Michigan has been the subject of national news of late with the water crisis in Flint. While this has been a terrible tragedy, it does give reason to give thanks for some of the more pristine water sources still available in the state. Perhaps the cleanest of which is the state’s largest natural freshwater spring, Kitch-iti-kipi (“big cold water”). Originally named the “Mirror of Heaven” by Native Americans, this cold water spring is as frigid as it is clear.
Located in Palms Book State Park, this property was originally sold to the state of Michigan by John Bellaire for the whopping sum of $10, though there was an understanding the 90 acres would always be used as a public park. Over time the park has expanded to 300 acres and it is one of the most beautiful areas in Michigan.
Over 10,000 gallons of fresh water flows in every minute, keeping the water a chilly but consistent 45 degrees. The source of all this water isn’t exactly known, though a substantial amount is supplied by an aquifer from nearby Indian Lake. The water in Kitch-iti-kipi is so clear you can often see the entirety of the 40 foot deep pool and the trout that populate it. Perhaps the best way to view it, though, is via the glass bottomed cable-driven raft on site (above). In short, it’s beautiful, well-maintained and well worth seeing if you happen to make it to the Manistique area while visiting the Upper Peninsula.