The Root Beer Falls
One of Michigan’s true treasures, Tahquamenon Falls, has captivated visitors for generations. Whether you’re visiting to see leaves changing colors, the gushing spring runoff or to witness a winter wonderland in January, Tahquamenon is a must-see attraction. With unbeatable sights and sounds, the falls are one of the Eastern Upper Peninsula’s most popular destinations. However, did you know how to properly say the name of the Midwest’s largest set of waterfalls? It is pronounced “Tuh-KWAHM’-in-uhn.” Aside from pronunciation, here are seven things you may not have known about Tahquamenon Falls State Park.
The Tahquamenon Falls State Park encompasses a total of 46,179 acres of land making it Michigan’s second-largest state park. It trails only the robust Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park’s 59,020 acres, but is more than four times as large as the Wolverine State’s third-largest state park, Emmet County’s Wilderness State Park.
There are many things do to inside the park depending on which season it is. In spring and summer, most activities include hiking, biking, fishing, bird watching, sightseeing, and camping. The fall season is picturesque. The color change among the trees creates the perfect scenery for photography. Come wintertime, you can enjoy cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. If you enjoy the idea of hiking, take the four-mile trail down to the lower falls.
Also, at the park, there is a restaurant, gift shop, and their very own brewery and pub in one building. Open year-round but closed in late fall and early spring. Please feel free to call ahead of these hours (906) 492-3415.
The Camp 33 Gift Shop has everything from apparel to handcrafted goods to locally made jewelry. The restaurant is known for having delicious, locally caught, whitefish from Lake Superior. The pub contains their own variety of micro-brewed beers that come right from the pub.
The more famous Upper Tahquamenon Falls is 200 feet across with a drop of almost 50 feet. The lower falls are about 4 miles downstream, and are, in fact, a series of five smaller falls around a small island. The Lower Falls consist of smaller, less dramatic, falls that flow around an island. Find your way around the many miles of beautiful hiking trails here.
Did you know that you can rent a boat at the Lower Falls and row over to the islands in the middle of the river? This adventure enables you to hike even closer to the Lower Tahquamenon Falls and will allow you the opportunity of hopping in the refreshing water at your leisure.
In the peak of Spring runoff, the Upper Tahquamenon Falls has over 50,000 gallons of water rushing over the brink per second. This makes it the second most voluminous waterfall east of the Mississippi River in the United States, behind only Niagara Falls! The average flow during the year is closer to 7,000 gallons per second.
Did you know that the locals call Tahquamenon Falls the “Root Beer Falls?” They call it this because of the rich brown color of the waterfall and the white frothy foam as the water crashes down 48 feet, giving it the distinct look of root beer. The dark brown color in the water is nothing to worry about. This color originates from the tannins that leach from the cedar swamp at the start of the Tahquamenon River.
While these facts are interesting, the best way to learn about the falls is to come to experience Tahquamenon Falls State Park for yourself! When you make it Paradise, Michigan to visit the Falls, don’t forget to share your fantastic photos of your experience with the hashtag #ILovetheSoo on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter so we can enjoy them, too!