PALMS BOOK STATE PARK — A steady stream of visitors made final visits of the Labor Day weekend at many attractions across the Upper Peninsula including Kitch-iti-Kipi, Big Springs.
One couple from downstate made a loop through the U.P., going to Pictured Rocks, making their way to Copper Harbor at the top of the Keweenaw Peninsula and stopping at Palms Book State Park on their way back to the Mackinac Bridge.
Others started at the Mackinac Bridge early Monday morning, sporting fresh bridge walk t-shirts as they got on the raft to see the spring.
It’s been awhile since I’ve been to Big Springs. The girls were still young and the raft moved with a stick that was used to pull the raft across the water on a cable. It now moves with a wheel and has a canopy to protect users from the sun (or rain). Some things don’t change. The kids are still eager to be the ones to move the raft.
Apparently, no one is quite sure what Kitch-iti-Kipi means. The kiosk next to the water gave several options. The name of the park, however, is not a mystery.
Palms Book State Park was established in 1928. Members of the Palms and Book families in Detroit agreed to donate about 90 acres of property to the state for a park for $1.
Photos of the raft on the kiosk date back long before the property became a park. As today, it featured a viewing area in the center to better see through the depths of the water. Bubbling sand areas in the bottom show where the spring enters. Trout appear to be suspended in the crystal clear water.
About 10,000 gallons of water flows into the pool per minute from 40 feet below. One visitor noticed that as the raft passed over the spring that water on the surface of the viewing area rippled. Evidence of the water movement as it headed towards Indian Lake.