When you come to the U.P., plan to visit Tahquamenon Falls State Park. Feel the cool spray, watch rainbows dance above the water or visit in winter to hear the ice crack. The Upper Tahquamenon Falls are only one of many reasons to stay in Luce county.
You will hear the thunderous roar of water long before you reach the lookout.
The distant roar is up to 50,000 gallons of water cascading every second over a 200+-feet wide, nearly 50-foot deep precipice. The magnificent Upper Tahquamenon Falls is one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi River. A paved, 0.4-mile pathway takes you to an outlook at the crest of the falls and to steps that bring you down to where the water crashes into the Tahquamenon River. The cool spray, the rainbows dancing across the water and the steady roaring will mesmerize you. Or visit in winter when snow blankets the falls and you can listen to the ice crack like lightning through the quiet, heralding the thundering water that will return in spring.
Visiting Tahquamenon Falls State Park is a must on any itinerary. From the Upper Falls, you can hike a 4-mile trail to the Lower Tahquamenon Falls or reach them by car. There you can watch this picturesque series of five smaller falls from the riverbank. Or rent a rowboat from the concession stand and paddle out to walk on the island to take a closer look.
ESCAPE THE HEAT
When it’s hot where you live, you’ll find Luce County’s woods and waters a refreshing change. In fact, Luce County can cool your nerves, too, no matter what the season. Here you’ll experience some of the most dazzling fall color and best hunting, fishing, dog sledding, hiking, paddling, birding, wildflowers and mushroom and berry picking you’ll find anywhere in the U.P.
Motorcyclists claim it’s a dream place to ride: low traffic and fantastic scenery. ORV and ATV riders find their thrills on 200 miles of trails. Snowmobilers, cross-country skiers and snowshoers zigzag and turn across hundreds of miles of groomed trails, many beginning and ending near the county’s fine hotels, B&Bs, cabins or campgrounds.
Luce County is ideally situated as a base camp for day trips. Nearby vacation favorites include the Luce County Historical Museum and the Tahquamenon Logging Museum and Nature Study with its lumberjack memorabilia, logging contests and Paul Bunyan-size breakfasts. The Tahquamenon Falls Riverboat Tours & the Famous Toonerville Trolley Wilderness Train Ride offers a ride on the longest 24-gauge train in the U.S. to the Tahquamenon River and the option to take a riverboat to the falls (mid-June to early October).
View rescued bears up close or nuzzle sled dog puppies.
Oswald’s Bear Ranch, one of the top-ten family-friendly attractions in the U.P., is a refuge for rescued black bears in Newberry. It is the largest all-bear ranch in the U.S. and offers its 40 bears plenty of room to roam. One of the highlights of your visit will be having your photo taken with a cub.
Another animal-lovers’ high point is Nature’s Kennel Sled Dog Adventures, where you and your kids can hold the puppies and learn how they are trained for long-distance runs on snowy trails. Budding mushers in your family can pick up the basics and drive a sled dog team as part of a day or overnight trip.
From here it’s about an hour’s drive to Grand Sable Dunes in Grand Marais, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Seney National Wildlife Refuge, Kitchiti-kipi Big Spring, Mackinac Island, the Soo Locks and lighthouses at Crisp Point, Whitefish Point and Point Iroquois.