Tahquamenon Falls State Park: Facts, Tips and Photos of Michigan's Most Jaw Dropping Waterfall

Tahquamenon Falls | By Sherry Trautman | Traveling Michigan

Did you know the Upper Falls is the largest waterfall in Michigan?  It is absolutely breathtaking during all four of Michigan's seasons.

Since it's so close to Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island, be sure to start your trip there and then head north through 80 miles breathtaking scenery. 

Upper Peninsula Michigan Map and Tahquamenon Falls Directions 

Tahquamenon Falls is 1 hour, 30 minutes (80 miles) from Mackinaw City. You will cross the Mackinac Bridge on Interstate 75 and then continue north on US 123 to the Falls.

Along the Way, Keep an Eye Out for This Spectacular Pond!

This gorgeous pond is located on the north side of US 123, just before reaching the park.  It's really jaw dropping!

How Much Does It Cost to Get Into Tahquamenon Falls?

How much does it cost to get into Tahquamenon Falls?

In State: You can get a Recreation Passport through the Secretary of State when renewing license tabs.  If you don't have a Passport, vehicles will pay $17, motorcycles will pay $11. Pay at the entrance.

Out of State: There is a $9 single day pass if you are an out of state tourist. You can get into any Michigan State Park including both sites (Upper and Lower Falls) at the Tahquamenon Falls State Park. Pay at the entrance.

What Should I Pack for Tahquamenon Falls?

Here is what I always bring when headed to the falls:

  • Cash. Use it for snacks or day pass for the park if you don't have a Michigan Recreational Pass.
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Flip flops for the boats, hiking boots for the trails
  • Water, snacks
  • Bug spray or mosquito repellent 
  • Swim suit, towels, deodorant and lotion if you want to swim in the lower falls

● Friendly dogs on leashes are welcome on trails

● Wheelchairs are available to borrow at Fact Shack

● The park is open year-round

Let's Start at the Upper Tahquamenon Falls!

First Viewing Area at Tahquamenon FallsFirst Viewing Area at Tahquamenon Falls

41382 W. M 123, Paradise MI, 49768

At 200 feet wide and 50 feet tall, the Upper Falls is absolutely breathtaking! You only need to walk a quarter-mile of paved trail to reach the viewing areas.

Climb the 94 steps down to the Brink viewing area to get a closer look at the magnificent falls. For another spectacular viewing spot, follow the paved trail downstream to the gorge, where 116 steps continue to the river's edge.  

The amber color of the water is not rust nor is it muddiness. It is caused by tannin leached from the Cedar, Spruce and Hemlock in the swamps drained by the river.

The water flow is more than 50,000 gallons per second!


From the Gorge View, you can hike the River Trail 4.8 miles to the lower falls. 

Handicap accessible restrooms are located by the entrance to the trail that leads to the Upper Falls.

As you can see, Tahquamenon Falls is spectacular during all four seasons!

Grab a Brew and Great Eats at the Tehquamenon Falls Brewery and Pub

After parking at the Upper Falls, we recommend putting your name in for reservations at the Tehquamenon Falls Brewery and Pub.  Don't wait until you are starving (nobody wants to deal with "Hangry" emerging, lol!) as the wait can be over an hour during prime tourist summer months (we learned the hard way).  

There are also a few other walk up food choices also, like a really good taco place that I ate at while waiting for a table at the brewery.  

While you are waiting for your table, wander through the fantastic stores for souvenirs, clothing and fun finds! Camp 33 Gift Shop has a great variety of apparel and a huge selection of shoes, purses, jewelry, toys and handcrafted goods.

Tahquamenon Lower Falls

The entrance to the Lower Falls is four miles east of the Upper Falls along M-123. You can photograph these falls along a paved walkway. A quarter-mile boardwalk will take you through a thick forest leading to viewing platforms for an up-close look at the falls. 

Tahquamenon Lower FallsTahquamenon Lower Falls

This is a view of the island taken from the main path to the Lower Falls. The boardwalk on the left of the photo above is on the island.

It is fun to hike the circle around the island to truly see the Lower Falls, and the rental rowboats are the perfect (and only) way to get there!

The boats are very stable and life vests are provided.  Safe for kids to ride along. You can pay with credit card at the nearby gift shop before walking down to the launching area.

Here is a fantastic map of the hiking trails, parking locations, restroom spots and layout.  You can see the location for the boat rentals and the island on the map.

Tahquamenon Falls Hiking Trails

Tahquamenon Falls offers fantastic hiking opportunities with wonderful views and shady spots.  See the trail map above to begin planning your trip!

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I'm sooooo excited to travel to Tahquamenom Falls again this summer, I snapped this pic last year. I'm planning an upper peninsula road trip so if you have any ideas of what I can see on the way to the falls or in the UP please let me know!! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #tahquamenonfalls #michigan #waterfalls #michiganwaterfalls #majestic #bluesky #Michigan #puremichigan #michigantravel #greatlakesstate #michiganstate #puremittenpride #lovemichigan #michiganders #exploremichigan #puremittigan #northernmichigan #greatlakesstate #greatlakeslocals #getlost #mittenlove#midwestmoment #michiganders #mittensmitten #onlyinmichigan #michiganoverboard #naturalmichigan #mittenstatelove #landscapephotography #travelingmichigan

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