tahquamenon falls

Tahquamenon Falls: Exquisite Natural Beauty of Michigan

If you’re an avid traveler in Michigan, chances are you’re familiar with the renowned Tahquamenon Falls.

For those who aren’t acquainted, get ready to be amazed. Tahquamenon Falls is a highly frequented attraction in Michigan, and for good reason. It represents the purest form of natural beauty that Michigan has to offer, and the best part is, it’s practically free—all you need is a Michigan state park pass.

tahquamenon falls upper

Upper and Lower Tahquamenon Falls

The Tahquamenon Falls consists of two distinct sets of falls that have existed for millions of years, shaping the rustic landscape of the surrounding park.

The waters of the Tahquamenon River rush over the upper and lower falls at an astonishing rate of 50,000 gallons per second, making them some of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi River. The famous Tahquamenon Falls, however, are just a fraction of the captivating Tahquamenon Falls State Park.

Open throughout the year, this natural sanctuary is a prime example of the beauty and adventure that the Upper Peninsula has to offer. With over 30 miles of hiking trails and winter trails, not to mention the breathtaking river, the park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.

While a casual glimpse of the falls is enough to leave you in awe, if you desire a more immersive experience of the surrounding beauty, continue reading our comprehensive guide to the Tahquamenon Falls.

upper tahquamenon falls

Upper Falls

When you think of the Tahquamenon Falls, you might envision a single waterfall on the river. However, this magnificent spectacle is composed of several waterfalls. The Upper Tahquamenon Falls, standing at 200 feet wide with a 50-foot drop, are the largest among them.

Affectionately known as the Root Beer Falls due to their distinctive brown color, which amusingly sparked rumors of a nearby root beer factory, these falls are a sight to behold. While the rumors may not hold true, the true origin of the light brown water color is equally fascinating. Tannins from the surrounding hemlock and cedar trees impart this unique hue to the waters.

You can observe the Upper Falls from various viewing areas and hiking trails, or opt for a riverboat tour to witness the falls up close and personal.

lower tahquamenon falls

Lower Falls

Although the upper falls take the spotlight, the Lower Tahquamenon Falls should not be overlooked. Located approximately 4 miles downstream from the upper falls, this series of five smaller falls form the lower falls.

The accessibility and beauty of the lower falls provide visitors with an opportunity to forge a deeper connection with the park’s scenery. These smaller cascades encircle their own island, which you can reach by rowing a boat along the river. It allows you to get even closer to the lower falls themselves. Rowboats are available for rent from the Lower Falls concession area from June to October.

tahquamenon falls state park

Tahquamenon Falls State Park

If you wish to explore more of the surrounding areas, we understand your desire. Tahquamenon Falls State Park encompasses over 50,000 acres of pristine Northern Michigan landscapes that can be enjoyed in every season.

The park truly comes alive in each season. In autumn, it becomes renowned for its stunning fall colors, providing a perfect backdrop to the cascading scenery.

To fully appreciate the fall colors, we recommend embarking on one of the many hiking trails. The Nature Trail, a 0.5-mile hike near the upper falls, is ideal for nature lovers and casual visitors alike. When planning your Michigan fall color tours, this beautiful area near Lake Superior is an absolute must-visit.

Tahquamenon in Winter

During the winter season, there are even more ways to explore this hidden gem. Park visitors can partake in activities such as snowshoeing, snowmobiling, winter camping, and cross-country skiing on over five miles of marked trails near the upper and lower falls.

For a magnificent view of the frozen upper falls, venture along the Giant Pines Trail Loop on cross-country skis or snowshoes. You can also follow the snowmobile trail that cuts through the heart of the park, leading directly to the Upper and Lower falls, where you can marvel at the frozen splendor. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try dog sledding? Nature’s Kennel in Newberry offers dogsledding tours through the picturesque Tahquamenon countryside.

More to Discover at Tahquamenon Falls

In addition to the outdoor activities, there is much more to do at Tahquamenon Falls State Park. If you need a break from hiking, you can refuel at the park concessions near the lower falls. And after a long day of marveling at the falls, a visit to the Tahquamenon Brewery & Pub is perfect for relaxation.

The brewery offers delectable dining options, micro-brewed beers that capture the true spirit of Northern Michigan, such as Porcupine Pale Ale and Black Bear Stout, and a selection of unique gifts. Adjacent to the brewery, the Camp 33 gift shop provides souvenirs to commemorate your time in the Upper Peninsula and pay homage to its culture.

Nearby Attractions to Tahquamenon Falls

If you find yourself with additional time to spare in the Eastern Upper Peninsula, be sure to visit other exciting sites near Tahquamenon Falls. The Tahquamenon Logging Museum offers a fascinating glimpse into the storied history of the Upper Peninsula.

Newberry is conveniently located near other renowned spots on Lake Superior, including the beloved city of Sault Ste. Marie, the Whitefish Point Bird Observatory, and the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum.

Whether you prefer immersing yourself in nature or enjoying a pint at a nearby brew pub, Tahquamenon Falls is the perfect destination for those seeking the beauty, adventure, and natural wonders of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.