This is the land of Longfellow's Hiawatha: "by the rushing Tahquamenaw" Hiawatha built his canoe. Long before the white man set eyes on the river, the abundance of fish in its waters and animals along its shores attracted the Chippewa Indians, who camped, farmed, fished and trapped along its banks. In the late 1800's came the lumber barons and the river carried their logs by the millions to the mills. The lumberjacks who harvested the tall timber were among the first permanent settlers in the area. Hiawatha and the lumberjacks are gone now, but they whisper from the past, in the rushing waterfall, the murmur of the water eddying around the island, the wind sighing through the cedar boughs and the giant pines still to be seen in this wooded wonderland.
Shot at Tahquamenon Falls State Park near Paradise, MI in the Upper Pennisula, using my Nikon D3s, with a Nikor 18-200mm lens, f5.3, 1/60s, ISO 200, on 10/4/2011.
The Tahquamenon rises from springs north of McMillan and drains an area of more than 820 square miles. From its source, it meanders 94 miles before emptying into Whitefish Bay. 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 extremely soft water churned by the action of the falls causes the extensive amounts of foam which has been the trademark of theTahquamenon since the days of the voyageurs. The park offers visitors a wide variety of recreational opportunities. During the spring and summer, camping, hiking, backpacking, fishing, canoeing, nature study and photography are popular activities. Fall colors provide a beautiful picturesque view of the park. In addition, hunters will find ample opportunities to pursue their sport. Tahquamenon Falls is open year round. From the voluminous flowage of spring runoff through the bright days of summer, brilliant colors of fall, topped off by the spectacular ice sculpturing of the Upper Falls; each season has its own beauty. A pair of moose wander the park land and can sometimes be spotted by visitors, as can the bald eagles which make their home here. Black bear, coyotes, otter, deer, fox, porcupine, beaver and mink are a few of the other wildlife to be seen in the park. The abundant bird life includes Spruce Grouse, Sharptail Grouse, Pileated Woodpeckers and a variety of waterfowl and songbirds. The area is one of the few nesting sites in Michigan for the Sandhill Crane.