Published on 1/1/2007
The last time I traveled to Kitch-iti-kipi was probably over 17 years ago. I vaguely remembered the visitor-operated and cable-guided raft, the gigantic trout swimming through the pristine water and the wonder of seeing the spring from the glass bottom boat. I don't really know if it was then, but today it isn't a glass bottom boat. The boat is a canopy-covered observation raft with an opening in the middle. You can see in our video that a wooden railing protects visitors from any swim that they might want or not want to take.
Although the park seems smaller now, it is just as impressive as when I was a kid. The drive to the park was peaceful. We went in October, so the changing color of the leaves was a nice backdrop for the occasional field. Riding the raft was a delightful experience as well. The water was as thin as air as we peeked into an underwater world.
Known as Big Springs, Kitch-iti-kipi is Michigan's largest spring. Over 16,000 gallons a minute erupt from the limestone bottom 40 feet beneath the surface. This spring is constant all year and keeps the surrounding water at 45 degrees.
It is only about 10 miles off of US 2 near Manistique. If you are driving from Marquette on US 41, expect to drive about 80 miles after turning onto M94. The raft is 100% handicap accessible from the parking lot and is only about 300 feet away.
If you are driving on US 2 between May 15 and October 15, take a rest stop at Big Springs. We promise it'll become one of the highlights of your day.