Kitchitikipi – Big Spring
Kitchitikipi (Big Spring) is the largest freshwater spring in Michigan. The original name of the spring was the “Mirror of Heaven” given to it by the early Native Americans. It is an oval pool about 300 by 175 feet, and 40 feet deep. Over 10,000 gallons a minute of water rush up from cracks in the limestone floor and maintains a constant 45 degree Fahrenheit. It is about six miles west of Manistique on US Highway 2 and 12 miles north on M-149 in Thompson Township. Kitchitikipi is located within Palms Brook State Park.
Ancient tree trunks with mineral encrusted branches can be seen at the bottom of the pool, as well as many fish in the crystal clear waters. The fish within the spring are lake trout, brown trout and brook trout. On occasion one can spot yellow perch and other species that move between Big Spring and nearby Indian Lake. Kitchitikipi is connected to Indian Lake by an underground stream.
A self-operated observation raft is available to park visitors to view the underwater features. This raft is on a cable that is pulled across the spring pool by park visitors or by a park employee. There are viewing windows where visitors can see Kitchitikipi or visitors can look over the side of the raft. The beauty of the Big Spring is undeniable. Visit this fascinating destination as part of your Upper Michigan vacation.