Tahquamenon Falls State Park is one of the crown jewels of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Vast, wild and pristine, this park is fairly convenient to Interstate Route 75 on the way north to Sault Ste. Marie, although enough of a drive out of the way to keep it from being a casual rubbernecking traveler's stop.
If you want to get to know the U.P. (or Yoop; the locals refer to themselves as Yoopers and are hardy and extremely friendly), then Tahquamenon (prounced 'tuh-kwam-a-nen') Falls is a must.
Michigan has an excellent State Park system. They do charge to enter each park, although a year-long access pass to the entire state park system is quite affordable; there are so many great state parks in many areas of the state that you would be foolhardy to not purchase the general access pass on entering the first park you visit.
In the above photo, we can notice a number of things. First of course, is the color of the water. The tea-brown tint is natural, a product of the dense coniferous forests and bogs that make up this watershed, one of the most pristine in the state.
Next we can inspect the face of this muscular waterfall. Although a sheer drop, its rock ledge is not an exact straight line by any means; we can see the chopped edge where the dark brown turns to light brown. This irregularity forms a fascinating chandelier effect as the river is thrown over the edge.
Finally, notice the foam, both above and below the falls. The foam is also natural, from the turbulent waters and the organic matter it carries to Lake Superior not far downriver. In fact, below the falls the relatively placid river surface provides a natural canvas for the mesmerizing foam patterns that drift and flow and come and go.
Photo location: Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Chippewa and Luce Counties, Michigan.
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