Waterfalls in Michigan
Michigan Waterfalls were probably the unsung attractions of the Wolverine State. Perhaps a big reason why was that the state seemed to exhibit two different personalities as there were two distinct regions – the more familiar Lower Peninsula (shaped like a glove) and the lesser known Upper Peninsula (or UP).
In fact, all of the significant waterfalls that we’re aware of (let alone those that we’ve personally seen) are in the remote UP. Perhaps it’s a good thing that most of these waterfalls have been allowed to thrive in the less industrialized and less populated north. As that allowed nature lovers like us to see a surprisingly natural part of Michigan, which had a whole lot to offer such as the famed Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, long tracts of native forests (very nice when fall colors can be seen), and a small town charm that seemed appropriate for the slower pace of life here. Indeed, Julie and I are betting that not a whole lot of the Michigan residents in the lower part of the state even bother to see the more natural half of the state.
Yet in addition to the waterfalls and Nature of the UP, we also got to visit the very top of the Lower Peninsula at Mackinaw City, where their five-mile Mackinac Bridge (also known as the “Mighty Mac”) made it easy for us to span the two parts of the state over where Lake Michigan’s and Lake Huron’s waters meet. And just a short ferry ride away from the “city” was Mackinac Island, which was a charming place where it seemed like time stood still as the main mode of transportation was by horse-drawn methods or by bicycle. The only motorized form of transport were watercrafts. And not to be outdone, we also managed to visit the legendary and impressive Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore near Traverse City at the Lower Peninsula’s far western end on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Among the waterfalling highlights of our visit to the Wolverine state were the incredible Upper Tahquamenon Falls with its classic block appearance accentuated with the brownish tannin that naturally occur from its native peatlands further upstream. Rivaling this falls on the opposite side of the UP was Bond Falls, which exhibited a graceful character throughout its wide span. Then, there were waterfalls in the famed Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore such as Spray Falls, which was perhaps the most dramatic of these waterfalls as it spilled right into the vast Lake Superior.
We only had a few days to tour Michigan, but we felt that it wasn’t adequate as we missed out on quite a few other worthwhile waterfalls as well as wishing we had spent more time in places like the Sleeping Bear Dunes as well as the Pictured Rocks. We didn’t even get a chance to tour the remote Isle Royale National Park. So we’re chomping at the bit to make a return trip here as circumstances would allow…
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