At most waterfalls, people mainly sit, look and take pictures.
Not at Tahquamenon Falls.
Here, people duck under the falls, wade through them, row out to them and hike between them on a five-mile riverside path that's part of the North Country National Scenic Trail.
On the western tip of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, the Black River is only one of more than 200 rivers that feed Lake Superior.
It punches far above its weight, however, in providing waterfalls: Five of them in one short stretch draw visitors year-round.
Part of the million-acre Ottawa National Forest, the Black River is so scenic it's part of two national trails the North Country Trail for hiking and the Black River National Forest Scenic Byway for driving.
Up north, all of the snow that brought you great skiing just keeps on giving when spring arrives.
That's when it turns into waterfalls, roaring down river gorges and misting awed onlookers.
One of the easiest places to see lots of big waterfalls is along Minnesota's North Shore, where dozens of rivers roar down into Lake Superior. Where there's water, there's a waterfall.
Deep in the forests of Wisconsin, and Potato River Falls was nowhere to be found.
A sign pointed to an observation deck, from which I glimpsed a bridal-veil falls in the distance. But the path down the Potato River led only to a cobblestone beach.
Finally, I left the path to climb down a steep hillside, slippery with clay and choked with the roots of spruce trees that flecked my hands with sap.
There's one spot along the North Shore at which everyone has to stop.
Its five falls tumble over lumpy floes of ancient lava, filling the air with mist and tumult.
Intriguing crannies, created by jagged walls of rock and twisted cedars, turn adults into compulsive shutterbugs and bring out the Indiana Jones in children, who clamber from one precipice to another.
In a remote corner of Wisconsin, a trove of waterfalls lies buried in forests barely trod since the lumberjacks moved on to Minnesota.
Theyre not Wisconsins largest waterfalls, or the easiest to find; those can be found on the lower lip of Lake Superior, in Pattison, Amnicon and Copper Falls state parks (see Waterfalls of northern Wisconsin).
But there are lots of them in this undomesticated forest, so thick with headwaters its known as the cradle of rivers.