Hartwick Pines State Park

One Of The Most Popular Of The Michigan State Parks

History Of Hartwick Pines

Hartwick Pines State Park is located near the town of Grayling in Crawford County, Michigan. The park dates back to 1927 when over 8,000 acres of land was donated to the state by Karen Michelson Hartwick.

Mrs. Hartwick had purchased the land from a logging company of which her father had been a founding partner.

She then donated the land to the state to be a memorial to her late husband, Major Edward E. Hartwick, who had died overseas during World War One.

The plan when creating Hartwick Pines State Park was to have part of it resemble the land before huge swathes of the old-growth forests had been cut down for the lumber industry.

The Grove Of Ancient White Pines At Hartwick Pines S.P.

The park was therefore centered around an 85 acre grove of ancient pines that had been there for hundreds of years and had been protected from logging.

This pine grove is what much of northern Michigan would have looked like before man`s activities changed the landscape forever.

After accepting the donation of land the state of Michigan, together with a work crew from the Civilian Conservation Corps, built a museum dedicated to the logging industry and sited it close to this ancient grove of pines. Completed in 1935, it depicts a bunkhouse, mess-hall, blacksmith shop, camp office and store that gives visitors an impression of what a logging camp must have been like.

Hartwick Pines Today

Unfortunately a storm in 1940 badly damaged part of the ancient pine grove and nowadays there are only 49 acres of these wonderful trees for visitors to admire.

They are among the largest trees in the eastern United States. With a girth of over four feet and a height soaring to around 160 feet they are estimated to be 350 years old.

A small fee is charged for vehicles to enter the park and guests are asked to leave their cars at the visitor center and take the loop "Old Growth Forest Trail" to the pine grove.

The total area of Hartwick Pines State Park is now a huge 9,672 acres, which makes it one of the largest of the Michigan State Parks.

Canoeing On The AuSable River

It is made up of rolling, forested hills overlooking a branch of the AuSable River. Open all year round, it provides superb facilities within an area of outstanding beauty. Many visitors return year after year.

For those who wish to camp at the park there are 100 modern sites with electric services and excellent restrooms. There is also one rustic cabin and a primitive group campsite that has to be reserved in advance. (see contact details below)

Trails of lengths varying from 7.5 miles to 0.25 miles take you through the beautiful countryside. They can be used by hikers, mountain bikers and cross counrty skiers and they have such names as Weary Legs Trail and Deer Run Trail.

Within Hartpick Pines State Park are four small lakes for fishing. Two have piers which can be reached by following a trail from the campsite.

To learn more about Hartwick Pines State Park and any of the other Michigan State Parks here is the website of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources who manage all the state parks.

Here are the contact details for Hartwick Pines -

Hartwick Pines S.P.
4216 Ranger Road
MI 49738

Phone (989)348-7068

Reservations. Phone 800-447-2757

If you would like a map of Hartwick Pines S.P. which you can download, then just click here.

And this county map of Michigan shows the position of Hartwick Pines State Park indicated with a star.

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