Breathtaking Kitch iti kipi Springs (The Big Spring) | Photos, Cost, Hours, History | Lake Kitchitikipi | Palms Book State Park | One of the Best Places to Visit in Michigan's Upper Peninsula 

Breathtaking Kitch iti kipi Springs (The Big Spring) | Photos, Cost, Hours, Lake Kitchitikipi | Palms Book State Park | One of the Best Places to Visit in Michigan's Upper Peninsula 

By Sherry Trautman |

Did you know The Big Spring, known as Kitch iti kipi (or kitchitikipi) was named the "Mirror of Heaven" by the early Indians? Located in Palms Book State Park in Manistique, this spring (developed in the late 1920s) is a spectacular place to visit in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

Lake Kitchitikipi is definitely on the ultimate Michigan Roadtrip and Michigan Bucket list.

Visiting Michigan's Largest Freshwater Spring!

This incredible public park features crystal clear water and is located 7 miles northwest of Indian Lake State Park in Manistique, just off US-2 (west of downtown Manistique).  Michigan's Largest Freshwater Spring is home to both lake trout and brown trout. 

  • There is a paved path leading to the springs from the parking lot. 
  •  Kitch iti kipi maintains a constant 45 degrees Fahrenheit! Burrr! It's super icy water!
  • Concessions and souvenirs are available at a park store located near the parking lot. It is open seasonally.
  • There is a picnic area near the parking lot.

Some might even say it is magical. 

Manistique is 1 hour and 40 minutes from Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island, so be sure to start your trip there and then head north through 95 miles of breathtaking scenery.

ALSO: Grab our popular "Ultimate Upper Peninsula Road Trip" for more ideas, photos and inspiration for your Upper Peninsula vacation!

Kitch-iti-kipi Hours

Kitch-iti-kipi hours: Kitch-iti-kipi and the Palms Book State Park are open year-round, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

How Much Does Kitch-iti-kipi cost? Admission Info

There is not an entrance fee per person, but you will need an annual Michigan recreation passport for Michigan residents (for your vehicle) and a day pass (displayed in your vehicle) for non-Michigan residents.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the walk at Kitch-iti-kipi? The walk is very short, less than a minute from the parking lot. 

Is Kitch-iti-kipi worth it? Yes, it's a very beautiful natural springs that is home to very large fish!  

How long is the raft ride at Kitch-iti-kipi? Depending on how fast one of the passengers pulls the raft across, it can take anywhere from 15 - 20 minutes. There is no fee to ride the raft. 

Can you swim in Lake Kitch-iti-kipi? No swimming is allowed at The Big Spring in the Palms Book State Park.

The acres of forest surrounding Kitichitikipi is breathtaking, isn't it?

Embarking on the Kitch iti kipi Observation Raft!

Hop aboard the self-guided (accessible) observation raft that will take you across the bubbling emerald green springs of Lake Kitch it kipi in the Palm Book State Park.  I love the middle viewing area as the water is so crystal clear! It offers a great view of the fish and the magical bubbling springs.

It's definitely super popular with visitors as you can view the fish and ancient tree trunks all the way to the crystal clear emerald bottom.

  • The raft has a roof so you are able to see the fish very clearly without the glare from the sun. 
  • Someone in your party will need to operate the crank that propels the raft along a guided line.  There is no charge to ride the raft and you can go as many times as you like. We rode it for about a half hour as we were enjoying the experience so much.

Where is Kitchiti Kipi Located? 

Check out the map above to see the location of Kitch iti kipi!

Kitch-iti-kipi is located in the Palms Book State Park just outside of Manistique in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  

Can you Visit Kitch-iti-kipi in the winter?

Can you visit Kitch-iti-kipi in the winter? Yes, absolutely!  The park remains open all winter and so beautiful!  It's definitely worth the visit during all four seasons! Kitch iti kipi is also breathtaking in the fall, perfect for a Michigan Fall Color Tour!

Wow text photo

Kitch iti kipi is the largest natural freshwater spring in Michigan's Upper Peninsula! It is 200’ in diameter, 42′ deep and delivers 16,000 gallons of water per minute.  HOLY MOLY!!

History and Legends of Kitch-iti-kipi!

Per the information board at the park, "Kitch-iti-Kipi is an Ojibwa word meaning "The Great Water", "The Blue Sky" or the "Roaring Bubbling Spring."  

Tourism began in the late 1890's as Manistique was a busy mill town. Visitors arrived to the spring by a narrow gauge railroad that passed nearby. 

In 1928, The Palms Book State Park was founded.  In the early 1930's, John Bellaire (who ran a five and dime store in Manistique) worked hard to turn this lovely scenic land into a state park. He indicated he could have purchased the land himself, but he chose to work on a deal between the State of Michigan and the Book and Palms families.

The Book and Palms families agreed to sell the property to the State of Michigan for $1. Sounds like a good purchase to me!

The deal included 90 acres and the deed declared the land must to be "forever used as a public park, bearing the name Palms Book State Park."

Mr. Bellaire wanted many visitors to enjoy this natural spring so he worked to improve the park including the road leading to it and clearing the spring of fallen trees and debris. 

"The Legend of Kitch-iti-kipi" is a book written by Carole Lynn Hare that discusses, "What is the real Native American Legend" surrounding the mysterious Kitch-iti-kipi. Give it a read!

Kitch iti kipi is a Spectacular Place to Visit in Michigan's Upper Peninsula!

The springs remain a constant 45 degrees so it rarely freezes!  So you can still visit the spring in the winter!

Isn't it fascinating to watch the spring bubbling up from below the fish?  For me, it is just so mesmerizing!!

Kitch-iti-kipi is a Wonderful Place for Photographers! What is the best time of day to see Kitch-iti-kipi? 

What is the best time of day to see Kitch-iti-kipi? 

We arrived at Big Spring or Kitch iti kipi around 7:00 pm in the summer.  We loved the beautiful blue sky in our photos! We were awarded with better photos than the following late morning when the sun was higher. 

Kitch-iti-kipi is a breathtaking natural springs that is unlike any experience we have ever had

You will need a state park pass and there is no charge to take the raft across the spring.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the address? Sawmill Rd, Manistique, MI 49854
  • Is the lot gravel? The parking lot at Big Spring is paved
  • Are there bathrooms? There are bathrooms near the parking lot and a porta-john at the end of the lot on your way out of the park.
  • Is it a long walk to the springs? You will only walk a very short way through a path of pine trees to the spectacular emerald springs. There are no stairs.
  • How is kitch-iti-kipi pronounced? ("KITCH-i-tee-KI-pee" with short "i"s)
  • What does the name mean? The name means "big cold water"
  • You will need a state park pass 
  • Can you swim in the Kitch-ITI-Kipi?  You can not swim in the spring

We recommend wearing bug spray as there can be mosquitoes in the woods.

Exciting Nearby Attractions and Things To Do

Grab our Michigan Upper Peninsula Guide! It's jam-packed with lots of attractions and fun things to do for the whole family!  

If you would like a map and guide of the State of Michigan, we have that too!

Pin This Big Spring, Kitch-iti-kipi Page

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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Can you visit Kitch-iti-kipi in the winter? Not rated yet
We wondered if you can see this beautiful place in the winter? Thanks, Tamara Answer Hi Tamara! Yes, absolutely! The state park is left open …

How much is Kitch-ITI-Kipi? Not rated yet
Is there a charge to get in to Kitch iti kipi in Michigan's UP? Answer Hi Brandy, There is not an entrance fee per person, but you will need …

How long do people spend at Kitch-ITI-Kipi? Not rated yet
We would like to visit here this summer and wondered how much time to allow? Answer Hi Kathy, I would plan on about an hour and a half at the …

Can you swim in Kitch-ITI-Kipi? Not rated yet
Wondered if we can plan on swimming at Kitch iti kipi? Answer Hi Mary, No, swimming is not allowed at Kitch iti kipi springs. Here is more …

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We fell in love with this beautiful red lighthouse and breakwater in Manistique, Michigan. The clouds cooperated and the lighthouse just got prettier and prettier the closer we walked. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ It's a lovely quaint lake town, we spend the night there after three days in the UP!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #manistique #manistiquemi #manistiquemichigan #bluesky #lighthousesofmichigan #lighthouses #lighthousesrule #breakwater #fabfriday #fridayfeeling #puremitten #naturalmitten #thegreatlakesstate #wearemichiganders #onlyinmichigan #getlost #mittenlove⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #midwestmoment #michiganders #mittensmitten #onlyinmichigan #michiganoverboard #michigan_wanderlust #michiganunsalted #puremichiganders #naturalmichigan #mittenstatelove #awesomemitten

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About the Lead Author | Sherry Trautman

Thanks for stopping by!

Our Words of Wisdom: “Never follow anyone else’s path. Unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path, then by all means follow that path.”

"Sherry & Chris"

We're Sherry and Chris the founders of one of Michigan's most comprehensive and Top Travel Blogs!

    Sherry Trautman is a seasoned business owner and a multifaceted content creator, deeply entrenched in the world of travel in Michigan. With her extensive background in writing, editing, photography, marketing, website design, web mastering, social media, and publishing, she is the driving force behind the acclaimed Michigan Travel site "" A lifelong Michigander, Sherry's journey began in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan led her to St. Joseph during her formative years, and further to Kalamazoo for her higher education. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design and Fine Art from Western Michigan University. Her career initially blossomed in Battle Creek, where she contributed significantly to aviation, marketing, and the art industry.

    In 2018, Sherry, alongside her husband Chris, embarked on a passionate endeavor with the inception of This venture was not just a business but a full-time commitment to exploring and celebrating the diverse landscapes and communities of Michigan. Together, they tirelessly traverse the state, curating unique experiences, capturing stunning visuals, and weaving engaging narratives that showcase Michigan's rich cultural tapestry and natural beauty. From her early experiences in different Michigander locales to her extensive professional background, Sherry's life and work epitomize a deep-rooted expertise in Michigan travel, making her an authoritative voice in this niche.

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