Hiking the Trail between Lower and Upper Tahquamenon Falls

Alison and I headed off down the trail between the Lower and Upper Falls after a dire warning regarding “muckiness” from a few “helpful” folks. (People at the Lower Falls were super talkative and quite bemused by seeing two people with packs on their backs–“Hey girls, lookin’ for your campsite?”)
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The trail started off dry and strewn with roots but very lovely. It quickly became both wet and root-strewn, but the roots were quite helpful as places to step to avoid the suction of the wet earth. We had such a snowy winter and a rainy spring and summer, that it makes me think that if you went in a drier year you wouldn’t have to deal with quite as much muck.

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Soon it got pretty sloppy indeed, with an occasional branch tossed on the trail to use as a “bridge.”

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Alison and I did a LOT of balancing during this entire trip, which is a little tricky with a pack throwing off your center of gravity.

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It was decided that we both could have benefited from a good walking stick, as saplings and tree branches were not always handy to aid our trek across these boggy spots. (Little did we know, we had much MUCH soggier challenges ahead of us.)

Along the way we saw several intrepid trees with roots stretching over rocks to reach the soil below.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe found an enchanting miniature “falls” that I wish I had in my backyard.

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To our left, the “rushing Taquamenaw” rolled on over resistant rocks, creating many spots of pleasant-sounding rapids.

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But other areas were wide and deep and calm.

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In spots you could really see just how like a cup of tea the water really is.

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We did take the time to notice the little things: many different types of mosses, gray-green lichens, TONS of mushrooms of every shape and color…

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…a long-dead tree that had broken down to the point that it resembled the layers of rocks you can see in this area of the Upper Peninsula…

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…and exciting hints of color that pointed us to the coming autumn season.

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We did run into the occasional tree down on the trail (again, a warning sign of things to come) but managed to navigate them fairly easily on this portion of the trail.

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And despite the fact that while planning this trip I was under the mistaken impression that the distance between the Lower and Upper Falls was actually two miles rather than four miles (I can haz math?) we did reach the Upper Falls after a time.

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Photos of the beautiful Upper Falls will be in the next post, but here’s a little taste of what greeted us when we emerged from the trail in the late afternoon.

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