Hartwick Pines State Park
I got this mug at the visitors center at Hartwick Pines when my Mom and I visited. Hartwick Pines is an interesting study in contrast! They have a little chapel in the woods and alogging museum and the oldest untouched pines in Michigan.
Hartwick Pines State Park is just out of Grayling, Michigan. Mom and I went f0or a small trip, a couple of hours when we were visiting Grandma. “Chasing around,” is what she called it. Hale is a wonderful home base for many touristy things in Michigan and we often went out to do some of those things when we visited. Sometimes Grandma went with us, sometimes she waited for us to get back. This trip was just us.
As usual when Mom and I went someplace together, there was much chatting. There was also the usual looking for hawks and deer in the Michigan woods just off the side roads. There is just a wonderful feeling in the upper and upper lower peninsulas of Michigan. It always brings back memories from childhood and camping.
On this day, the mission was simple. The oldest and biggest pine trees in Michigan are at Hartwick Pines. Sort of the Redwood Forest of Michigan. We got into the park and got out on the walking trail to the old pines.
It was a very scenic walk and one of those great walks where you can hear the small animals on the forest floor, lots of birds and the breeze in the trees. It was summer, but even so, there weren’t a lot of people in the park. It’s one of those things where the park is so big and just enough out of the way that you can feel free and still private.
When we got to the place where the oldest pines were, I was amazed. The truly ancient pines were just huge! Imagine a pine tree that you can’t join hand and surround completely with two people. Just wow.
I smile when I think about it. It’s a great memory with my Mom, but it’s also the opportunity to really appreciate what we have in my own country, in the state in which I was born. We have industry and history, but we still have more area of wilderness than we do cities and farms. We have an incredible wealth of man-made and natural wonders. I’ve been truly lucky to experience so many of them from the small to the large. That little hour-long walk in the woods definitely shows that you don’t have to take a two-week vacation to find a little peace and see something magnificent.