Michigan Part 1
This past October, I had the pleasure of traveling through Michigan's Upper Peninsula for 10 days. There was so much to explore that I simply can't contain it all in one blog, so this will be part one of three. May it get you through the dreary winter weather! For the first half of our trip, we stayed in the area of Munising. The journey up lead us through the Tunnel of Trees and across Mackinac Bridge. The progression of fall from the start to the end was a fascinating transition as southern Michigan was still all green at the time.
The Munising Area featured dozens of waterfalls to explore, with varying difficulty to access. A surprising amount of them were directly off the road by a mere 20 steps, others required a short walk, and a select few were incredibly unadvertised and made the journey quite a challenge. Of all the waterfalls, Taquamenon Falls was by far the most impressive in size. However, Rock River Falls proved to be the most rewarding relative to the challenge to get there. Finding the road that lead to the trail took nearly an hour, as there were no signs and all we had was a hotel map with a 2 sentence description (no address). Once we found the road to the trail, it was a 3 mile drive down something that I guess you could call a "road", but was basically a one lane path of rocks and the most amount of pot holes I have ever experienced. We finally arrived at the trail entrance, and mind you we still hadn't seen any verification that there even was a waterfall in the area. It is at this point, approaching sun set by an hour, that we began the "short" hike. The "short" hike was relatively mild in difficulty, but then the later half became a trail of mud with a fun combination of 2x4's and rocks/branches placed across the mud as makeshift bridges. It was basically a giant obstacle course of sorts which was pretty epic. Finally all our hard efforts lead us to the beautiful Rock River Falls (see a photo below about 5 down). Then we journeyed all the way back in near darkness.
Another key feature of the Munising Area is Pictured Rocks National Park. This coastline is over 7 miles long and has a cliff edge bleeding with all sorts of colors from the different minerals in the rocks. A boat tour or kayaking is the best way to explore the coast. There are also dozens of different trails that take you to the tops of the cliffs. There are dozens of different iconic rock formations and not nearly enough time to explore them all!
Lastly, one of the best parts of this area was The Big Spring (also known as Kitch-iti-kipi). It feels a bit like entering another world because in the middle of nowhere is an area that only has pine trees, and in the center is a crystal clear Spring. There is a manually operated boat you can use to cross the Spring that has an opening in the center to view down into the Spring below. There are hundreds of fish there, tree roots, fallen trees, and active fissures from the underlying limestone. Over 10,000 gallons per minute flow from these fissures and the Spring is a constant 45 degrees all year round and never freezes.
I hope you enjoy the photos below, and stay tuned next Thursday for Part Two of this trip - the journey to the top of the Upper Peninsula: The Keweenaw Peninsula. You can also click the link below to view nearly 200 photos from the entire trip, if the ones below aren't enough for you. I will also be posting sporadic videos from different areas of the trip taken via drone, so follow us on Facebook or Youtube to enjoy those! Our first feature is Canyon Falls.