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Highland Recreation Area: Goose Meadow Trail
Goose Meadow Trail is a 2.5-mile loop lies that wraps around a portion of Haven Hill Lake and lies almost entirely in the Haven Hill Natural Area. It makes for a scenic walk that is easier and shorter than the Blue Trail, thus idea for families with children in toll.
This hike begins in the Goose Meadow Picnic Area where the trailhead is marked by a large stone and plaque commentating the National Park Service designation of Haven Hill as a National Natural Landmark in 1976.
The picnic area also includes picnic tables, drinking water, a pavilion and toilets while crossing the entrance drive nearby is the Blue Trail.
From the parking lot post No. 22 leads you north across the open field to the edge of the Haven Hill Lake and an unmarked junction. Head right to skirt the lakeshore and quickly reach Ford Dam. The trail uses the dam to cross Cedar Creek while just beyond it is an another unmarked junction. Head right again.
The trail quickly arrives at post No. 18 where it heads north (left) to merge into the Blue Trail. At Mile 0.6 you reach post No. 15. Goose Meadow Trail heads to the east (right) to wind through a scenic stretch of wetlands and woods before returning to the Blue Trail at post No. 14 and following it west to post No. 16, reached at Mile 1.
Post No. 16 can be a bit tricky as directional arrows point to post No. 17 on two different paths. By choosing the trail that leads west (right) — and not the crossover spur that climbs a hill to the south — you will loop through the heart of the natural area. The next mile is a scenic stretch of rolling wooded hills and small streams and wetlands that are crossed on bridges and boardwalks.
At Mile 2 the trail climbs a ridge that gives way to a nice view of Haven Hill Lake, a marshy body of water that is often frequent by waterfowl and other birds. You descend to post No. 17 that marks the south end of the crossover spur then follow the lakeshore to reach post No. 19 and finally return to Ford Dam at Mile 2.3. In the final quarter mile you trace the segment from the dam to the picnic area.
The day-use area at Teeple Lake features a beach and designated swimming area, boat launch on the lake, picnic area and a rental shelter. At the Goose Meadow, on the shores of Haven Hill Lake, there is a picnic area with a shelter, toilets and drinking water. Scattered throughout the old pine plantation of Dodge Park No.10 are picnic tables and a shelter. This day-use area is a picturesque spot overlooking Pickerel Lake.
There is a vehicle entry fee at Highland Recreation Area, which is open year-round.
The park drive through Haven Hill Natural Area to Teeple Lake and Goose Meadow is reached from M-59 (Highland Road) 15 miles west of Pontiac. Also providing access into the recreation area further west along M-59 is Duck Lake Road, from which Lower Pettibone and Beaumont roads are reached by turning west onto Livingston Road.
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