Humans have used natural springs for traditional bathing, relaxation, and even medical therapies for thousands of years, and while Michigan might not be the first state that comes to mind when considering natural springs, it has many hidden gems of its own! Did you know that there are natural springs in Michigan awaiting your arrival?
Keep reading as I uncover the top places you can visit to enjoy a taste of healing mineral waters and swim in the spring waters located in the great state of Michigan. Now’s the perfect time to go and enjoy an ultimate relaxing vacation with included healing properties!
The History of Hot Springs and Natural Springs
In general, you’ll find a hot spring is a spring derived from the existence of geothermally heated water from the ground up. Hot springs groundwater heats up using either shallow bodies of molten rock or circulations from faults of hot rock located deep in the Earth’s crust. The primary heat source is the radioactive decay of naturally occurring radioactive elements found beneath the latter crust.
Healing Powers In the Waters
Hot spring water can be a fantastic healing tool, and it often contains extra amounts of minerals that have dissolved in the springs. For many years, people have used hot springs to relax and to use for successful medical therapy.
Natural Mineral Waters
Natural mineral water is unique, and the taste isn’t for everyone, but it’s unusually rich in healing minerals and offers an incomparable, deep, natural hydration.
Keep reading to discover the best hot springs, natural springs, and swimming hole locations in Michigan!
Natural Springs in Michigan
Ready to take a soothing dip in nature’s ultimate spa? Come and visit these gorgeous natural springs in Michigan.
First on our list of Michigan natural springs is Kitch-iti-kipi, located in Palms Book State Park in Manistique, Michigan. Home to Kitch-iti-kipi, or the “Big Spring,” this is Michigan’s largest freshwater spring with an outstanding two hundred feet by forty feet deep famous natural spring.
The flow of this natural spring continues throughout the year at a constant forty-five degrees Fahrenheit, gushing more than ten thousand gallons of water a minute from fissures in the underlying limestone.
2. Iargo Springs
Next on our Michigan natural springs list, you can find Iargo Springs, located in Oscoda, Michigan. Iargo Springs features several viewing decks and a boardwalk path through the natural springs.
Since pre-settlement times, the springs were used as a drinking water source, while early loggers constructed dams on the springs.
The Best Places That Feature Michigan Natural Springs
There are some excellent areas to come and see portions of the mineral springs surrounding Michigan. Here’s a list of the top places to go and visit during your trip to the hot springs!
3. Ironstone Springs
First up for Michigan natural springs is Ironstone Springs! Come and see the beauty at the Ironstone Springs along North Old U.S. 27 in Gaylord, Michigan. This gorgeous park features a beautiful natural spring that flows throughout Frank Wilkinson Park. You can use the public picnic tables and grills and enjoy natural clean water from the public drinking fountain.
This area is a popular place to visit and great to consider for scenic events, weddings, and family reunions. The park is free and open to the public, but the pavilion is not; however, it is available to rent.
4. Frankfort Mineral Springs
Second on our list of Michigan natural springs, if you want to come and try healthy natural mineral water, stop by the Frankfort Mineral Springs located north of Lake Betsie!
It’s a simple covered mineral spring across from the local post office and surrounded by a memorial garden. The water flows year-round and is said to keep you well, as the water has high doses of minerals, but be warned! The flavor is not for everyone.
Top Swimming Holes To Visit In Michigan
Next, after your trip to any of the natural springs in Michigan, you can shift gears and take a dip in some of the local swimming holes!
5. Fisherman’s Island
Next, visit Fisherman’s Island, located in Charlevoix, Michigan. Here you can come and explore over six miles of fresh lake shorelines. The peninsula is located offshore and available to the public daily. If you want to go camping, you’ll be pleased to find eighty rustic campsites throughout. You can also choose sites nestled inside the dunes of Lake Michigan.
Marvel at the rolling dunes and stunning maple, birch, and aspen trees. Bogs of cedar and black spruces split up these areas. There are some great hiking trails to visit on this island, too!
6. Olive Shores Park
You’ll find a great swimming spot at Olive Shores Park, located in Ottawa County in West Olive, Michigan. Other than the shoreline, this area is primarily wooded and reaches over a span of twenty acres. Come and see the site from Tom Hank’s movie “Road to Perdition.”
At Olive Shores Park, enjoy lake swimming, the new boardwalks, scenic hiking trails, and many decks and stairways built throughout the park. Olive Shores Park includes a mature beech-maple hemlock forest, dune formations, and views over Lake Michigan. Enjoy public seating and a pathway right to the sandy beach with their newest renovations.
7. Black Rocks, Marquette
Want to experience jumping off a cliff into the clear waters of Lake Superior? Then Presque Isle Park, “Black Rocks Marquette,” located in Marquette, Michigan, needs to make a spot on your must-visit list.
Likewise, Presque Park also serves as a great place to go canoeing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. You’ll find this not-quite island stretching across three hundred and twenty-three acres of beauty. Enjoy the breathtaking cliffs, amazing beaches, and stunning natural forests with secluded coves, marshes, and rocky outcrops.
8. Torch Lake
After soaking in the famous Michigan natural springs, take a trip to come and see one of the most gorgeous lakes in the world. Torch Lake is huge, can be found in Kewadin, Michigan, and is definitely a sight for sore eyes!
If you enjoy water sports, Torch Lake is the place to be, providing plenty of activities to keep you busy. Come and rest on the stunning sandbar surrounding the turquoise waters. If you enjoy camping, you can even plan a trip to camp here beside the lake. You’ll enjoy all the activities and many public access points. Torch Lake is guaranteed to offer a good time for the entire family!
9. Pickney Recreational Area
Another great location is Pickney Recreational Area in Pinckney, Michigan, surrounded by the Silver, Halfmoon, and Pickerel Lakes. Boating and water sports are banned, so this area is best for relaxing lake swimming. You’ll love taking a dip in the fresh, stunningly clear water!
Pickney Recreational Area is the perfect location for backpackers, mountain bikers, and anglers. If you’re a fishing enthusiast, then you’ll likely want to head here! This recreational area is more than ideal as a place to go ice fishing during the winter months.
10. Millennium Park
Millennium Park is located in Kent County Parks in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and features a beach set in a six-acre park. Come and enjoy a day at the beach, picnic, hike along the gorgeous trails, or bring your bike for a scenic ride. See the beautiful sandy beaches and landscaped garden areas.
You can visit the VanAndel Beach House for a snack or use the lockers, changing rooms, and public restrooms. You can also enjoy the on-site Mehney Splashpad featuring over a dozen sprayers, dump buckets, and splashes. Bring your boat or rent one next to the beach area if you enjoy boating.
11. Ocqueoc Falls, Presque Isle
Lastly, visit Michigan’s largest waterfall, Ocqueoc Falls, located in Presque Isle in the lower peninsula and fed by the Ocqueoc River. You can come to see the waterfall all year round.
Surrounding the already-breathtaking natural sites, experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore the Ocqueoc Falls and plan a hike, trail biking, or walk along the surrounding paths. This waterfall is named the largest of the lower peninsula and is the only universally accessible waterfall in the nation!
Wrapping Up Natural Springs In Michigan
I hope you’re now truly inspired after reading our guide and plan to come and visit these fantastic swimming holes and natural springs in Michigan. Just don’t forget your swimming gear! Did any of these locations stick out to you and make their way onto your must-visit list? I’d love to know which ones you’ll be visiting soon!
Looking for more opportunities to explore the rugged Michigan wilderness? Check out our lists of 13 Amazing Destinations for Free Camping in Michigan and 33 of the Best Places to Go Camping in Michigan!