Tag Archives: upper peninsula

Tahquamenon Falls
& Camp 33

When you dig into the Michigan countryside and this water wonderland, you’ll find a wide variety of treasures that are all encompasing and awe inspiring. Across the Upper Peninsula leading up to Lake Superior, there are miles and miles of roads through the woods. When we got to the wedding, my Aunt’s asked if I’d ever seen so many trees. In the middle off all that lush green forest, sits a rushing copper colored river and the second largest volume falls in the Eastern United States, the Tahquamenon falls.

Tahquamenon Falls
Tahquamenon Falls

The falls are beautiful with tons of pounds of water gushing over the cliff every second of the day. The water color varies but is mostly copper brown and gold shades. (What a great contrast to the crystal clear sky blue colors of Lake Superior.) I read on a sign at the park that the coloration of the water in the falls is due to tannis from the surrounding cedar trees. When we visited the falls, the DNR personnel were very friendly and knowledgable about the river and surrounding areas.

I remember when I visited the park as a child a dirt parking lot connected to a nice set of trails, stairs and boardwalk viewing platforms. It was nice, but not the bustling park that we encountered this past June. When we arrived, I noticed the newly paved parking lot along with a paved trail system. Sitting just off the “State” land is the expansive “Camp 33” which houses a restaurant, brewery, snacks stand, along with a t-shirt shop. After hiking around sweating and swatting at the flies, we both thought a nice beet was a handsome reward. It’s quite a bit overgrown in comparison to my memory… However, the falls are still the same size.

Camp 33 Tahquamenon Falls
Camp 33 Tahquamenon Falls

If you have a chance, please make sure you book enough time to also visit the section called the Lower Tahquamenon Falls where you can dip your toes in the water if it’s hot enough.

Off to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

I’m feeling pretty spoiled these days. When I grew up in Michigan my favorite time of year was summer. Specifically, June, July, August and even September.  When I was a child, we would spend any warm, sunny days at the lake, camping, hanging around outside or enjoying a nice hike. There are plenty of State Parks and beautiful beaches all across our state.  The end all be all warm weather activity is swimming. I liken myself to a fish and require a great deal of interaction with water for sustainability. I actually prefer the fresh, unsalted water… but as you may have already noted in previous posts, I will swim in almost anything.

Ever since I started the cruise ship job, we have been missing out a bit on the whole summer party action at home. Not complaining about all of the wonderful locations we have been visiting. I just miss summertime in Michigan.  This year, we had two different weddings in our families in June. We requested vacation during the summer to attend. Now, we are so excited to have the summer at home in Michigan.

First we made plans and picked some key destinations. It helps that my family, friends or relatives are located on each of the Great Lakes. We knew it would be so nice to be on the water. I was particularly excited because one wedding took us to Cleveland sitting on Lake Erie and the other took place in Marquette on Lake Superior.

One of my families absolute favorite places to spend time in the summer is the Upper Peninsula. It’s pretty sparce, but breath-takingly beautiful.  Jake read somewhere that the UP holds 1/3 of Michigan’s population, which is around 10MM so they have about 300K residents. Trust me, they have way more trees than people… Similar to the problem the folks in New Zealand have with their sheep.

Royal Oak to Marquette Michigan
Royal Oak to Marquette Michigan

We spent Friday in the car driving the 8+ hour drive from Royal Oak (near Detroit) all the way North on I-75, across the Mackinac Bridge, over West and North again to finally arrive at our destination of Marquette, Michigan on the Southern shores of Lake Superior.

I remember camping in the Porcupine Mountains, near Pictured Rocks, somewhere on the Two-Heart River and also off the very Eastern tip of the UP coast. Each place holds some natural wonder, a beautiful sandy or rocky beach, cliffs overlooking vast expanses of clear blue water. Since we were heading up to Marquette, I decided we should spend an extra day or so jaunting around to some of the old family haunts. I know it would make my Great Grandma Paul proud to see me visiting my roots and getting in touch with my inner ten year old.