A road trip around lake Michigan : The murky waters of Tahquamenon falls

I’m going to go back in time, and talk to you about our incredible 2 months road trip that took place in the US during summer 2013. We’ve explored different places, but let’s start by something a bit off the beaten-paths… a road trip around one of the natural wonders of the world, the Great Lakes !

Road trip around Lake MichiganFor the ones who have missed the first parts :

A road trip around lake Michigan : Exploring Milwaukee.

A road trip around lake Michigan : Driving across Wisconsin

A road trip around lake Michigan : Marquette, in the heart of the Upper Peninsula


We left Marquette behind, and drove towards another interesting State Park, Tahquamenon Falls. The park is known for its two famous brown waterfalls. The colour of the water is quite surprising at first sight, it is actually due to the presence of tannins coming from the Cedar swamps nearby. It was the first time I was seeing such a colour ! I first thought it was polluted ! Haha ! The Upper Falls are the most easily reachable via a paved pathway starting at the parking area. From there, you can do the 4 mile hiking trail along the river to the Lower Falls… At the beginning, we were planning to do it, as well as some kayaking but the rain really affected our motivation. Instead, we had lunch at The Tahquamenon Falls Brewery and Restaurant.. where we had to wait for a very long time before having a seat. The weather encouraged people to stay inside and they were not in a hurry to leave the place. The homemade brews didn’t really blow my mind away but the food was quite good !

After this rainy interlude, we decided to go straight to Sault Sainte Marie, at the boundary between the US and the Canada, hoping for a better weather. We visited the locks and had a glimpse at Lake Huron. When I thought about it, that day was probably not the highlight of this road trip, even if Taquamenon Falls were really pretty :-)

The next morning, we took the Mackinac bridge. It is a scary suspension bridge that makes the connexion between the upper and lower peninsula of Michigan where you can see through it while driving. The bridge is longer than 5 km which seems really long when you are driving on it. I was relieved once we got to the other side. I was surprised we had to pay to take it, but it was only 5$. And then we arrived in Mackinaw city… (to be continued)


77 responses to “A road trip around lake Michigan : The murky waters of Tahquamenon falls

  1. I have been across that bridge a few times. I see your posts and I kick myself for not traveling more a decade ago but I am making up for the lost time now.


  2. Pingback: A road trip around lake Michigan : Exploring the East shore | Darwin on the rocks and around the world·

  3. I love reading about your road trips. I think you have discovered something about traveling in US, that is the State Parks. The National Parks are all very dramatic. The State Parks are very cool, then there are County and City Parks locally. It is good that property can be set aside for everyone to enjoy. Like libraries, parks are important for quality of life.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The reason for the grates is to allow the wind to pass through, to prevent the bridge from twisting apart. If you think it is scary to drive on, come back on the first Monday of September each year and participate in the annual Labor Day Bridge walk! :). My sister has done it several times.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for the info over the waterfalls! Incredible view it must be – ooooh…the bridge looks so pretty! I love the colors – green and yellow seemed good together :)


    • We’ve realized it was not a popular road trip destination ;-) We haven’t encountered a lot of foreigners (but lots of Americans travelling around). In some places, people were asking us why did we decideto come here and not in Las Vegas !! haha. Like you said, anyplace can be an adventure and brings a lot of fun ! :-)

      People are craving for sunshine, they don’t like the weather Michigan has to offer ;-)


  6. We drove that bridge many years ago when our children were young. I LIKE heights (skydiving-woohoo!) and love water but still remember how frightening that bridge was. I kept picturing the whole family (with the dog) plummeting down, down, down before the car even hit the water and then–no chance!


  7. I agree, that bridge is scary. I sure hope you took a ferry over to Mackinac Island. We’re planning on going back sometime this summer thus I’m enjoying your posts on the area.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That bridge is so impressive. 5 km long?! I’m sure it was quite something to experience. Thanks for sharing! Have a great week ahead :)


  9. Everything is enormous – the Falls, Lake Michigan itself, the bridge. It’s hard for me to imagine what it’s like to drive on a 5km bridge! Tahquamenon Falls looks very interesting. I notice that the brown colour only occurs at the point when the water cascades down. Does it change to the normal colour when it reaches the bottom?


    • It is very impressive to drive on that bridge. We have also been to San Francisco, so it wasn’t a first time on a very long bridge, but this one was particularly long !

      As for the colour of the water, even the river is of this colour but it’s difficult to see it on the picture :-)

      I hope you enjoyed your weekend !

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Gosh, I hate it when they make something high see-through, I’m always the one who refuse to step on it or step on it very extremely slowly to make sure I’m not falling off…haha…


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