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Kitch-iti-kipi – Big Spring In Michigan


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Emeline Mullaney



Welcome to Kitch-iti-kipi, also known as the Big Spring, a truly remarkable natural wonder nestled in the heart of Michigan. Located in the beautiful Palms Book State Park, this enchanting attraction draws visitors from near and far. As the largest freshwater spring in the state, Kitch-iti-kipi has captivated the imaginations of generations with its crystal-clear waters and breathtaking surroundings.


From the moment you set foot on the boardwalk that leads to the spring, you will be transported to a serene and magical world. The emerald green waters, fed by underground springs, create a mesmerizing sight that is both soothing and awe-inspiring. Be prepared to be amazed as you peer into its depths and witness the vibrant colors and unique geological formations beneath the surface.


Kitch-iti-kipi holds a special place in the hearts of Michigan locals, as its name is derived from the Ojibwe language, meaning “big cold water.” This name perfectly encapsulates the essence of this natural wonder, as the spring’s waters remain refreshingly cool throughout the year.


Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or simply looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Kitch-iti-kipi offers something for everyone. From exploring the boardwalk and observing the abundant wildlife to diving into the spring’s crystal-clear waters, there is no shortage of activities to captivate your senses.


In this article, we will delve deeper into the fascinating aspects of Kitch-iti-kipi, including its location, history, formation, size, water source, water temperature, wildlife, visitors’ facilities, and conservation efforts. So, buckle up and get ready to embark on a virtual journey to one of Michigan’s most iconic natural landmarks.



Kitch-iti-kipi, or Big Spring, is located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Specifically, it is nestled within Palms Book State Park, which is in the Manistique area of Schoolcraft County. Its convenient location makes it easily accessible for both locals and tourists looking to experience its natural beauty.


To reach Kitch-iti-kipi, you can take a scenic drive through the picturesque countryside. The park is situated just seven miles northwest of the town of Manistique, making it a perfect day trip destination for those exploring the surrounding areas.


Once you arrive at Palms Book State Park, you will find ample parking facilities available near the entrance. From there, a short walk along a well-marked trail will lead you to the boardwalk, which stretches across the spring and provides a close-up view of this natural marvel.


Surrounded by lush vegetation and towering trees, Kitch-iti-kipi offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The serene atmosphere and the beauty of the surrounding nature make it an ideal spot for nature lovers and those seeking peace and serenity.


The park itself offers a variety of amenities, including picnic areas and restroom facilities. This makes it a great place to not only explore the spring but to also enjoy a leisurely picnic or a peaceful stroll through the park’s well-maintained grounds.


Overall, the location of Kitch-iti-kipi offers a harmonious blend of natural beauty and accessibility. Whether you’re a local looking for a quick getaway or a traveler exploring Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, a visit to this enchanting spring is bound to leave a lasting impression.



The history of Kitch-iti-kipi stretches back centuries and is deeply intertwined with the cultural heritage of the region. The spring has been a significant landmark for the Native American tribes of the area, particularly the Ojibwe people, who consider it a sacred site.


The first documented encounter with Kitch-iti-kipi by European explorers dates back to the 17th century when French fur traders explored the Great Lakes region. However, it’s important to note that the Ojibwe and other Native American groups had known about the spring long before this.


The name “Kitch-iti-kipi” itself is derived from the Ojibwe language, meaning “big cold water.” This name vividly describes the spring’s characteristics and reflects the reverence the Ojibwe people hold for this natural wonder.


Over the years, Kitch-iti-kipi has attracted visitors from various backgrounds and cultures. In the early 20th century, the site gained popularity among tourists, becoming a must-see attraction in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.


To accommodate the increasing number of visitors, the state of Michigan established Palms Book State Park in 1934, ensuring the preservation and accessibility of Kitch-iti-kipi for future generations.


Today, the park and the spring continue to be cherished by locals and admired by tourists. The historical significance and cultural importance of Kitch-iti-kipi make it not only a natural wonder but also a symbol of the rich heritage of the region.


When visiting Kitch-iti-kipi, it’s important to respect the historical and cultural significance of the site. Taking the time to learn about its history and appreciating its importance to the Ojibwe people adds a deeper layer of understanding to the experience.


As you embark on your journey to Kitch-iti-kipi, take a moment to reflect on the generations that have come before and the stories that this ancient spring holds. It serves as a reminder of the timeless bond between nature and humanity and the importance of preserving these treasures for future generations to enjoy.



The formation of Kitch-iti-kipi, or Big Spring, is an intriguing geological process that spans thousands of years. This unique natural wonder was created through a combination of factors, resulting in its mesmerizing appearance and captivating beauty.


Kitch-iti-kipi is a karst spring, formed within a depression known as a kettle. A kettle is a bowl-shaped hollow that results from the melting of massive blocks of ice left behind by retreating glaciers. During the last Ice Age, glaciers covered much of North America, including the Great Lakes region.


As the glaciers slowly receded, they left behind deep depressions in the landscape. Over time, these depressions filled with water, creating the kettle lakes that we see today. Kitch-iti-kipi is one such kettle lake, formed within the depths of the ancient ice melting and leaving behind a hollow.


What makes Kitch-iti-kipi particularly fascinating is its source of water. The spring is fed by several natural underground wells, called artesian wells, which channel water from the surrounding aquifers into the lake. These artesian wells are formed when water becomes trapped between layers of impermeable rock, creating pressure that forces the water to rise to the surface.


As the water emerges from the artesian wells, it is remarkably clear and free of sediment. The high mineral content of the groundwater gives Kitch-iti-kipi its distinct emerald green color, adding to its enchanting allure.


Over time, the flowing water of Kitch-iti-kipi has eroded the soft limestone beneath it, forming unique geological formations. The constant movement of the water has created channels, basins, and rock ledges, adding to the spring’s visual appeal.


The ongoing geological processes continue to shape and change Kitch-iti-kipi, making it a dynamic and ever-evolving natural wonder. Its formation and ever-changing features make it a prime location for geology enthusiasts and scientists interested in studying the intricate processes that shaped this magnificent spring.


Visiting Kitch-iti-kipi allows you to witness firsthand the power of nature and its ability to create breathtaking formations over thousands of years. Take a moment to marvel at the intricate dance between water, rock, and time, and appreciate the immense beauty that has emerged from this fascinating geological history.



Kitch-iti-kipi, the Big Spring, is an impressive natural feature known for its remarkable size. Located within Palms Book State Park in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, this freshwater spring boasts dimensions that contribute to its grandeur and allure.


When it comes to size, Kitch-iti-kipi is often described as one of Michigan’s largest springs. It spans approximately 200 feet in diameter, making it an expansive body of water that commands attention.


The depth of the spring is equally impressive. The average depth of Kitch-iti-kipi is around 40 feet, with certain areas of the spring reaching depths of up to 40 feet. This depth allows for a captivating view of the underwater landscape, revealing intriguing geological formations and vibrant aquatic life.


The depth and size of the spring create a significant volume of water. Kitch-iti-kipi holds around 10,000 gallons of water per minute, resulting in a constant flow that contributes to its pristine clarity and ecosystem.


As visitors step onto the boardwalk and gaze into the emerald green waters of Kitch-iti-kipi, they are met with a sense of awe and wonder. The size of the spring immerses viewers in its vastness, creating an experience that is both humbling and inspiring.


Accessible viewing platforms and the transparent nature of the water allow visitors to fully appreciate the size and scale of Kitch-iti-kipi. Whether you’re observing from above or taking a closer look through the viewing window, the sheer dimensions of the spring leave an indelible impression.


When planning a visit to Kitch-iti-kipi, it’s important to allow ample time to fully explore and absorb the magnitude of this natural wonder. The size of the spring allows for a rich and immersive experience, as you take in the panoramic views, marvel at the depths, and witness the ever-flowing water that has carved its mark over time.


From both a geological and visual standpoint, the size of Kitch-iti-kipi plays a significant role in creating a captivating and unforgettable experience for all who visit. It’s a testament to the vastness and power of nature, reminding us of the wonders that exist within our own backyard.


Water Source

The crystal-clear waters of Kitch-iti-kipi, or Big Spring, flow from a unique and natural water source that adds to its allure and preservation. Understanding the origins of the spring’s water is key to appreciating its purity and remarkable clarity.


The source of water for Kitch-iti-kipi is an intricate system of underground springs called artesian wells. These underground wells play a crucial role in maintaining a steady flow of water into the spring.


The water that feeds Kitch-iti-kipi originates from a vast network of underground aquifers, which are layers of permeable rock capable of holding and transmitting water. These aquifers act as natural reservoirs, storing and supplying water to the artesian wells.


As rainwater and snowmelt seep into the ground, it is filtered through porous rocks, gradually making its way into the underground aquifers. Over time, the water becomes enriched with minerals from the surrounding rocks, contributing to the distinct green tint observed in Kitch-iti-kipi.


Once the water reaches the artesian wells, hydrostatic pressure forces it to rise to the surface. This constant flow of water ensures a continuous supply to the spring, keeping it replenished and maintaining its clarity.


The purity of the water in Kitch-iti-kipi is exceptional, thanks to the natural filtration that occurs within the aquifers. As the water passes through layers of rock and sediment, impurities are trapped, resulting in the remarkably clear and pristine water that mesmerizes visitors.


Preserving the integrity of the water source is crucial to maintaining the ecological balance and beauty of Kitch-iti-kipi. Efforts are continuously underway to protect the surrounding aquifers from pollution and ensure the long-term sustainability of this natural treasure.


As you gaze into the shimmering depths of Kitch-iti-kipi, take a moment to appreciate the extraordinary journey that this water has undertaken. From the clouds above to the rocks below, it has journeyed through nature’s filtration system, emerging as a testament to the delicate balance and resilience of our planet’s water sources.


Visiting Kitch-iti-kipi is an opportunity to connect with the purity and vitality of freshwater that sustains life. It serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of water conservation and our collective responsibility to protect these invaluable resources for future generations.


Water Temperature

The water of Kitch-iti-kipi, the Big Spring, remains refreshingly cool throughout the year, providing a refreshing experience for visitors in any season. The temperature of the spring’s water is a result of its source and the surrounding geological features.


Due to the spring’s origin from deep underground aquifers, the water temperature of Kitch-iti-kipi remains relatively constant. On average, the water temperature hovers around 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit (7 to 10 degrees Celsius), regardless of the weather conditions or the time of year.


The cool temperature of the water is a result of several factors. The primary influence comes from the underground source, which remains insulated from external temperature fluctuations. This maintains a consistent temperature and prevents significant variations.


The geological features surrounding Kitch-iti-kipi also contribute to the coolness of the water. The limestone bedrock, which underlies the spring, helps to regulate and stabilize the temperature. Limestone has excellent thermal conductivity, meaning it can absorb or release heat, keeping the water in the spring at a cool and refreshing level.


Visitors often appreciate the invigorating sensation of dipping their hands or feet into the crisp waters of Kitch-iti-kipi. The contrast between the cool water and the warmth of the surrounding air adds to the immersive nature of the experience.


It’s important to note that while the water can be refreshing, it is advised to exercise caution when swimming or submerging yourself completely in the spring, as the low temperature may pose a risk of hypothermia, especially during prolonged exposure.


The cool water temperature of Kitch-iti-kipi lends itself to year-round enjoyment as it provides a respite from the summer heat and a unique experience during the colder months. Whether you visit in the height of summer or during the crisp days of fall, the refreshing coolness of the spring remains a constant.


As you immerse yourself in the invigorating waters of Kitch-iti-kipi, take a moment to appreciate the natural balance that sustains its cool temperature year-round. It serves as a reminder of the delicate equilibrium within nature and the resilience of this remarkable spring.



Kitch-iti-kipi is not only a stunning natural wonder but also a thriving ecosystem that supports a diverse range of wildlife. The crystal-clear waters and lush surroundings provide a habitat for various species, making it a haven for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers.


One of the highlights of Kitch-iti-kipi is its abundant fish population. The spring is home to various species, including trout, bass, and panfish. These fish thrive in the cold and oxygen-rich waters, providing an excellent fishing opportunity for anglers who visit the spring.


As you gaze into the depths of the spring, you may also spot other aquatic life, such as turtles gliding gracefully through the water or schools of minnows darting in and out of the rocks. These creatures contribute to the dynamic and captivating nature of Kitch-iti-kipi.


Above the water’s surface, the surrounding forest offers a sanctuary for a variety of birds. You may have the chance to see and hear the melodic songs of warblers, woodpeckers, and other woodland birds. The tranquil atmosphere of the park provides an ideal setting for birdwatching and appreciating the beauty and diversity of avian life.


Kitch-iti-kipi is not only a habitat for fish and birds but also sustains other wildlife, such as amphibians and mammals. Frogs and salamanders can often be found near the water’s edge, while beavers, muskrats, and deer may roam through the park’s lush vegetation.


It’s important to note that the preservation and protection of this delicate ecosystem are vital to maintaining the health and diversity of its wildlife. Visitors are encouraged to observe from a respectful distance and adhere to park regulations to minimize human impact on the natural habitat.


Whether you’re an avid birdwatcher, a fishing enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates the wonders of nature, Kitch-iti-kipi offers a rich and immersive experience with its diverse range of wildlife. As you explore the spring and its surroundings, keep your eyes and ears open for the incredible creatures that call this beautiful ecosystem home.


Visitors’ Facilities

Palms Book State Park, home to Kitch-iti-kipi, offers a range of facilities to ensure visitors have a comfortable and enjoyable experience as they explore this natural wonder.


Upon arrival, ample parking is available near the entrance of the park, providing easy access to Kitch-iti-kipi and its surrounding attractions. From there, a short and well-marked trail leads visitors to the boardwalk that stretches across the spring, offering excellent vantage points to observe and immerse in the beauty of the spring.


Along the boardwalk, visitors will find viewing platforms strategically placed for optimal views of Kitch-iti-kipi’s stunning emerald waters and its underwater features. Interpretative signs provide educational information about the spring, its formation, and the wildlife that inhabit it, enhancing the overall experience.


The park also features picnic areas where visitors can relax and enjoy a leisurely meal amidst the picturesque scenery. These designated areas offer picnic tables, making it convenient for families and groups looking to have a picnic amidst their exploration of the park.


In addition to the picnic areas, Palms Book State Park provides well-maintained restroom facilities for visitors’ convenience. These facilities ensure a comfortable and refreshing visit to Kitch-iti-kipi.


For those who want to take a piece of the experience home with them, a gift shop is located near the park entrance. The gift shop offers a variety of souvenirs, including books, postcards, and unique items that showcase the beauty and significance of Kitch-iti-kipi.


Visitors to Kitch-iti-kipi are encouraged to follow park regulations and respect the natural surroundings. Taking nothing but photographs and leaving nothing but footprints ensures the preservation of this cherished natural landmark for future generations to enjoy.


Whether you’re planning a day trip or a longer stay in the area, Palms Book State Park’s visitors’ facilities provide convenience and comfort, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the wonder and tranquility of Kitch-iti-kipi.


So pack a picnic, bring your camera, and get ready to explore and appreciate all that this remarkable natural attraction has to offer.


Conservation Efforts

Preserving the natural beauty and ecological balance of Kitch-iti-kipi is of utmost importance, and concerted conservation efforts have been put in place to ensure the long-term sustainability of this remarkable spring and its surrounding ecosystem.


One of the key conservation efforts is the protection of the water source itself. Authorities closely monitor and manage the surrounding aquifers to prevent contamination and maintain the pristine quality of the water that feeds Kitch-iti-kipi.


Palms Book State Park implements measures to minimize human impact on the spring and its surroundings. Visitor regulations, such as staying on designated trails and respecting wildlife, are in place to avoid disturbance and damage to the delicate ecosystem.


Education and outreach programs play a significant role in promoting conservation awareness among visitors. Interpretative signs and educational materials are placed along the boardwalk, providing information about the geological and ecological significance of Kitch-iti-kipi. These resources help to foster a sense of stewardship and encourage responsible behavior among park visitors.


Efforts are also made to manage and control the fishing activities within the spring. Fishing regulations are implemented to preserve the fish populations and ensure sustainable fishing practices. By maintaining a balance in the fish population, the natural food chain within the spring remains intact, supporting the overall health of the ecosystem.


Collaboration between park authorities, conservation organizations, and local communities is vital in preserving Kitch-iti-kipi. These partnerships work together to implement initiatives for habitat restoration, invasive species management, and ongoing monitoring of water quality and wildlife populations.


Additionally, ongoing research and scientific studies are conducted to better understand the ecology and geological processes of the spring. These studies help inform conservation strategies and highlight potential threats that need to be addressed to protect and preserve Kitch-iti-kipi.


By taking these conservation efforts seriously, Kitch-iti-kipi can continue to thrive as a natural treasure for generations to come. It serves as a reminder of the delicate balance in nature and the importance of actively protecting and conserving the environments that offer us such incredible beauty and inspiration.


Visitors to Kitch-iti-kipi are encouraged to embrace their role as stewards of this natural wonder and follow the principles of Leave No Trace. By minimizing their impact and spreading the message of conservation, they can contribute to the long-term preservation of Kitch-iti-kipi and its irreplaceable ecological value.



Kitch-iti-kipi, or Big Spring, stands as a testament to the awe-inspiring beauty and natural wonders that Michigan has to offer. Nestled within Palms Book State Park, this captivating freshwater spring has enchanted visitors for generations with its crystal-clear waters, remarkable size, and serene surroundings.


From the moment you set foot on the boardwalk and gaze into the emerald green depths of Kitch-iti-kipi, you are transported to a world of enchantment and tranquility. The spring’s formation, fed by underground artesian wells, and its cool and refreshing water temperature create an immersive experience that leaves a lasting impression.


Kitch-iti-kipi is more than just a stunning natural landmark; it is a living ecosystem that supports a diverse range of wildlife. From the fish that glide through its waters to the birds that call its surroundings home, the spring offers a glimpse into the harmonious interplay between nature and its inhabitants.


Thanks to the conservation efforts implemented in Palms Book State Park, Kitch-iti-kipi remains a well-preserved natural treasure. Through responsible visitor guidelines, education and outreach programs, and ongoing research, the delicate ecological balance is protected and nurtured.


A visit to Kitch-iti-kipi is not only a chance to connect with nature but also an opportunity to appreciate the rich cultural heritage and historical significance of the spring. From its name derived from the Ojibwe language to its role in Native American traditions, Kitch-iti-kipi embodies the deep connections between humans and the natural world.


Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a peaceful escape, Kitch-iti-kipi offers a mesmerizing experience that will stay with you long after you leave. It serves as a reminder of the immense beauty and profound wonders that can be found in our own backyard.


So, venture to Kitch-iti-kipi, embrace the coolness of its waters, soak in the serenity of its surroundings, and immerse yourself in the captivating magic that awaits you at this iconic Michigan destination.