The last stop of my first visit to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula was a show stopper. I didn’t know much about Tahquamenon Falls, but my husband kept mentioning it so I figured if he thought I needed to see it, it must be worth the trip.
We packed up early and headed out of St. Ignace. We drove the hour and a half, through Paradise. No, literally, you have to drive through a town named Paradise in order to get to Tahquamenon Falls State Park.
The girls were not overly impressed – or perhaps it was the early wake up call – but I was.
First things first, you should know there are two sets of waterfalls: the Lower Falls and the Upper Falls. You must go to both. We first explored the Lower Falls which are a series of five smaller falls cascading around an island. Although not as dramatic as the Upper Falls, they are equally stunning.
As we walked up to the first look out, this woman was painting. Her sheer presence inspired me. She reminded me that no matter what life brings, follow your passion. Whether that’s painting for a living, writing in your spare time, or taking photographs of your friends and family, always make time to do what you love.
Next, we walked along the trail for a closer look at the Lower Falls.
If one set of waterfalls was all this state park offered, I’m telling you, that would be enough reason to visit, but with almost 50,000 acres, Tahquamenon Falls State Park offers more than what meets the eye.
After two solid days of hiking, climbing, and biking, it’s safe to say our crew was exhausted. For whatever reason, my mother-in-law thought she could convince us to trek the 4 mile trail upstream from the Lower Falls to the Upper Falls. Lucky for us, I had the car keys so we would be driving. If this had been our first stop of the trip, I would have been more than happy to take in all the sights the trail had to offer, but not today. Not. Today.
I will admit, after walking a little further to the next scenic platform before heading out, the views of the Tahquamenon River would have made it a stunning hike. Maybe next time!
After much convincing, we all jumped in the car and onto the Upper Falls we went. The Upper Falls is one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi with a drop of nearly 50 feet and spanning more than 200 feet across with a water flow of more than 50,000 gallons per second.
A paved pathway lead us from the parking lot to the Upper Falls, through the forest to several observation decks at the crest of the Falls. The final platform allowed us to get up close and personal with the water crashing into the Tahquamenon River.
Since we were also heading home the same day, we, unfortunately, were only able to spend about half a day exploring. With a restaurant and gift shop located at the Upper Falls, there is something for everyone to enjoy if nature isn’t your thing. Originally a logging camp, the building is a replica of the original camp, Camp 33. There is a large deck with a fireplace and places to sit and relax. There are picnic tables scattered near the trail entrance for enjoying a picnic lunch.
The park offers visitors a wide variety of recreational opportunities all year long. During the spring and summer, camping, hiking, backpacking, fishing, and canoeing are the most popular activities. Winter offers snowmobiling, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing with miles of marked trails. I’ve read that ice formations along the frozen waterfalls are a photographers dream. I would absolutely love to come back to this remote area to witness it for myself.
First question. Have you heard of Tahquamenon Falls? Second question. Can you pronounce Tahquamenon Falls? Hint: it rhymes with phenomenon.
Tell me what waterfalls are on your must see bucket list?!