Tahquamenon Falls is a magical place. It has a different feeling throughout every season, each amazing in their own way. This time, fall color was popping and we had a plan for hiking from the Lower Falls to the Upper Falls along the North Country Trail.
Our adventure started in St. Ignace, which is about an hour drive away from Tahquamenon Falls State Park. We stocked up on food for the day with a stop for coffee and snacks from The Wild Blueberry Bakery and pasties to bring with us from Lehto's Pasties. Pasties are the ultimate Upper Peninsula food to bring along on an adventure. They are made to travel!
Now that we are talking pasties, this is a big debtate in the pasty world. Everyone has a strong opinion on what they eat their pasty with. There are people all about ketchup, gravy is a popular choice, some people go with both and some people go with nothing. Someone even recently told us that they go with mustard! No matter which way you prefer, it's ok with us!
Moving along, we arrive at Lower Tahquamenon Falls. The lower falls are a group of smaller waterfalls in comparison to the more famous upper falls but to us, the lower falls offers much opportunity for exploring and amazing scenery. If you go to Tahquamenon Falls, do not skip out on the lower falls! There are also some very nice new buildings and shops at the lower falls along with a great new sign welcoming visitors to the falls.
As we mentioned, our goal on this day was to hike from the lower falls to the upper falls but before we started that stretch, we took the bridge over to the island. The bridge is a couple years old now at this point and going to the island is a must. This gives you up close views on both sides of the island of the lower falls. We found a spot that we felt was perfect to stop and enjoy our pasties we had brought along from St. Ignace. The pasty even tasted better with the view!
After finishing up the loop on the island, the bridge brought us right back to the start of the trail in between the lower falls and upper falls. Depending on where you are measuring from, the hike is around 4-5 miles. It is a peaceful hike in the canopy of fall color but also has challenging spots with elevation changes.
The trail ends near one of the sets of stairs down to the river. This observation area offers the first views of the large upper falls. Each of the observation areas offers their own unique views but if you can, make sure to check this one out.
The most famous spot at all of Tahquamenon Falls is the 94 step staircase that leads right down to the edge of the upper fall. At around 200 feet across and 50 feet tall, being right next to the fall is a very cool experience!
There are additional hiking trails at the upper falls if you want to continue with more miles or you can head to the parking lot where there are additional shops and food options including Tahquamenon Falls Brewery and Pub.
One thing with this hike to consider is what you want to do in particular for getting to a vehicle. On certain days there is a shuttle between the upper falls and lower falls. In the fall, that is only on weekends. Another option is to hike back to lower falls. The third option would be to stage a vehicle at both ends.
This hike had been something we had wanted to do for a long time and we cant wait for our next visit to Tahquamenon Falls because like we said, every visit brings a different experience!.
Check out our full video below!