Shipwrecks and waterfalls and bears, oh my!

Special thanks to Shannon Kuchera for sharing her Pure Michigan U.P. Adventure! Learn about the diversity the U.P. has to offer with Pure Michigan Connect!

Prior to last week, I hadn’t been to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula since I was a kid.  I’m not sure what took me so long, but rediscovering this gem of vacation spots (and so close to home!) was a thrill.  To put things in perspective – for our last two vacations, my husband and I went to Ecuador and Spain (which were phenomenal, don’t get me wrong) – but we had more fun last week in the U.P.

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A Little Piece of Paradise – Tahquamenon Falls

tahquamenon FallsOn the northeastern tip of the Upper Peninsula, on the shores of Lake Superior, in a little town known as Paradise, lives one of Michigan’s most breathtaking sights – Tahquamenon Falls.

The Falls were immortalized in Longfellow’s famous poem Hiawatha. According to Native American lore, the origin of the name is attributed to the water’s surprising amber color – the result of tanic acid being leached from the cedar and hemlock swamps that feed the river. Tahquamenon Falls is the second largest waterfall east of the Mississippi – second only to Niagara.

What most people don’t know is that the Falls are actually divided. The Upper Falls has a drop of nearly 50 feet, and is more than 200 feet across. Hike along the trail four miles downstream, and you’ll come across the Lower Falls – a series of 5 waterfalls cascading around an island. The best part? You can rent a boat and row out to the island to see the falls up close.

Winter At Tahquamenon Falls Visiting the Falls, and the 52,000 acre State Park that surrounds them, is a magical experience. From the moment you enter, you are swept away by nature. Most of the park is undeveloped woodland – that means no power lines, no buildings, and no road. However, the park does offer a variety of activities for you no matter what time of year you visit – hiking, fishing, camping in the spring and summer, a blaze of color in the Fall, and snowshoeing, skiing, and snowmobiling in the winter. The spectacular ice sculpturing of the Upper Falls makes Tahquamenon Falls a must-visit in the winter. Just check out this video, showing off the spectacular beauty of winter at the Falls:

See more Tahquamenon Falls photos submitted by Pure Michigan fans: