“With more than 19 million acres of forest and 3,000 miles of shoreline, Michigan is an underappreciated outdoor playground,” says tripsavvy.com, the online travel source that just named Michigan the top destination in the world for outdoor enthusiasts in 2020.
The state is packed with outdoor activities including hiking the sky-high dunes at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, taking a dip in Lake Michigan’s turquoise waters, and road tripping across the Mackinac Bridge along MI-119.
The upper peninsula is “home to hundreds of waterfalls, but standing 50 feet tall, Tahquamenon Falls, near Paradise, Michigan, is one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi. Its tannin-rich waters pour over at 6,000 gallons of water per second. In Munising, kayak or paddleboard beneath large sandstone cliffs along America’s first National Lakeshore, Pictured Rocks. Those same cliffs create frozen curtains of ice that present an exhilarating challenge for ice climbers all winter long,” continues the website.
If that isn’t enough outdoor activity to spark your interest, the state is also home to Frederick Law Olmstead’s 300-acre Presque Isle Park, cross-country skiing, and Isle Royale National Park. Only accessible by boat or seaplane, this remote island archipelago is open annually, April through October, and is a sanctuary for hikers, shipwreck divers, and fishermen.
And last, but certainly not least, is Kitch-iti-kipi, Michigan’s largest spring. Located just west of Manistique at Palms Book State Park, “The Big Spring” is two hundred feet across and forty feet deep. Over 10,000 gallons a minute gush from many fissures in underlying limestone, the flow continuing throughout the year at a constant 45-degree temperature so the spring never freezes and can be enjoyed any season of the year.