GSM 2015 July Pictured Rocks MI - Day 3
Dec 19, 2015Public
Photo: Tahquamenon Falls Riverboat Tours & the Famous Toonerville Trolley.
Photo: The red line marks our route to Tahquamenon Falls, which we retraced in the afternoon.
Photo: Welcome to the Tahquamenon Falls Wilderness Excursion located in the beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  The Toonerville Trolley, an authentic narrow gauge railroad, takes you 5 1/2 miles through thick forest; the habitat of bear (which we saw), deer, moose, gray wolf, and many types of birds.
Photo: The train has been in operation since 1927. Partners Joe Beach and Robert Hunter developed this unique train ride and river boat tour that provided the only access to the Upper Tahquamenon Falls.
Photo: View Upper Peninsula Wildlife from the comfort of your TOONERVILLE TROLLEY seat.  You and your family will experience a truly unique one-of-a-kind UP tour through the Tahquamenon Forest.
Photo: At the end of the train line is our first view of the beautiful Tahquamenon River, where we boarded the riverboat for a 21 mile cruise down the river to the rapids 1/2 mile above the Upper Tahquamenon Falls.
Photo: The riverboat Hiawatha, which we will board for a 21 mile cruise down the river to the rapids 1/2 mile above the Upper Tahquamenon Falls.
Photo: It was a beautiful (but cool) day for a river cruise.
Photo: The Tahquamenon River is an 89.1-mile-long blackwater river in the U.S. state of Michigan that flows in a generally eastward direction through the eastern end of the Upper Peninsula.
Photo: We had great views from the bow.
Photo: A blackwater river is a type of a river with a deep, slow-moving channel flowing through forested swamps or wetlands. As vegetation decays, tannins leach into the water, making a transparent, acidic water that is darkly stained, resembling tea or coffee
Photo: One of numerous beaver lodges we spotted.
Photo: Blackwater rivers are lower in nutrients than whitewater rivers and have ionic concentrations higher than rainwater. The unique conditions lead to flora and fauna that differ both from whitewater and clearwater rivers.
Photo: The meaning of "Tahquamenon" is not known. Some called it the "River of the Head Winds" because they bucked the wind on the lower river no matter what direction they were paddling. Others called it the "River of a Hundred Bends".
Photo: Aboard the Hiawatha, guests enjoy the variety of viewing options with 2 decks and front row seating.
Photo: Throughout the river cruise, we enjoyed the captain's educational narration on points of interest, history, Native American history, animals, birds, fauna and flora.
Photo: Turbulence seen looking straight down the side of the boat.
Photo: Twentieth century descendants of local Chippewa translated the river's name to mean "river up against a hill" or "lost river island" or "river with an island part way". In 1930 Jesuit scholar, Father William Gagnieut, concluded that the meaning of the name had been lost.
Photo: In Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's once-famous poem, The Song of Hiawatha (1855), the hero learned how to paddle a birchbark canoe in the Tahquamenon. The river is often used for canoeing to this day.
Photo: The river's watershed and state park are also extensively used for fishing and hiking. In winter, the watershed welcomes snowmobilers.
Photo: One of many tributaries enters here.
Photo: Another view of the tributary.