Paradise Michigan is considered by many a relatively remote location. Nestled just north of the Tahquamenon Rivermouth, Paradise historically has been an ideal location for people to visit. Even in the days when loggers worked the forests and workers picked the cranberries and wild blueberries to be shipped to other areas of the country these people often set up camps right in the vicinity of the current community, Paradise. Even in the 1930’s, small businesses that offered amenities (fresh whitefish in restaurants, boat rides, motels, cabins) to travelers and workers alike recognized the inherent beauty of the area.
Spring is the most remote time of the year. The cranberries and wild blueberries are not ready, logging in thawing trails doesn’t make sense. Snowmobile trails are closed and hazardous, and well jumping in the water, is just not inviting when blocks of ice build up along the sand bars. Many of the small businesses actually close up shop for a few weeks to get away for a spell or use the time to repair and renew their businesses for the coming of summer. Tourism in this area is seasonal. But low and behold, there are people residing in much faster paced areas, looking for that slower pace. Paradise offers a refuge for those people looking for less traffic, clean air, fewer people, and calmer spirits.
Today, amenities are available during the spring months in the area, but choices are limited. The Silver Creek Grill & Pub is located just south of Paradise, on M-123. They offer a great sandwich and soup, open seven days a week, beginning at 11:30 AM. Friday nights they have a very popular Fish Fry from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM. On weekends, they are usually open until 11:00 PM. The Berry Patch Bakery & Restaurant is open 7 days a week opening at 8:00 AM with a great cup of coffee, cinnamon rolls, sticky buns, and of course, their famous Lumberjack breakfast. Our local gas station, Paradise Recreational Sports, our hardware store, Paradise Hardware, and grocery store, Paradise Foods are open. However, a number of small cottage rental facilities are closed but Curley’s Paradise Motel, Paradise Inn, Vagabond Motel, and Freighter’s View on the Bay are open and welcome guests to the area. Don’t hesitate to ask your hotel proprietor for details in weather conditions in pursuing the opportunities listed below.
- Tahquamenon Falls is without a doubt the most spectacular attraction in March and April. As the snow melts, the sheer volume of water that cascades over the falls is overwhelming! The noise can be deafening! Camp 33’s Brewery and Pub is closed in April to prepare for the coming season but don’t hesitate to take the short hike back to the falls. You will be amazed and thrilled by the grandeur and beauty.
- Bird Watching kicks off the season as bird migrations in the Whitefish Point area is a unique phenomenon on the continent. The Whitefish Point Bird Observatory begins its bird counts March 15. But it greets many birders year after year in their annual Spring Fling, the fourth weekend in April as members come from far a wide for the opportunity to spy that one species that has eluded them. Armed with cameras, scopes, tri-pods, and notepads, these bird enthusiasts will track and document their special finds. Your birding experience is only enhanced in this special environment.
- Michigan Rock Hounding As the snow and ice melts, a new assortment of rocks appear for the avid Rock enthusiast. Some of the most dedicated spend some time checking for that stone that most calls to them to add to their collections. Check with your motel/hotel proprietor for ice conditions on the shoreline for rock hounding opportunities.
- Cross Country Skiing continues as long as there is snow and in the Paradise area, the snow can last through April. For some, continuing to ski our Paradise Pathways in the warmer weather and watching the woods slowly awaken to the sounds of Spring is invigorating. If there is sufficient snow, you may even find yourself in snow shoes.
- Maple Syrup is from tree sap? Yes, and you can learn more about the tapping of trees, cooking down the sap and creating Maple Syrup at the Tahquamenon Falls Maple Sugaring Days. See actual tree taps, cooking on a fire outdoors, and taste the syrup poured over pancakes. Sometimes you will have an opportunity to still snowshoe or ride sled pulled by sled dogs. Maple Sugar Days is usually held the middle of March but varies from year to depending on temperatures. Be sure to check the Tahquamenon Falls State Park website to confirm dates for this sweet treat!
Quiet, may be your ultimate experience. There are no cars honking, traffic lights ticking, engines running. Sleep in, read a book, write a book, connect with a family member, connect with your Maker. Take quiet walks in the park. There is no place quite like Paradise in Spring.