The Big Spring
Down a road where there seems to be nothing but forest lies Palms Book State Park. The word palm’s mere mention brings my mind directly to Florida with its sparkling white sands, but what lies beyond the trees here shares a different kind of beauty.
Parking by the gift shop (Why state parks have gift shops is beyond me! Great for our travel pin collection, but still it’s weird to me) its a short walk out on the dock where a visitor ran raft awaits with a small yet, plentiful platform. This specific raft has a hole in the middle allowing visitors to look down into where all the magic happens—an unobstructed view of the Big Springs (Kitch-iti-kipi).
Beneath you lies a completely clear freshwater spring which burst more than 10, 000 gallons of Freshwater a minute from fissures in the underlying limestone. Big Springs is Michigan’s largest freshwater spring with a flow that continues throughout the year at 45 degrees measuring 200-feet across and 40-foot deep. The fish that swim in these waters wouldn’t survive anywhere else. The water is too pure, too consistent for their life spans to allow them to be away from it, although these waters connect to other rivers and lakes in the region. So they thrive unfarmed, untouched growing plentifully. I saw many of them the size of my arm!
The trees whose roots feed off the minerals in the water are what we imagine in our fantasies. Most of them leaning sideways but still growing for the sheer desire to be just a little bit in the crystal clear water. Those that have fallen you can see vividly beneath you.
As nature should be.
Costs of Travel
As it is a state park, this natural wonder is 100% free. There is a small gift shop on the grounds, but as we visited during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was not available for patrons to walk into. You could walk around the outside and look into the windows to pinpoint what you may want to purchase as they had a small outdoor window with a couple of employees available to fetch your desires for you.
Restrooms are also available on the grounds in a sort of bunkhouse styling, which makes it easily accessible fun for all ages.