Saturday, February 9, 2013
Snow Shoeing Tahquamenon
Arlene had found this ad in the Soo Evening News that the DNR was sponsoring guided snow shoe hikes at Tahquamenon Upper Falls every Saturday in February so we planned a trip. Chris, Judy and Ross were going to come with us but came down with a cold so it just ended up being Arlene and I.
The guided tour wasn't until 3:00 PM but we left the Soo about noon and took the scenic highway that goes past Brimley and along the Superior lakeshore.
It was really a beautiful drive. It had been a long time since either of us had been to Paradise, Michigan. We had a good time reminiscing about our snowmobile trips to that area.
We got to the Upper Falls about 2:20 PM and went to check out the snow shoe tour. We met some really helpful DNR folks who gave us all kinds of good information about snow shoeing the trails. They had snow shoes there that you could borrow and they had a nice fire going with hay bales to sit on. We found out that we could just go on our own so we decided to go ahead instead of waiting for the tour.
We took the snow shoe trail that goes through the woods to the Upper Falls viewing outlook. You can actually walk to the Falls down a plowed path but snow shoeing is more fun.
This was a giant tree that was down and the trail went right under it. It was pretty neat.
This part of the trail is about one-third of a mile and kind of up and down over some pretty lumpy terrain. It didn't take us too long to get to the Falls though.
We met some nice snowmobilers who took our picture and then we took theirs too.
We decided to take the "Lantern Trail" back to the main parking lot. That is the shorter loop that is about a mile long and they do Lantern Lighted cross-country ski and snow shoe tours with a bonfire and hot chocolate. There is a longer trail called the Big Pines Trail that goes over three miles.
The trails are groomed for cross-country skis and snow shoes. If you go on snow shoes you are supposed to walk on the sides so you don't mess up the track for the skis.
We saw this unique snow formation along the trail. It looks like someone in a hat.
There were some really beautiful big pine trees along the trail. They were really tall and really big. I tried to put my arms around one of them but I couldn't even come close.
We made it back to the starting point and decided we didn't want to overdo it so we didn't go around the rest of the loop. When we got back to the where the pavilion and the bonfire was, we met Roger Morrison sitting at the fire. We had a nice visit with him. Funny how the whole place was crawling with skiers, snowmobilers, and strangers and there was someone we knew sitting by the fire.
We walked over to the Tahquamenon Falls Brewery and Pub. It is a pretty cool place. They brew their own beer and have a gift shop and restaurant there. The food was pricey but good and we had a nice dinner. They do brew their own root beer and it was delicious.
When I was a kid there wasn't anything at the Falls but a gift shop and a little snack shack where you could get a pop and some chips.
It was getting late so we headed back to the Soo. I had to pull over to the side of the road so Arlene could take some photos though.