Tahquamenon Falls State Park
|Tahquamenon Falls State Park|
IUCN category V (protected landscape/seascape)
Tahquamenon Falls is the centerpiece of the park (upper falls pictured).
|Location||Chippewa County and Luce County, Michigan, United States|
|Nearest city||Paradise, Michigan|
|Area||46,179 acres (186.88 km2)|
|Visitors||500,000 (in 2010)|
|Governing body||Michigan Department of Natural Resources|
The Tahquamenon Falls State Park is a 46,179-acre (186.88 km2) state park in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is the second largest of Michigan's state parks. Bordering on Lake Superior, most of the park is located within Whitefish Township in Chippewa County, with the western section of the park extending into McMillan Township in Luce County. The nearest town of any size is Paradise.
Tahquamenon Falls State Park follows the Tahquamenon River as it passes over Tahquamenon Falls and drains into Whitefish Bay, Lake Superior. The Tahquamenon Falls include a single 50-foot (15 m) drop, the Upper Falls, plus the cascades and rapids collectively called the Lower Falls. During the late-spring runoff, the river drains as much as 50,000 U.S. gallons (190,000 L) of water per second, making the upper falls the second most voluminous vertical waterfall east of the Mississippi River, after only Niagara Falls.
Tahquamenon Falls is also called "Rootbeer Falls" because of its golden-brown color, caused by tannins from cedar swamps that drain into the river. In winter, the ice that accumulates around and in the falls is often colored in shades of green and blue.
Much of the park is undeveloped but it has more than 22 miles (35 km) of hiking trails. Row boats and canoes are rented to use to approach the lower falls. The upper falls are accessible from the visitor center parking lot via a paved walking trail. There are five campgrounds in the park with a total of 350 campsites. The park receives as many as 500,000 visitors per year, many of whom drive in on the state park's only paved road, M-123. M-123 intersects with Interstate 75 at exit 352.
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