Now that the weather is finally starting to turn cool, I am at once deliriously happy and yet longing for the warmth and beauty of the summer. Fall holds its own special place in my heart, with nature’s beautiful colors being a favorite view. But this past summer I had the pleasure of a lovely, yet brief, vacation to Michigan’s upper peninsula. While there we hiked trails and saw waterfalls, went to the beaches of Lake superior and collected rocks, among other adventures. We didn’t see nearly all there is to offer and yet we experienced so much in such a short amount of time.
If I had to pick a favorite spot it would be Tahquamenon falls. When you pull into the parking lot you get a feeling of tourist, due to the shops and restaurants. Once you start on those paths, you feel like something magical is about to happen. And then it does. As you’re hiking through pathways that follow along side the falls, you get glimpses of flowing water and complete serenity. You’re surrounded by people that are taking in this experience with you, even if you don’t know them. The hike down to the falls is complete with a very steep set of stairs. But once you get there it’s purely magical.
At the end of your decline you are rewarded with views that are expansive. Waterfalls, greenery and the Tahquamenon river. Though the platform is small, there is plenty of space for everyone wanting to enjoy the views. If you’re feeling up to it, there is another look out roughly a mile down the path in the opposite direction. Both views are equally impressive and worth the hike.
This spot can get crowded, but if you don’t mind meandering through people then the timing shouldn’t matter. If you’re looking to steer clear of people, you might try an earlier hike.
Another favorite spot from this trip was Whitefish Point. A beautiful, sandy beach that follows the shores of Lake Superior. It serves as a great spot for dipping your toes, collecting rocks along the shore or enjoying the shipwreck museum. Across the water you can catch a glimpse of Canada, while up and down the shoreline are endless sand and water views.
The spot isn’t terribly crowded, depending on when you go. With one mid-morning stop and one later in the afternoon, the amount of people remained steadily small. The sand is plentiful for digging and building, and the walk along the crisp and clear water is refreshing. Collecting rocks and searching for “yooperlites” was easily a fan favorite, and although we didn’t find any, we have plenty of memories.
We also embarked on some touristy adventures, like the “Oswald’s Bear Farm” and the Deer Ranch in St. Ignace, plus the fan favorite Mystery Spot (also in St. Ignace, MI).
If 2020 has taught me anything, it’s that doing and seeing are some of the most important things we can experience. We’ve been pretty locked down this year, and yet we have the opportunity to still experience these natural wonders. Plus there is something considerably freeing about being outside in nature and letting go of your worries, even if it’s only for an hour.
So if you’re looking for a fun adventure, and you’re near Michigan’s UP, check out these locations. I hear that the Fall boasts even more beautiful scenery and the weather should be cooler also. And if you’re not near MI, consider finding something local to you that you can experience.
Happy travels everyone!