unincorporated community in Whitefish Township, Chippewa County, Michigan, United States

Paradise is an unincorporated community on Whitefish Bay. This article covers a broad but sparsely-populated rural area at the eastern end of Lake Superior on Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

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Tahquamenon Falls in the Autumn'

Paradise is on the northeastern portion of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, on the western side of Whitefish Bay, Lake Superior. It is a tourism gateway to the Tahquamenon Falls and Whitefish Point.

All vessels entering or leaving Lake Superior must sail past Whitefish Point, also known as the "Graveyard of the Great Lakes", 11 miles outside of town, one of the easternmost points on the Lake Superior coastline. The numerous shipwrecks in the area include the very first ship known to sail on Superior, the 60-foot trading vessel Invincible, which was lost in 1816.

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Map of Paradise and Whitefish Bay

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Whitefish Point light tower in 2007
Bell from the SS Edmund Fitzgerald
  • 1 Whitefish Point Light, 18335 N Whitefish Point Rd., +1 906 635-1742. The oldest active lighthouse on Lake Superior when it was automated in 1971. The first light tower, built with stone in 1848 and powered by whale oil, was replaced with the present steel tower during the Lincoln administration in 1861. Home to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, which exhibits salvaged artifacts from shipwrecks in the Whitefish Point Underwater Preserve, and the bell from the wreck of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, a US ship which sank in 1975 in the area (but just across the international boundary into Canada, which is water). Admission to the museum includes access and tours of the former coast guard buildings and an exhibit of a lifesaving boat and equipment. Access to the grounds is free.    
  • 2 Tahquamenon Falls (Upper and Lower Falls), 41382 W. M 123 (From the Mackinac Bridge: I-75 north to exit #352. Turn left (west) onto M-123 toward Paradise. Turn left (west) at the blinking light in Paradise to continue on M-123. Lower Falls is 10 miles west of Paradise, Upper Falls is 14 miles west of Paradise. From Newberry/M-28: Turn north onto M-123 at the blinking light near McDonald's and Comfort Inn. The Upper Falls is 25 miles ahead, the Lower Falls is 29 miles ahead.), +1 906-492-3415, . 8AM-10PM. The Tahquamenon Falls are two different waterfalls on the Tahquamenon River. Both falls are near Lake Superior in the eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The water is notably brown in color from the tannins leached from the cedar swamps which the river drains. The upper falls are more than 200 feet (60 m) across and with a drop of approximately 48 feet (14 m) During the late spring runoff, the river drains as much as 50,000 US gallons (190,000 L) of water per second, making the upper falls the third most voluminous vertical waterfall east of the Mississippi River, after Niagara Falls and Cohoes Falls, both in New York State.
    The falls are within Tahquamenon Falls State Park, between Newberry, Michigan, and Paradise, Michigan. They are a popular tourist destination in the Upper Peninsula during all seasons. Snowmobile trails lead almost to the falls, and walkways are kept clear for most of the winter.
    Recreation Passport.    

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  • 1 Whitefish Point Underwater Preserve, +1 906-492-3415, +1 906-492-3415 (off-season), toll-free: +1-800-447-2757. Scuba diving. Wrecks including the Comet, John B. Cowle, Drake, Samuel Mather, Miztec, Myron, Niagara, John M. Osborn, Sagamore, Superior City and Vienna are protected by the Whitefish Point Underwater Preserve for future generations of sports divers. Many of the 23 known shipwrecks lying in depths from 30 feet (9.1 m) to 270 feet (82 m) are moored to protect the wrecks and enhance the safety of divers. The preserve has good visibility and offers deep water diving on a variety of shipwrecks. The preserve is one of the last places in the Great Lakes to observe shipwrecks without zebra mussel encrustation. Dry suits are recommended due to cold temperatures and unprotected coves or bays. Most of the dive sites are deep and divers must be certain of their ability and their equipment before they attempt to dive in this preserve. The wrecks in Whitefish Bay are accessed at the Whitefish Point State Harbor. Free.    
  • 2 Whitefish Point Bird Observatory (end of North Whitefish Point Road), +1 906-492-3596, . Bird watching. Whitefish Point is a premier birding destination during spring and fall migration. The Whitefish Point Unit of the Seney National Wildlife Refuge provides important migratory bird migration habitat for raptors, waterbirds, and songbirds. Whitefish Point is a designated Important Bird Area. The Whitefish Point Bird Observatory is a research and education facility operated in affiliation with Michigan Audubon, a State Chapter of the National Audubon Society. Whitefish Point is the best place in North America to observe the saw-whet owl. Most of Whitefish Point is a wildlife sanctuary, renowned for the variety of birds that pass through. The Michigan Audubon Society maintains a small information room informing birders particular species to observe as they hike along the trails network. A wooden walkway has been constructed to allow the visitor a chance to venture into the sanctuary area and observe wildlife. Whitefish Point is a target for migrating birds, including eagles, Northern goshawks, geese, falcons, hawks and owls. Endangered piping plovers returned to nest at Whitefish Point in 2009. Free.    
  • 3 Rockhounding (end of North Whitefish Point Road). The cobblestone beaches at Whitefish Point are open to the public where Lake Superior agates are found, especially after storms in late summer and the fall. Free.    
  • Snowmobiling, +1 906-492-3538, . Paradise has an average annual snowfall of 200 inches and over 200 miles of well-groomed and well-marked snowmobile trails through wilderness beauty that connect to trails across the entire Upper Peninsula of Michigan (adapted from Paradise Area Chamber of Commerce).
  • Crosscountry skiing, snow shoeing, hiking (The trail head and parking is on M 123 1/4 mile west from the Paradise junction of M 123 and M 28.), . The Paradise Pathway Cross-Country Ski Trail has two loops for a total 6.3 miles of well-brushed and signed trail that is used summer and winter by skiers and hikers.

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Crisp Point Light Station, about 14 miles (23 km) west of Whitefish Point, was one of five U.S. Life-Saving Service Stations along the coast of Lake Superior between Munising and Whitefish Point. Visitors should be aware of weather, especially snow storms. The Crisp Point Historical Society advises "This is not really a trip, It is more like an adventure" and cautions not to rely on GPS.

  • 3 Crisp Point Light, Luce County Road 412 (Crisp Point Road). June-Oct, hours vary depending on volunteer availability. Decommissioned lighthouse (active 1904-1947) with small shop, museum and visitor centre on a wild, remote area of the Lake Superior shore known as the "shipwreck coast". Seasonal: the lighthouse grounds are always open but the roads are not snowploughed in winter.    

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Routes through Paradise and Whitefish Bay
NewberryTahquamenon Falls  W   S  → Jct  Ends at N   S

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