Perhaps in response to the awe-inspiring waterfalls of the Upper Peninsula, Jackson has created one of the largest man-made waterfalls in North America. Better known as The Cascades (1992 Warren Ave., 517/788-4320, 11 a.m.–11 p.m. daily May–Sept., $3, children under 6 free), they were a creation of “Captain” William Sparks, a well-known area industrialist, philanthropist, and former mayor.
This is truly an amazing slice of Americana: 18 separate falls up to 500 feet high, six fountains of various heights and patterns, 1,200 colored lights, and choreographed show tunes. Kids especially love it. The falls and surrounding 465-acre Sparks County Park date back to the early 1930s, when Sparks, a three-time mayor and chamber of commerce president, developed the whole shebang and presented it as a gift to his beloved city.
You can make a day of it here, since the falls are augmented by a golf course, a picnic area, fishing ponds, tennis courts, and paddleboat rentals.
by Laura Martone from Moon Michigan, 3rd Edition, © Avalon Travel