Imagine your feet sinking into the soft grounds of the earth, trees towering over you on both sides. Nothing can be heard except for the wildlife surrounding you and the faint sound of rushing water. The air smelling of a passing rain. 

This trip was actually completely on accident believe it or not. However, without it I never would’ve realized that sometimes, there are stunning places right in our backyard. (Figuratively speaking)

I tagged along with my cousin, whom was bringing her brother to meet his girlfriend. Now from what her brother was saying, the trip was shorter than what we were anticipating, and in a completely different area. We were expecting only a couple hours, still staying in our home state, Wisconsin. Although, as we were heading on our way, our trip was more time consuming than we expected. When we reached her brother’s destination from which he falsely misled us, we dropped him off and checked into a hotel near the Wisconsin border. My cousin Shelly and I, had to find some ways to entertain ourselves in seemingly the middle of nowhere. We stopped at a tourist center and discovered the Ottawa National Forest nearby.

The Ottawa National Forest contains around 12 miles of hiking trails which is called the Black River National Forest Scenic Byway. The Black river is given it’s name because of the dark  color of the water, which is caused by a natural dye called ‘tannin’, which comes from the bark of Hemlock trees.

The river consists of about 7 different named and mapped waterfalls. This was the very first time in my life that I’ve gotten to see a waterfall in person. The journey was tiring, but we were able to see all 7 up close and personal. One was easily accessible to the public, and we were able to make our ways onto the rocks below the waterfall, mist blowing upon our faces. It was a stunning view, and reminded me of the beauty that we should be trying harder to uphold.

If you live in Wisconsin or Michigan, I definitely recommend making a trip to see this serene location. Just stop, take a deep breath of fresh air, and witness this beautiful view.