Wow the U.P. is truly uncharted territory! After leaving the Mackinac Island area we head deep into the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to visit Pictured Rock National Lakeshore and Tahquamenon Falls.
As the road stretched out before us, we realized that the U.P. of Michigan was certainly much more wild country than we imagined. One of the first things that we noticed along the roads were well marked and apparently well traveled snow mobile paths. We later learned from locals that come winter snow mobiles become one of the primary modes of travel. I also learned that apparently you can buy heated snow suits that plug in to your snow mobile so you can stay nice and toasty warm. Hmmm… maybe a winter up here wouldn’t be so bad?
Unfortunately we did not get to camp within the National Park area near Pictured Rock because it was already full but the small country campground we stayed at turned out to be a pretty good location as it was situated halfway between Pictured Rock National Lakeshore and Tahquamenon Falls. At Pictured Rock we took a boat tour to see all of the beautiful rock formations along the shores of Lake Superior!
We also explored the shore side of the National Park to get the views of the bluffs and hiked several trails. The kids even took time to earn some Junior Ranger badges!
Next, we explored Tahquamenon Falls Park, this park is in a very remote location of the UP. Once inside the park has a really nice complex with brewery, restaurant, snack stands, and gift shops. Of course the main reason for our the stop was to explore the falls. While the falls are not as tall as some we have seen the have the most volume of water cascading over the edge over any other waterfalls West of Niagara!
The brown color of the falls comes from the tannins that leach out of the cedar swamps that feed into the river. The color is where the upper falls got it’s moniker, “The Root Beer Falls”. The park and falls were stunning but if you plan to visist don’t forget the bug spray! We thought the mosquitos were going to carry us off!