Newberry, Tahquamenon area has wilderness, recreation

Upper Tahquamenon Falls, above, is the second largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi River and a popular tourist attraction. (Journal file photo)

NEWBERRY — With a drop of nearly 50 feet and a width of more than 200 feet, Upper Tahquamenon Falls — the second largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi River after Niagara Falls — is a major attraction in the Newberry area.

There’s a lot more, however, to the region.

But since the falls bring in many tourists, it helps to know about Tahquamenon Falls State Park, located along West M-123 near Paradise. It has more than 40 miles of hiking trails, 13 inland lakes, 24 miles of the Tahquamenon River and about 20,000 acres of natural area.

The Lower Falls, located four miles downstream, have their own charm as well, being a series of five smaller falls cascading around an island.

For people wanting to stay in the area overnight, accommodations include the Tahquamenon Falls Lodge; modern, semi-modern and rustic campgrounds; and the Pines Camper Cabin.

The Newberry area also offers plenty of wildlife for visitors to see, such as bears at Oswald’s Bear Ranch. (Journal file photo)

The Tahquamenon Falls Group Use Area, located at the Rivermouth Campground, has a fire ring with bench seating.

For those wanting a hearty meal and good music, the Lumberjack Breakfast & Country/Polka Music Festival is scheduled for Aug. 26-27 at the Tahquamenon Logging Museum.

The all-you-can-eat breakfast will be from 7 a.m. to noon, with the price $8 for adults, $5 for children ages 6 to 12 and free for kids age 5 and under. Orange juice is $1 extra. Breakfasts are cooked on the old wood stove and served in the Cook Shack.

The museum, a designated Michigan Historic Site, is located about a mile north of downtown Newberry on M-123. It has the authentic Cook Shack, an original Civilian Conservation Corps building, a music pavilion, picnic area, nature trail, boardwalk and gift shop.

Rose Anderson, museum treasurer, said the facility has many hands-on tools rather than just photographs.

Moose are seen within the boarders of Tahquamenon Falls State Park. (Photo courtesy of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources)

That unique quality is the subject of many appreciative reader comments, she said.

“Instead of looking at pictures, we’ve got the actual item,” Anderson said.

The museum, which has existed for 36 years, includes seven buildings. She noted it also features two DVDs people can watch: “Camp Forgotten” on the CCC and “How Logging Has Changed in the Last 150 Years.”

Summer hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week through Sept. 30.

Rockhounds might want to check out “Rock On!” Sept. 9-10 at Muskallonge Lake State Park. The featured rock will be the unique agate, found along Lake Superior shorelines among other places. There will be agate displays and collections, agate/rock polishing and cutting, children’s activities and a silent auction.

Tourists can also stop by the Crisp Point Lighthouse located along the shore of Lake Superior, west of Whitefish Point. (Photo courtesy of Chris Harman of Velvet Green Creations)

There’s plenty to do for other outdoors enthusiasts as well. Golfers can enjoy that sport at the Newberry Country Club, which also features the Woodland Grill Restaurant and Sports Bar.

From now through Sept. 4, tee times are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week, with the Woodland Grill open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Fall tee times, which run from Sept. 5 through Oct. 31, are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. The Woodland Grill then will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The club, a public golf course located along M-123, is situated on 200 acres and has been redesigned with new bunkers, lengthened holes and new tee boxes.

For a more wilderness experience, try looking for a moose. The Upper Peninsula has free-ranging moose herds, one of which is in the Newberry area, particularly by Tahquamenon Falls State Park, where interpretive staff can provide the latest information on recent sightings, although moose should not be approached when seen.

The Tahquamenon Falls Wilderness Excursion includes the famous Toonerville Trolley, a narrow gauge railroad that takes travelers 5 ¢ miles through thick forest.

At the end of the train line is the Tahquamenon River, where people can board a riverboat for 21-mile cruises down the road to the rapids ¢ mile above the Upper Tahquamenon Falls.

There also is a shorter Wilderness Train Ride.

Tours start at Soo Junction about two minutes off M-28 and 15 miles east of Newberry. For more information, visit www.trainandboattours.com.

Trailspotters of Michigan, based in Germfask, offers hiker shuttles for canoeists, kayakers and hikers in the Upper and Lower Falls regions.

The company, owned by Thomas Funke, author of “50 Hikes in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula,” offers “carspotting,” event logistics, tours, guides, gear rental and sales, packages and outfitting.

For details, call 386-227-7768 or email trailspotters@gmail.com.

Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net.