Whether you are looking for summer or winter fun, Tahquamenon Falls State Park, just outside of Paradise, offers many activities for visitors. If you head up to the eastern Upper Peninsula, this is a must-see spot if you’ve never been there before. Even if you’ve visited the Park before, there is surely something new to draw you back!
For first time visitors, Theresa Neal, a Tahquamenon Falls Park Interpreter, suggests visiting the Upper and Lower Falls. Upon entry into the park from Paradise, visitors first pass the Lower Falls. The Lower Falls, Neal says, are “overshadowed, by the larger, more popular Upper Falls.” As a result, the Lower Falls are usually less busy than the Upper Falls, which is great if you don’t want to battle a huge crowd of people. The Upper Falls are the main attraction at the park. Neal notes the Upper Falls is “The largest waterfall east of the Mississippi.” Furthermore, Tahquamenon Brewery is located in the Upper Falls area, and there’s nothing better than a good beer and some food after walking around the park all day!
Most people visit Tahquamenon Falls in the summer, but the park has just as many winter activities as it does in the summer–the park is open all year round.
“Ice-coated waterfalls, groomed cross-country ski and snowmobile trails, endless snowshoeing opportunities and enough fresh snow to enjoy all of these activities is why Tahquamenon is such a spectacular winter destination,” says Neal
For those of you brave enough, the Lower Falls Overlook Campground remains open for rustic and recreational vehicle winter camping. Snowmobilers, skiers, and snowshoe-ers travel from miles around to experience the falls in the winter.
Even if you’ve been to Tahquamenon Falls before, there are still plenty of activities you might not know about to entice you for another visit! Aside from walking around the Lower and Upper Falls, the park offers camping accommodations of the rustic and modern variety. Additionally, the Lower Falls and some of the campgrounds offer kayak and rowboat rentals for further exploration of the Tahquamenon River.
Have you ventured off the paved paths? If not, there are two hiking trails for your next visit. The park has 35 miles of trails for visitors to explore ranging in difficulty and length
“The 5-mile River Trail is the most beautiful, but most difficult trail in the park,” says Neal. “The winding trail follows the Tahquamenon River from the Upper Falls to the Lower Falls. The Giant Pines Loop leads hikers through a massive hemlock forest, and passes by two of the largest living white pines in Michigan.”
You can even take a Bear Den Hike and check out a real bear den! From educational events to Geocaching and more, there is surely some kind of new activity to draw you back to park this year even if you’ve already been there!
Whether you seek a weekend camping trip or just a day adventure in the eastern Upper Peninsula, Tahquamenon Falls is a wonderful place to visit with beautiful scenery and plenty of activities for all seasons!