Kitchitikipi – The Big Spring
at Palms Book State Park
Sept. 2011: Captain Malia taking a turn at the wheel of the observation raft
I was told by a DNR friend that I absolutely could not miss the legendary Kitchitikipi – Big Spring at Palms Book State Park. I ended up being so glad I took that advice and made a trip there while staying at nearby Indian Lake State Park.
Although there's no camping at Palms Book, the parking lot for the Big Spring is plenty large enough for RVs if you are passing by – it's definitely worth the stop! There's also a gift and concession store and picnic tables on the grounds.
Leaving the dock, it's an easy turn of the wheel that is connected to the guiding cable.
Inside the raft you can view from the sides of the raft or the glass bottom in the middle.
Bubbling springs – 0ver 10,000 gallons a minute gush from fissures in the underlying limestone!
The visibility is so clear, It's hard to believe you're seeing 40 feet deep down.
It's a short, easy but worthwhile trip to the other bank and back.
The original name given the spring by early Indians was the "Mirror of Heaven" – totally appropriate!
Links to more info on Kitchitikipi:
Palms Book State Park (Michigan DNR)
Palms Book has one of Michigan's alluring natural attractions — Kitch-iti-kipi. Two hundred feet across, and 40-feet deep Kitch-iti-kipi is Michigan's largest freshwater spring. Over 10,000 gallons a minute gush from fissures in the underlying limestone at a constant 45 degree Fahrenheit.
Big Spring "Kitchitikipi" (Hunt's UP Guide)
Few natural sights in Michigan compare with the beauty and mystique of this enormous, bowl-like spring. Through a storybook forest of cedars and pines, you come upon an amazing, emerald-green spring, oval and jewel-like, some 200 feet wide. Colors are enhanced by the very white sand at the bottom.
Big Spring (Exploring the North.com)
Ancient tree trunks, mineral-encrusted branches and fat trout appear to be suspended in nothingness as they slip through crystal waters far below. Clouds of sand kept in constant motion by gushing waters create ever-changing shapes and forms, a challenge to the imagination of young and old alike.
How Kitchitikipi Came to Be (Michigan.gov – pdf)
The Indians tell one of the many legends by which their imagery explains Kitchitikipi, the beautiful emerald pool hidden near the edge of a coniferous swamp. But the fanciful Indian legend is no more interesting than the way Nature made Big Spring.
I'd love to hear your own experiences about places I've been - and what you think are "must-sees" - and I really value any suggestions and feedback from readers, so please let me have your 2 cents in Comments below: