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Michigan dnr > wildlife viewing guide > upper peninsula > tahquamenon

32 Tahquamenon Falls State Park Upper Peninsula

wildlife viewing  |  directions and facility information

 falls mature forest east entrance  
Photos: waterfall, © Ray Rustem; all others, © Bob Hess

 

Upper Tahquamenon Falls
The Upper Falls of the Tahquamenon River is one of the premier scenic attractions in Michigan; but donít forget to look beyond the falls to the excellent wildlife viewing opportunities that await throughout the park.
Photo:© Ray Rustem.

Tahquamenon Falls is the second largest state park in Michigan, covering more than 38,000 acres. Most of the park is undeveloped with few public roads and little vehicular access. Two natural waterfalls on the Tahquamenon River give this park its name. The Upper Falls is one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi River. It has a drop of over 50 feet and width of some 200 feet. It is one of the best-known nature attractions in the Upper Peninsula. The Park is mostly forested except for the more open leatherleaf bogs or marshlands. Because these lands have been managed as a park for many years, timber is largely mature or old growth. Forests are a rich mixture of essentially all cover types found in northern Michigan, from northern hardwoods (yellow birch, hard maple, basswood, some beech and oak) to red pine, white pine and hemlock, to aspen, birch, soft maple, and lowland hardwoods. Extensive acreages are also composed of lowland conifers such as black spruce, tamarack and white cedar. The North Country Hiking Trail traverses the park and provides a look at the wilderness interior of this scenic site. The park has three campgrounds: modern, semi-modern, and rustic. A restaurant and food concessions plus a nature-based store are open seasonally at the Upper Falls, the most visited area of the park.

Wildlife Viewing

Hiking trail
Photo: © Bob Hess

This entire park provides unique and wonderful wildlife viewing opportunities. The Clark Lake area offers three pristine lakes that make a beautiful wilderness canoe float. Contact the park office for access information. The park is home to several northern bird species including the gray jay, boreal chickadee, and black-backed woodpecker. It also is one of the stateís best known breeding sites for the palm warbler and one of the only known breeding sites for the rusty blackbird. Both the Upper and Lower Falls are easily accessible. For the more adventurous, a four-mile hiking trail runs along the river between the two falls. This trail features an old-growth American beech-sugar maple community, groves of virgin northern hemlock, and miles of wild, scenic river. While hiking the trail, watch and listen for species associated with this unique combination of habitats. The black-throated green warbler, wood thrush, osprey, river otter, and several species of ferns and wild orchids are just a few examples. The area near the mouth of the Tahquamenon River has a linear marsh running inland along the wide serpentine river corridor. This sheltered habitat and the bay near the river mouth are used by waterfowl during migration, especially April and May. Gulls and terns that work the Lake Superior shallows and nest in the area are found her throughout the ice-free months. Moose and bears and river otters are seen occasionally along the river corridor. Whitefish Point, a premier site for viewing migrating waterfowl, raptors and songbirds, is near the park just north of Paradise, and is a must-see in spring and fall.

DEER FLIES, BLACK FLIES, AND MOSQUITOES CAN BE VERY NUMEROUS IN MAY AND JUNE, SO COME PREPARED.

MapDirections

East Entrance: From Paradise, drive south on M-123 along Lake Superior about 5 miles to the park entrance on the right (west) side of the road. This is located near the mouth of the Tahquamenon River.

West Entrance: From Paradise, drive west on M-123 about 10 miles to the park entrance on the left (south) side of the road.

Ownership: Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Park Headquarters, Paradise, (906) 492-3415.

Size: 38,496 acres

Closest Town: Paradise

Weather and Driving Directions for Paradise

Plan Your Trip with travel.michigan.org!

More information can be found by visiting the DNR's site (link leads to web app allowing users to search for campgrounds, harbors, trails and more), or by conducting a Google search:

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