Tahquamenon Falls River Trail

The Tahquamenon Falls are located in the Tahquamenon Falls State Park. There are two falls along the River Trail,  the Upper Falls are 50 feet high and over 200 feet wide, and Lower Falls are worth the trip too.

Distance: 6.5 km linear
Difficulty: Moderate
Location: Paradise, MI

Click Here for a Google Map of this trail.

The first time I did this hike, I went along with the Saulteaux Voyageur Trail Club on this hike. This outing was extra-nice because the hike leader had pre-arranged for the hike to be guided by the park naturalist –and because there was some good food to look forward to at the end of the hike! It was fantastic to have the park naturalist Theresa along. She was so pleasant and full of great stories and interesting information about the park and the area.

The River Trail of Tahquamenon Falls State Park takes you by a series of waterfalls and an old-growth forest as it follows the Tahquamenon River. The Upper Falls are 50 feet high and over 200 feet wide. Tahquamenon State Park is the second-largest park in Michigan and the Upper Falls are possibly Michigan’s most famous waterfalls, but the Lower Falls are worth the trip too.

From Paradise Michigan, the Lower Falls entrance is 16 km west on M-123. Park at the Lower Falls –there is a day-use fee to be paid. This hike is linear, so it would be wise to bring two vehicles and leave one at the Upper Falls parking lot before starting your hike, or you could arrange for the shuttle to drop you off at the Lower Falls.

If you love a good guidebook like I do, you can find this hike in Waterfalls of Michigan. I recommend this hike in the spring when the water levels are high and the falls are most impressive. It is also worth the trip in the winter a lot of the area is plowed and it is a popular snowmobile area.

Start your hike at the trailhead found in the Lower Falls parking area. You will quickly begin to see views of the Lower Falls which are a series of five smaller falls that cascade around an island. Naturally occurring tannic acids that leach from the spruce, cedar, and hemlock swamps feeding into the Tahquamenon River are what give the water and the falls their brownish colour.

Once you have viewed the falls from the platform at the bottom of the steps near the Giant Pines Trail, retrace your steps back to the Upper Falls trailhead parking lot. In the Upper Falls parking lot, you will a rest area with a gift shop, a deck area with an outdoor fireplace and the Tahquamenon Falls Brewery and Pub where you can have a good meal after your hike!  After your meal, you can try these nearby trails Naomikong Point, and Naomikong Overlook.

1 thought on “Tahquamenon Falls River Trail”

Leave a comment