Sunday, April 3, 2011
Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Paradise, MI; April 2011
With the beautiful weather, we set out on a road trip to Tahquamenon Falls State Park. This is located west of Paradise, MI and is about an hour north of Birch Lodge and Trout Lake, MI Although much of the snow had melted around Trout Lake, and there was some open water on the lake, more snow was still on the ground up at Paradise, perhaps a foot on the level. The Tahquamenon Falls State Park is open year round, and has cross country ski trails through the woods. Also open year round, is the restaurant and gift shop. Technically, these are on private property in the park, and are not part of the park, but they are a nice addition. A good place for a nice lunch and hot coffee, they also serve their local brew. Our destination was of course the falls. We thought with the melting snow, they would be flowing well, as they were. In the heart of winter, they can be frozen, creating a fantastic ice sculpture. The trail to the falls was snow covered, and it was sad to see that the mature beech trees that once lined the paths have died and been cut down due to the invasion of beech bark disease. Another invasive species attacking our woodlands. The hemlocks along the river are still there, and their beautiful canopy frames the river and falls. I first visited the falls when I was three, and over the years I have visited and marked our changes. If you have never gone here you need to. It is lovely, and the power and sound of the falls needs to be experienced. It is the third largest falls east of the Mississippi River. It is over 200'across, and has a vertical drop of almost 50'. There are also the Lower Falls, about four miles down river, which is more of a series of waterfalls, divided by an island. A trail which connects the two winds through the woods and along the river. Remember though, if you choose to hike the trail that you need to be prepared to hike back. In any event, whatever time of the year you visit, spend the day and explore the area. Thereare lots of birds to see, and possibly even a moose if you are lucky. The Park has a wonderful video presentation of the Upper Tahquamenon Falls, please follow the link and listen, and plan your next trip today!
at 1:46 PM