Menominee, MI Palms Book State Park is home to Kitch-iti-kipi, The Big Spring. We followed the path and soon came to a beautiful emerald green pool. It is 200’ across, 40’ deep and is Michigan's largest freshwater spring. Over 10,000 gallons a minute gush from fissures in the underlying limestone. The flow continues throughout the year at a constant 45° F. A hand-powered raft lets visitors slowly move the raft over the springs 40’ below. The raft is powered by turning a large wheel that controls the cable on which the raft moves. There were 13 on our raft and we took turns turning the wheel. The raft has a glass bottom so one can see down to the bottom to view the springs bubbling up, ancient tree trunks, lime-encrusted branches and fat trout looking like they were suspended in nothingness. The water was crystal clear although clouds of sand were kept in constant motion by gushing waters. This created ever-changing shapes and forms. It was a first time experience for us it was fascinating.
Kitch-iti-kipi was supposedly a young chieftain whose girlfriend got the best of him. He told her he loved her far above the other dark-haired maidens dancing near his birchbark wigwam. "Prove it," she insisted. As a test of his devotion, she declared that he must set sail in his canoe on the pool deep in the conifer swamp. He was to catch her from his canoe as she leaped from an overhanging bough. His canoe tipped over as he was looking for her, while she was back at her village laughing with the other Indian maidens about his silly quest. He lost his life and the spring was name after him.