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Tahquamenon Falls, Paradise

#16 of 64 in Nature in Upper Peninsula
Water Body · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
The Tahquamenon Falls ( tuh-KWAH-mee-nahn or tuh-KWAH-muh-nuhn) are two different waterfalls on the Tahquamenon River. Both sets are located near Lake Superior in the eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The water is notably brown in color from the tannins leached from the cedar swamps which the river drains. Consequently, the upper falls are nicknamed, "The Root Beer Falls".
The upper falls are more than 200 feet (60 m) across and with a drop of approximately 48 feet (14 m) During the late spring runoff, the river drains as much as 50,000 US gallons (190,000 L) of water per second, making the upper falls the third most voluminous vertical waterfall east of the Mississippi River, after Niagara Falls and Cohoes Falls. Cohoes Falls is located in New York State, whereas Niagara Falls is located on the US-Canadian border, between the Province of Ontario and the State of New York.

The lower falls, located four miles (6.5 km) downstream, are a series of five smaller falls cascading around an island which can be reached by rowboat. A hiking trail runs between the falls along the riverside, and visitors often play in the lower falls during the summer heat.

The falls are within Tahquamenon Falls State Park, between Newberry, Michigan, and Paradise, Michigan. They are a popular tourist destination in the Upper Peninsula during all seasons. Snowmobile trails lead almost to the falls, and walkways are kept clear for most of the winter.

While the name Tahquamenon is now primarily associated with the falls, it appears to have originally designated an island in Whitefish Bay: Tahquamenon Island. The first written record of the name appears as "Outakouaminan" in a 1671 French map.
The upper falls are located at 46°34′29″N 85°15′23″W, and the lower falls are at 46°36′12″N 85°12′25″W

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
289 reviews
  • The trails to the lower falls are easy and the lower falls are beautiful, Trail to upper falls is a bit tough but enjoyable, bring bug spray though.  more »
  • was beautiful during fall colors. stopped at both upper and lower. get there early as it gets very busy. take plenty of pictures.  more »

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