Kitch-Iti-Kipi Springs

Photo Credit: Jessie Simmons

Photo Credit: Jessie Simmons

Jessie Simmons, Reporter

Kitch-Iti-Kipi is located west of Manistique at Palms Brook State Park. It is one of the Upper Peninsula’s major attractions. The spring is 200 feet across and 45 feet deep. Over 10,000 gallons of water flow through the fissures in the bottom of the spring. The spring is constantly flowing and is always at a constant 45 degrees, so it never freezes. The spring can be enjoyed at any time of the year! 

When you arrive at Palms Book, you have a 50 yard walk before you get to the shoreline of the springs, where you’ll see the beautiful emerald green pool. The pool is full of brown trout and brook trout. Oftentimes, there are other fish that come in through the river attached to the springs.

A self-operated observation raft guides visitors to vantage points overlooking all of Kitch-Iti-Kipi’s amazing underwater features. The raft is on a cable that is pulled across the pool by a park employee or can easily be operated by any visitors in the park. The spring can be seen through the viewing windows or over the side of the raft. The water is so clear you can see straight to the bottom even though it’s 45 feet deep. The spring can also be enjoyed from the shore. Trees, mineral-encrusted branches, and fat trout are seen all over the deep crystal clear waters. Clouds of sand kept in constant motion by gushing waters create ever-changing shapes and forms. 

The spring is protected by the state of Michigan. There is no swimming or fishing allowed. The fish are really old; they are brought to the spring from fisheries in the area. In the fisheries, they are used to lay eggs so that they can repopulate the trout population in the lakes of Michigan. They are brought to Kitch-iti-kipi after they are retired from laying eggs or they get too old to lay eggs. You are not allowed to fish in the springs because the fish that are there are protected by the state of Michigan. That doesn’t stop people from catching these fish because the fish swim up the river and people fish for them when they do. You can’t swim in it because you’ll scare all the fish into the river and disturb the peace that they have in the springs. You wouldn’t want to swim in the spring due to it only being 45 degrees year round.