Northern Exposure: The beauty of Tahquamenon Falls

Draining as much as 50,000 gallons of water per second, Tahquamenon Falls is the second largest waterfall east of the Mississippi and the park gets over 50,000 visitors each year.

“The falls are absolutely gorgeous, the waterfalls are huge, I was expecting to see something smaller, it was beautiful and I really enjoyed it,” Chicago resident Megan Padgitt said.

The park has an Upper Falls and five lower falls.  The lower falls over the years have carved out a 3/4 mile island and is reachable to visitors by rental boat.

It takes 94 stairs to reach the Upper Falls with a 50 foot drop down to the cascading waters.  Nicknamed after a popular soda, the falls are know for it’s unusual coloring that drains into the river.

“It has a nickname of the root beer falls so you will see the brown waters from the tannin acids from the trees such as hemlock, cedar and a peat bog,” Tahaquamenon Falls State Park assistant interpreter Ray Miller said.

Families can enjoy five campground at the state park, consisting of 350 campsites and 22 miles of hiking trails.  The North County Trail passes through the park, so visitors can take a four mile hike between the Upper and Lower Falls.

“We came in for the day just to check the falls out, I’ve been coming her since I was a kid, I come back to see them again and again, it’s just a beautiful sight,” St. Clair Shores resident Daniel Wojciechowski said.

As visitors explore the beauty of the park, they can also stop along the way for a bit of tree education.  The park also has many interpretive programs as well as plenty of designated areas for wildlife watching of black bear, moose, and coyotes, to name a few.