Tahquamenon Falls State Park
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We made a last minute decision to head to Tahquamenon Falls on a Sunday afternoon while we were roaming around the UP. Knowing it was a popular destination, we called the state park reservation line and got a very friendly and helpful agent who was able to snag us the last reservable spot available for the night in the Lower Falls campground.
There are actually two campgrounds within the park - one at the Rivermouth with 72 sites, and another at the Lower falls with two sections for a total of 188 sites. When we told our agent we wanted the most scenic location, she got us a site in the Lower Falls campground, and ended up in a nice huge shaded spot on the Riverbend section.
The campground itself is very pleasant - Michigan seems to have it down. The loops are well designed, the sites spacious and the facilities top notch. Some of the sites in our section were waterfront.
There are a lot of trails right from the campground, and they're beautiful. An easy one right to the lower falls, with a concession stand, boat rental and easy to get to overlooks of the falls. Really well done, and reminded us more of a national park than a state one.
We noticed there was a 4 mile hike up to the upper falls, and almost took it before we noticed the signs for a shuttle service ($12pp, or $15 for a couple) that will take you between the two. We instead opted to take the shuttle up to the Upper Falls and then hike the 4 miles back down to camp.
Once we got to the Upper Falls.. there was a BREWERY! A brewery, in a state park! Ok.. that's pretty darn cool. We grabbed a brew, then walked up and down the staircases to view the upper falls. And then off we set for our 4 mile hike along the river back to our campground. It was a beautiful rustic trail with lots of ascensions to and from the waterfront. Lovely.
We had a boostable and slow Verizon connection at the campground, and absolutely no AT&T signal.
The rate is our nightly rate, without the $8 reservation fee or the passport fee ($8/day or a $29 annual pass).
Our favorite in Michigan,
In my opinion, Michigan's premier "nature" campground. Absolutely beautiful scenery/location. Campground is in two sections, a "lower campground" (our favorite) which is near the river & lower falls, and an "upper campground" which is short hike or bike/car ride up-hill from the falls area. If reservations are made months in advance, can usually get a river-front site. Campground is very well maintained. Sites are large, grassy, and shaded. Staff is courteous. Campfire wood is sold on site, with truck that makes rounds through campground twice each evening. Lots of hiking trails. Boardwalk and trail along the river is the closest thing to the Pacific Northwest that Michigan has to offer: the smell of pines, the sound of rushing water, and a quiet trail through the woods for a 4-mile journey to the "upper" section of the falls. We've camped here often and and will continue to do so for many years to come. Always a highlight of my summer camping experiences. We camped here in a Motorhome.