Monday, November 25, 2013

Lower Tahquamenon Falls - Paradise, Michigan

Tahquamenon River
Tahquamenon Falls State Park
Paradise, MI

I'm back! I've been neglecting this blog lately, mostly due to my writing at Rant Sports and focusing on my hockey autograph blog. In the winter, I often get through cold snowy days by remembering how much fun I have in the Upper Peninsula during the summer. I only made it there twice this past year, but wanted to share my experience from Lower Tahquamenon Falls - not my first time there, but easily the best experience there to date!
While most of the attention goes to the bigger, more powerful Upper Tahquamenon Falls, the Lower Falls have so much to offer they shouldn't be missed. The river splits around an island, forming two major drops and several smaller ones. There is a path that follows the riverbank and offers views of a few sets of the falls, and the park's main observation platform provides this view of the falls to the left of the island:
For a better view of the falls, and to make sure you don't miss anything, there are rowboats available to get over to the island. There is a cost involved, I don't remember exactly but I want to say it was $12 for both of us. From the launch point, you'll steer the canoe towards the island, and have some great views on the way.

Once you get to the island, you'll be greeted by a sign that warns you to be careful. The trails and well-traveled but there aren't as many guardrails in place as there are along the riverwalk.
We took the trail to the left, and started our trip around the island. The up-close view of the first fall was amazing, and immediately made me glad we made the extra effort.

This is the top part of the falls from the picture above, and from the observation deck the views aren't anywhere close to this good. Next up was a set of rapids at the "top" of the island:
Down on the other side of the island is a fantastic set of falls, agains with multiple drops:


A short walk put us back at the dock, and we rowed our way back to the "mainland" while stopping to take a few picture along the way.

I would recommend this trip to anyone who likes waterfalls, as there are few chance to get this kind of a view of any of Michigan's waterfalls. I also took some video:

Getting there: Tahquamenon Falls is located on M-123 in Michigan's Upper Peninsula - west of Paradise/Whitefish Point and northeast of Newberry. Entire area is well-signed and incredibly scenic.
Overall: Great
Hike: Easy (mostly paved/boardwalk and handicap accesible)

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