Tahquamenon Falls: Michigan's Best Waterfall in the UP

tahquamenon falls

Waterfalls are plentiful when visiting the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. However, there are few waterfalls that are as majestic and breath taking, than Tahquamenon Falls. Here’s my 2020 guide to enjoying the Michigan’s most majestic waterfall.

Directions to Tahquamenon Falls

Tahquamenon Falls is located 12 miles west of Paradise and 28 miles east of Newberry, MI. The Falls are off of Highway 123 in Michigan’s North East corner of the Upper Peninsula The Upper and Lower Falls are separated by 5 miles and is about a 10 minute drive between the two.

Driving Distances from these cities:

  • Marquette: 2.5 Hours
  • Munising: 1.5 Hours
  • Houghton: 4 Hours
  • Traverse City: 3.5 Hours
  • Grand Rapids: 5 Hours
  • Detroit: 6 Hours

Hiking to the Upper Falls

tahquamenon falls
Michigan Photographer

The Tahquamenon Falls Upper Falls is about a 1.5 mile paved loop. This loop will take you to a few different platforms offering a variety of amazing viewpoints. Before descending down to the main platform closest to the falls, there are a few viewpoints to take in the falls if you don’t want to scale the stairs.

The two main viewing platform requires visitors to scale up and a down a flight of stairs that definitely won’t be easy for everyone but most should manage. The one closest to the falls is 94 steps, while the lower “gorge view”,  is 116 steps

Hiking to the Lower Falls

Tahquamenon Falls

The Lower Falls is a lovely series of cascades that are easily accessible for visitors. Follow the elevated forest trail and .3 mile later you will arrive. The lower falls aren’t as scenic from a waterfall standpoint but what makes them worthwhile is the ability to wade in the water upstream, take a boat ride around the area, or hang out for a picnic.

Hiking from Lower to Upper Falls

tahquamenon Falls

Hiking from the Lower to the Upper Falls or vice versa, is a gorgeous but demanding hike. The hike from the Lower to the Upper Falls is 4 miles one way and is not an easy hike. Factor in heat, bugs, exposed roots, downed trees, hills and more. If you’re a good hiker, you will love it.

Winter at Tahquameon Falls

Just because it gets painfully cold in the Upper Peninsula, doesn’t mean this waterfall and state park shuts down. Winter is arguably the best time to visit as there is no bugs and smaller crowds. Winter activities at Tahquamenon include:


Cross Country Skiing 

Snowmobiiling – There are over 200 miles of groomed trails in the region for snowmobilers! 

Things to Do at Tahquamenon Falls State Park

  • Visit the Tahquamenon Fall Brewery & Pub – The Brewery is adjacent to the Parking Lot at the Upper Falls Location. Hot days in the summer means this place is packed
  • Rent a Boat at the Lower Falls – Visitors can rent a boat and paddle the lower section of the park for scenic views 
  • Wade in the Water – Cool the body down in the river and enjoy a day in nature 
  • Fish – Spots between the Lower Falls and Whitefish Bay are popular and great spots to Fish in Michigan

Camping Options in the Area

Camping is permitted and encouraged year round at Tahquamenon Falls. Be sure to book in advance because this is one of the most visited spots in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan!

Lower Falls Hemlock Campground is open in the Winter and year round.

Important Info about Tahquamenon

  • Tahquamenon Falls Park hours are from 8AM-10PM
  • Gas is limited in the area. Check your fuel levels before venturing to far
  • Cell Signal is sporadic as it is in most parts of the UP
  • Seasons vary drastically here. Pack for your season. Bug Spray, Winter Gear, Umbrellas
  • There are ample bathrooms at both the Upper and Lower falls
  • PETS are allowed on leash but CANNOT be left in cars. Violators will be ticketed.
  • Tahquamenon Falls is the 2nd Largest state park in Michigan, behind the Porcupine Mountains
  • Daily 45 minute Tours start at 2 pm from the Fact Shack at the Upper Falls
  • Jordans Shuttles run from lower to the upper falls from 12-8pm. $17 for first person & $3 for each additional person. THE 2020 SHUTTLE IS NOT RUNNING! NO SHUTTLE! Plan accordingly.

Upper Peninsula Travel Planner

If this hasn’t been on your radar, make sure it is! If you have anymore questions or suggestions for things to do please contact me or refer to my posts below.

Words are hard to explain when you get to experience this beauty in person, so make sure you don’t skip it. If you need a Michigan Travel Planner for your trip, reach out and I can make an amazing itinerary for you!

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