Rays Michigan Forest Association
 Representing Forests and Forest Owners Since 1972

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Forests To Visit In Michigan

Michigan's forests provide a broad range of "products" including pulpwood and lumber, veneer, game animals, non-game wildlife, songbirds, flowers, fall colors, and recreational opportunities such as hiking, hunting, fishing, snowshoeing, skiing, snowmobiling and bird watching. Here are a few of the many forests available to visit:

The Fred Russ Forest
Located in Southwest Michigan near Decatur, Fred Russ Forest is a research facility of the  Michigan State University Department of Forestry. University researchers use this facility to learn more about the growth of both native and exotic trees in southern Michigan. Their work leads to a better understanding of how to manage forest land for a variety of purposes.

Russ Forest
Major experiments include tree improvement plantations, genetic research on Black Locust, plantation management, seedling establishment, plantation thinning, natural stand management, natural areas, wildflower preservation and study and Shitake mushroom studies.

Of special interest at Russ Forest is Newton Woods- a Registered National Landmark, Russ Forest Park- picnic grounds and hiking trails, Newton House- a good example of Italianate architecture built in the 1860's, and the Log Cabin- an example of pegged beam construction.

For Group Tours and demonstrations of forest ecology and management, telephone (616) 782-5652, or write Resident Forester, Fred Russ Forest, Rural Route #3, Decatur, MI 49045.

W.K. Kellog Experimental Forest
Also located in Southwest Michigan near Augusta, W. K. Kellog Experimental Forest is another research facility of the Michigan State University Department of Forestry.

Major experiments here include gypsy moth monitoring, genetic research on Black Locust, a Larch species trial, seedling establishment, plantation thinning, English oak and Douglas fir progeny tests, an experiment with Northern White cedar, and insect resistance studies.

Kellog ForestThe forest is open for picnicking, hiking, cross-country skiing, hunting and biking. Motorists can drive around the 2.5 mile Lemmien Loop, and in early spring, visitors can see maple syrup being made in the log cabin made from W. K. Kellog Experimental Forest timber.

For more information, contact Greg Kowalewski, Resident Forester, W.K. Kellog Experimental Forest, 7060 N. 42nd, Augusta, MI 49012, telephone (616) 731-0091.

Huron-Manistee National Forest
Welcome to Huron National ForestLocated in northeast Michigan near Tawas and Oscoda, the Huron National Forest provides opportunities for hiking, fishing and canoeing, mushroom gathering, mountain biking, hunting, birding, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, horseback riding and off-road vehicle riding, in addition to providing a good source for timber products.

Lumbermens MonumentThe Lumbermen's Monument, located 15 miles west of the Tawases on the banks of the AuSable River, provides a Visitor's Center which perpetuates the memory of the Michigan Lumbermen. The Center also provides information on the multiple-use management philosophy of the National Forest which now provides for recreational opportunities, wildlife enhancement and timber production.

The Manistee National Forest is located in west-central lower Michigan provides most of the same recreational opportunities and features the Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area. The Lake Michigan Recreation Area next to the Dunes provides hiking trails and interpretive panels.

For additional information on these National Forests, contact the Huron-Manistee National Forests, 1755 S. Mitchell Street, Cadillac, MI 49601, telephone (231) 775-2421.

Hartwick Pines State Park
Located in north central Michigan near Grayling, Hartwick Pines State Park includes a stand of virgin White Pine showing what much of the northern area of Michigan looked like prior to the lumbering of the 1800's.

Hartwick Pines- Black Iron Days The Park also contains a reconstruction of a logging camp, including a sawmill. The new visitor's center houses a number of exhibits showing the forests of Michigan and tracing the history of timber operations in the State. Many hiking trails are available as well as a complete campground area. Nearby North Higgins Lake State Park contains a forest nursery interpretive area where you can learn about the reforestation of Michigan.

For more information, contact Hartwick Pines State Park, Rte. 3, Box 3840, Grayling, MI 49738, telephone (989) 348-7068.

Hiawatha National Forest
Welcome to Hiawatha National ForestThe Hiawatha National Forest is located in Michigan's upper peninsula and is divided into two forest areas (Eastside and Westside).

The Hiawatha boasts four distinctly different Great Lakes islands. The largest and most visited of these, Grand Island National Recreation Area, offers outstanding opportunities to interpret natural and cultural history in diverse recreation settings. Mountain bikers, hikers, boaters, sea kayakers, campers, public transportation tour participants, and snowmobilers enjoy an excellent network of trails, overlooks, and spectacular cliffs, and expansive sand beaches. Round Island, next to bustling Mackinac, is a designated Wilderness. Government Island is nestled amongst an archipelago of privately owned islands on Lake Huron. The smallest, St. Vital, on Lake Michigan, offers remote recreation settings.

For more information, contact Hiawatha National Forest 2727 N. Lincoln Road Escanaba, MI 49829, Phone: (906) 786-4062 FAX: (906) 789-3311 TTY: (906) 789-3337