September 17, 2022

The Great Race from Tahquamenon Falls to Lake Superior

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A buddy and I checked out the possible sights for spectators to enjoy the view, give a shout out to their favorite paddler, and to capture a few incredible shots along the way, particularly for the "Great Race". The Tahqua Trail Road lies parrallel to the Tahquamenon River. It is a beautiful road lined with trees and very few homes, fewer as you continue northwest It is located just north of the river mouth, north of the bridge and across from a road side park located on M-123 that offers travelers access to Whitefish Bay. We traveled some 5 miles and there were a number of turn outs on the road, places where you could totally pull your vehicle off and be a short walk from the river's edge. I recommend setting up a small picnic, toss the dog a frisbie or two, or capture snaps. A number of the pictures that I took on this journey are posted here. As the road meanders along the river to the north west, it becomes even more desolate. The river is relatively wide and bends just so that you'll see your fav paddler and be able to watch them for awhile before they disappear around the next bend. Be mindful of the wildlife and don't forget to prepare for mosquitoes. As always, take your trash with you. This is a wilderness area and we would like the guy that follows you to see the same fantastic view.

The first race starts at 10:00 AM at the Tahquamenon Lower Falls State Park. Come early, have some coffee and a blueberry muffin at the concessions stand as you stretch your legs about the park for a spell. Enjoy nature at its best. Cheer on the paddlers at the start, hang around for a bit if you wish then meander into Paradise for a hearty breakfast. The "fastest finishers" will come across the finish line at the mouth of the river (17 miles from the start or a little over 7.6 miles per hour) after 2 hours and 10 minutes plus so you've got some time to explore. Then grab another cup of Joe at the mouth of the River before riding along the Tahqua Trail Road as far you want to catch the canoes in the wild. Then catch them again as they travel the route before cheering them on at the finish line.

The second race starts at 1:30 PM from the mouth of the Tahquamenon River back toward the Lower Falls and then return. The fastest will complete that race in a little over an hour and be completed in less then two hours. If you are not an early riser, you can still catch the afternoon race, follow the Tahqua Trail Road and absorb the energy displayed by these athletes. Who knows, maybe next year you'll join in on the fun. Hope to see you along the trail. ... N. Craig

For your convenience, concessions will be available at the River Mouth Boat Launch Area. Concessions are sponsored by the Whitefish Township Community EMS Services featureing grilled Brats & Hotdogs. For full meals and dining comfort, please visit the Paradise area restaurants.

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