Melting snow feeds a web of rushing rivers across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and creates more than 200 waterfalls. Springtime is prime time for waterfall viewing, so Michigan Travel Ideas editors compiled a list of some of the most impressive in the state.
Tahquamenon Falls – Paradise
At a remarkable 50 feet tall and 200 feet wide, the easily accessible Upper Tahquamenon Falls are the largest in Michigan. In fact, during spring, more than 50,000 gallons of water drop each second, putting the falls in the top five largest east of the Mississippi River. The low rumble you hear from the parking lot builds to a thundering roar along the short path. Arriving at the wooden observation deck, you’ll see the reason for the nickname of Root Beer Falls (cedar tannins tinge the water brown) and feel a cool mist. Four miles downstream, the Lower Tahquamenon Falls split in two, with each half more than 100 feet wide and 22 feet tall. Rent a rowboat for a better look (and better photos) from the water. If you only get a chance to visit one waterfall this season, the Tahquamenon Falls are a definite must-see. For more information: 906/492-3415.
Spray Falls – Munising
Take a boat ride on Lake Superior to see Spray Falls plunge almost 70 feet over the Pictured Rocks cliffs. Hikers take the 2-mile-long North Country Trail to the remote falls. For more information: 906/387-3700.
Bond Falls – Haight
Park at the base of the falls and snap some incredible photographs from the viewing platforms along the 600-foot boardwalk. For more information: 906/353-6558.
Cascade Falls – Matchwood
Half the fun of this waterfall is exploring Porcupine Wilderness State Park on the way. Take the Valley Trail for a shorter hike, or if you’re up for a challenge, Bluff Trail provides a more demanding climb. For more information: 906/884-2047.
Gorge Falls – Ironwood
Five striking waterfalls dot the Black River National Forest Scenic Byway on its way to Black River Harbor. Gorge Falls is one of the easiest to access, but even it has quite a few stairs to the overlook. For more information: 906/932-1330.
Traverse City outdoorsman Mike Norton is glad that the rest of the country considers the Sleeping Bear Dunes the “Most Beautiful Place in America” – but he thinks they’d love it even more if they came in the autumn, or even in winter.
Up here in Traverse City, we like to tell people that we weren’t surprised when more than 100,000 viewers of “Good Morning America” voted for the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore as the Most Beautiful Place in America.
“Of course,” we say. “We knew it all the time.”
But the truth is, we were surprised. It’s not that we don’t love Sleeping Bear ourselves – we really do – but it came as a shock that so many other people love it just as passionately, even though most of them don’t know it the way we do.
Copper Harbor Lighthouse
Over 115 lighthouses dot the Michigan coastline. Some of them still guide boats to safety, some welcome visitors to spend the night in unforgettable surroundings, and all of them are stunning sites to behold, at any time of year.
We sorted through over 700 photos in our Flickr archives to unearth some truly stunning images of lighthouses across the state. Have a photo of your own to share? Post it on our Facebook page or send us a Tweet!
Don’t forget to check out the rest of our lighthouse images in our special Flickr photoset. Read more…
Kevin Miyazaki, a contributing photographer for Michigan Travel Ideas, shares his experience of shooting Beaver Island Michigan from a two-seater airplane.
I’m a frequent flier for photography assignments, but one thing I’m not accustomed to is chatting with the pilot during flight. Through the use of a headset and microphone, my partner in conversation is Keith Teague, owner of Fresh Air Aviation. Keith makes several trips a day from Charlevoix to Beaver Island in small but comfortable passenger planes. The one we’re in today is much smaller—a two-seater he’s pulled out of the hanger specifically for this occasion.
Driving to Ludington
Thank you to today’s guest blogger, JillAnn Norcross for sharing her love of cottage living “up north,” and a very important list of must-bring staples on any cottage vacation.
You can tell when you’re getting closer to the Lake, and getting further north – whether you’re the one driving or curled up in the back seat watching the trees and fields change through the window. You might pass a fruit orchard or two, instead of cow pastures or corn fields. The trees turn into pines and airy aspens. The air gets that moist, sandy, windswept smell that helps you to picture the dunes in your mind. Read more…