Hart Ford
Hart Ford

Forest Forensics and History Hike at CCC Camp Higgins Lake

Forest Forensics and History Hike at CCC Camp Higgins Lake

Walking through Michigan’s forests, one may experience many mysterious sightings: humps, bumps, pits, and valleys are all common features. If you look closely, you might also see crooked trees, or random boulders, or old fence posts in the middle of nowhere. But what do all these features mean?

The art and science of reading the clues in the forested landscape to decipher its history is referred to as forest forensics; the concept was developed by Tom Wessels of Antioch University and author of the book Forest Forensics: A Field Guide to Reading the Forested Landscape.

In Michigan, glaciers created most of the landforms we see today, and our forested landscape is fraught with evidence of human influence. From plants grown on old homesteads to fires that burned across the state, the clues remain and tell the story of what once occurred in our Michigan forests.

Join us to learn more!

The 2022 Michigan Forest Forensics program will begin on Thursday, November 3rd from 6:30-7:30 p.m. The webinar will provide an introduction of forest forensics, and will also include a sneak peek at the featured history hike locations throughout the state.

A Forest Forensic Exploration Hike in southern Crawford County takes place on Saturday, November 5th from 12:00-2:00 p.m. Together, we will explore the site of the CCC Camp Higgins Lake! Located north of the CCC Higgins Lake Nursery and Museum, the camp was once home to hundreds of men serving in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s. Hillary Pine, Historian for the Michigan History Center and Hartwick Pines, will give a talk about the CCC and then we will use maps of the original building layout to find remnants of the camp in the now-forested landscape.

Come prepared by watching recorded webinars

In 2020, MSU Extension partnered with the U.P. Land Conservancy to host a three-part webinar series, Forest Forensics: Ghosts on the Landscape, focused on the history of Michigan’s Landscape. The recordings are available on the U.P. Land Conservancy’s website: https://www.uplandconservancy.org/webinars.

You may also watch Tom Wessels himself describe key forest forensic concepts in his You Tube videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcLQz-oR6sw.

Register today!

The 2022 Michigan Forest Forensics Webinar and History Hikes are hosted by MSU Extension in partnership with the Michigan DNR and the Michigan History Center at the site of the CCC Camp Higgins Lake (five miles north of the CCC Museum location).

Special accommodation requests required two weeks in advance of any history hike. For more information or to request special accommodations, please contact Julie Crick at crickjul@msu.edu.

There is no cost to view any of the webinars or to participate in the hike, though advance registration is required. Details for each history hike location will be provided to registered participants. To register: https://bit.ly/FF_Fall2022.

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Nov 03 2022


A Forest Forensic hike at the old CCC Camp Higgins Lake will follow on Saturday, Nov 5.
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm