old growth red pines - st. helen


old growth red pinesThe Red Pines Nature Area is 34-acre grove of virgin red pine, is one of the best stands left in the mid-west portion of the United States. It is an excellent example of the virgin pine forest, that once covered this part of Michigan. At one time, this grove of old-growth red pines and jack pines, was home to the largest red pine in Michigan, a former National Champion red pine. That old champion pine is no longer living, but there are several gigantic members of the species, still standing in this forest. The pathway threads its way through fairly flat terrain, in a natural area, that has not been altered by the hand of man, since European explorers rediscovered it. As you walk through the stand, there are points where you are completely surrounded by giant trees. When you reach the center point of the grove, it is easy to imagine that you have traveled to the past, back to the time when the great forests covered all of Northern Michigan. There is evidence of the great fires that swept through in 1798, 1888, and 1928, yet, the towering pines remain.