(s) - For reservations contact the park at (989)348-7068.
  • Hiking
  • Mountain Biking - The Weary Legs, Deer Run and Aspen trails are shared with hikers and cross-country skiers.
  • Cross Country Ski
  • Metal Detecting Areas - Metal detecting is recognized as a legitimate recreation activity when it is conducted in ways that do not damage the natural and cultural resources in Michigan State Parks nor violate applicable state statutes. If you wish to use a metal detector in this state park, here is a map that shows clearly where this activity may take place. Any items found must be reviewed by park staff and may be retained for further investigation.

Return to Crawford County, MI Trails Page

Hartwick Pines Au Sable River Trail


Permission and information sources are from Contributers to this Web Site, the Department of Natural Resources, Michigan.gov, National Park Service, and the USDA Forest Service.

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