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Don’t miss those roadside waterfalls!

US 41 fall colors tunnel

Fall is here! This is my favorite time of year to be out enjoying Michigan’s great outdoors as the bright fall colors paint the landscape. Like many, you may be traveling around the U.P. in search of autumn splendor. Since it seems time is always of the essence, I thought it would be handy to provide a list of roadside waterfalls worth visiting. These are the extra convenient and super easy ones to see right from your vehicle. If you have the time, I do recommend getting out and exploring. There are usually some unique features not visible from inside your car.

Below, I list the region, nearest town, road/highway and the page number as found in my ‘Waterfalls of Michigan’ book. Happy waterfallin’!

Alger Falls

Alger Falls

  • Region: Eastern Upper Peninsula
  • Nearest Town: Munising, MI
  • Road/Highway: M-28
  • Height: 21 feet
  • Book page number: 55

Scott Falls

Scott Falls

  • Region: Eastern Upper Peninsula
  • Nearest Town: Au Train, MI
  • Road/Highway: M-28
  • Height: 11 feet
  • Book page number: 59

Reany Falls

Reany Falls

  • Region: Central Upper Peninsula
  • Nearest Town: Marquette, MI
  • Road/Highway: Forestville Rd. (enroute to Dead River Falls)
  • Height: 11 feet (several small drops)
  • Book page number: 225

Warner Falls

Warner Falls

  • Region: Central Upper Peninsula
  • Nearest Town: Palmer, MI
  • Road/Highway: M-35
  • Height: 17 feet
  • Book page number: 85

Power House Falls

Power House Falls

  • Region: The Huron Mountains
  • Nearest Town: L’Anse, MI
  • Road/Highway: Power Dam Rd. off US-41
  • Height: 12 feet
  • Book page number: 121

Ravine River Road Falls

Ravine River Road Falls

  • Region: The Huron Mountains
  • Nearest Town: Arvon, MI
  • Road/Highway: Ravine River Rd. (enroute to Mt. Arvon – Michigan’s highest point)
  • Height: 7 feet (several small drops)
  • Book page number: 225

Fumee Falls

Fumee Falls

  • Region: Southern Upper Peninsula
  • Nearest Town: Quinnesec, MI
  • Road/Highway: US-2
  • Height: 16 feet (upper level has two drops that total 14 feet)
  • Book page number: 143

Eagle River Falls

Eagle River Falls

Although you get a glimpse of the falls while on M-26, I highly recommend parking in the nearby lot and walking the very short distance to pedestrian bridge spanning the river. You won’t be disappointed!

  • Region: Keweenaw Peninsula
  • Nearest Town: Eagle River, MI
  • Road/Highway: M-26
  • Height: 38 feet
  • Book page number: 180

Jacobs Falls

Jacobs Falls

  • Region: Keweenaw Peninsula
  • Nearest Town: Eagle River, MI
  • Road/Highway: M-26
  • Height: 28 feet
  • Book page number: 191

Haven Falls

Haven Falls

  • Region: Keweenaw Peninsula
  • Nearest Town: Lac La Belle, MI
  • Road/Highway: Lac La Belle Rd.
  • Height: 22 feet
  • Book page number: 197

Tobacco Falls

Tobacco Falls

Although you get a glimpse of the falls while on Lac La Belle Rd., there is a nice little roadside park (Tobacco River Park) on the Lake Superior side of the road. You can park here and then walk upstream. I wouldn’t go out of your way to see this one but if you’re in the area, it’s might be worth a visit.

  • Region: Keweenaw Peninsula
  • Nearest Town: Gay, MI
  • Road/Highway: Lac La Belle Rd.
  • Height: 5 feet (several small drops)
  • Book page number: 226
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5 Michigan waterfalls your kids will love

take a kid to Michigan waterfalls

With three young children of my own, I thought it would be handy to other parents to note a few Michigan waterfalls that your kids may enjoy. These can all be found in my guide book, Waterfalls of Michigan. These five waterfalls tend to be very easy to access and sometimes have a few extra features or highlights that I think your family may like. The order below is based on the locations of the waterfalls going east to west across Michigan.

Ocqueoc Falls

ocqueoc falls
Summer fun at Michigan’s only waterfall in the Lower Peninsula.

NEAREST TOWN: Millersburg, MI (lower peninsula)

This is Michigan’s only named waterfall located in the Lower Peninsula. Compared to the other waterfalls in the state, it’s pretty mediocre. But it’s a great falls to bring kids to visit. This is the only universally accessible waterfall in the U.S. and where swimming in the falls is encouraged. Kids of all ages, as well as parents, will have a great time splashing in the natural pools and making some great memories.



Lower Tahquamenon Falls

lower tahquamenon falls rowboat
My daughter enjoying the rowboat ride at the Lower Falls. Don’t forget your fishing pole!
lower tahquamenon falls
A zoomed view of Lower Tahquamenon Falls #1 – one of five waterfalls here

NEAREST TOWN: Paradise, MI

When you’re visiting the iconic Upper Falls, make sure to plan a visit to the Lower Falls as well. You may even enjoy the area more and I think your kids will, too! I highly recommend renting a row boat and navigating to the island. During a hot summer day, wading and splashing in the falls is popular way to cool off. There is also a large modern campground for those looking to spend a few days in the outdoors.

(Note: I think your kids will also enjoy the Upper Falls, too. There’s lot of area to explore and the viewing deck next to the top of the falls is a pretty cool experience. You can help distract them from all of the stairs by having them count to see if there really are 94 steps.)



Horseshoe Falls

horseshoe falls
My little “gnome hunters” taking a break at Horseshoe Falls.

NEAREST TOWN: Munising, MI

For a small admission fee, the owners of this privately owned waterfall have created a fun place to explore besides the waterfall, itself. My kids especially loved the gnome scavenger hunt and feeding the large trout. I would consider this the most kid-friendly waterfall in the bunch.



Bond Falls

bond falls
A portion of impressive Bond Falls seen from the large walkway.
upper bond falls
Climb the stairs and you’re greet with this sweet upstream view.

NEAREST TOWN: Paulding, MI

Bond Falls is another very large, beautiful waterfall and might be the hidden gem of Michigan. The view area of the main waterfall is very expansive and provides enough room and barriers for kids to roam. To the right of the main falls, are stairs that lead to the top. They are steep and narrow but I highly recommended seeing the upper waterfalls here. The area also hosts picnic spots, a nearby gift shop and nearby camping.



Nonesuch Falls

nonesuch falls
Little-known Nonesuch Falls in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.
mine ruins
Some of the remains from the Nonesuch Copper Mine. A fun place to explore with kids.

NEAREST TOWN: Silver City, MI

Located in the southeast corner of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, this waterfall is also the site of the former Nonesuch Copper Mine. I’ll be honest, the waterfall isn’t great and they are many more impressive ones in the park. What makes it really fun is exploring the grounds in search of mine ruins and we found a lot! My kids loved hunting around and finding the old foundations, parts and other signs of the old mining. Although the hiking distance is longer, it’s a fairly flat two-track path for much of the way.


A few other waterfalls your kids may like…

  • Munising Falls
  • Wagner Falls
  • Scott Falls
  • Au Train Falls
  • Yellow Dog Falls
  • Canyon Falls
  • Haven Falls
  • Ten Foot Falls
  • Fumee Falls
  • Presque Isle River Falls

Michigan waterfalls bookNo matter which waterfalls you make it to with your family, I hope you have an enjoyable time and make some great memories in the outdoors. Have a favorite waterfall you’ve enjoyed with your kids? Let me know! I’d love to hear about it.

Find these waterfalls and many more by ordering my Waterfalls of Michigan book before your next family adventure!

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Springtime at Scott Falls Video

A roadside gem

Don’t miss this awesome, roadside waterfall just east of Au Train, Mich. on Highway M-28. The falls can be viewed from your vehicle; or you can get out and explore the area. (I recommend the later if you’re able.) My favorite spot is the small cavern space behind the falls. Just watch your step as the wet rocks can be slippery.

Below is a short video I made today. It’s always hard to resist stopping when driving by from Munising to Marquette.

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5 Michigan waterfalls to experience during the spring melt

Happy May! Spring has finally arrived in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the snow is melting! With this snow melt comes fast flowing rivers and raging waterfalls. This high water tends to hide much of the rocky features at the falls (the part I like) so it isn’t my favorite time of year to photograph them. But what I do enjoy is seeing, hearing and feeling the power of Mother Nature and the transition of seasons.

Below, I’ve come up with a few of my favorite waterfalls you should visit during the spring melt. While there are many other great ones to see, I thought I would share some of the popular ones as well as the lesser known. Have a favorite you like seeing in the spring? Please feel free to comment!

Upper Tahquamenon Falls

Paradise, MI – If you want to witness and experience the spring melt up-close (a convenient viewing platform puts you right at the crest), then Michigan’s most popular waterfall is for you! With the river being 200 feet wide and the drop being over 40 feet high, you can bet there’s going to be a lot of water flowing over the falls during the snow melt. With an annual average flow rate of 7,000 gallons per second, it is said the river can peak upwards to 50,000 gallons per second! That is a lot of water!

Tahquamenon Falls
Upper Tahquamenon Falls seen on a summer day. Now imagine 50,000 gal./sec. flowing during the spring melt!

Miners Falls

Munising, MI – Located within the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, this nearly 40-foot falls drops into a narrow, sandstone gorge which generates a thunderous sound, wind and mist. A lower platform, reached by stairs, places you right in the middle of the wind and mist created by the waterfalls. Although it can be challenging to keep your camera lens dry, it is well worth the experience.

Miners Falls
Miners Falls in Munising, MI

Piers Gorge & Misicot Falls

Norway, MI – On the border of Michigan and Wisconsin, the Menominee River becomes very rugged and narrow in this stretch near the town of Norway as it flows through a gorge with 4 different piers (rapids). The draw here isn’t so much the waterfall (Misicot Falls is pier #3) but this is the closest thing to whitewater rapids you’ll see in the Midwest. During the spring season, the river becomes especially powerful and draws world-class paddlers to kayak and raft the river. A convenient trail along the river’s edge provides some great viewing perspective. Also, there are a couple of rafting outfitters in the area if you want to give it a try yourself!

Piers Gorge
The swift and powerful Menominee River, at Piers Gorge, during the spring melt. Norway, MI

Sturgeon Falls

Sidnaw, MI – The Sturgeon River is another big, wide river that really gets churning during the spring melt. Although the popular Canyon Falls (along U.S. 41 south of L’Anse) is a great spot, the lesser known Sturgeon Falls is another great destination to witness the raw power. The falls is located down within the Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness Michigan’s deepest gorge (300+ ft. deep and a mile wide). What makes this one unique is that the 100-foot wide river is compressed through a 25-foot wide rock outcropping at the falls. Now imagine a fast-flowing river passing through this!

Sturgeon Falls
Sturgeon Falls in the Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness, Ottawa National Forest

Victoria Dam Falls

Rockland, MI – As the name implies, this isn’t your typical natural, free-flowing waterfall. Located on the West Branch Ontonagon River, this large concrete dam structure is a unique sight to behold. Located in Big Snow Country, the radial arm floodgates are opened to allow the excessive water to flow downstream from the reservoir. The amount of wind and spray generated by the rushing water is awesome!

Victoria Dam
Victoria Dam Falls seen during the wet season in Rockland, MI

A few more recommended spring waterfalls:

  • Laughing Whitefish Falls (Sundell, MI)
  • Bonanza Falls (White Pine, MI)
  • Bond Falls (Paulding, MI)
  • Eagle River Falls (Eagle River, MI)
  • Superior Falls & Saxon Falls on the Montreal River (Ironwood, MI)
  • Waterfalls on the Black River (Black River National Forest Scenic Byway)
  • Waterfalls on the Presque Isle River (Porcupine Mountains State Park)

Waterfalls of Michigan book cover

Thanks for reading! If you’d like the full details on these falls and the many others around Michigan, then make sure to get my new MI waterfalls guide book.

 

 

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Enjoy a sneak peek

Miners Castle
Miners Castle

It was exciting to hear this week from the publisher that the book files have been sent off to the printer! It was nearly two years ago when I was contacted about doing a Michigan waterfall guide book. I knew at the time it would be a huge undertaking but also an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. I owe a lot to my family and friends who helped and encouraged me along the way. I also want to thank those who have pre-ordered the book. I am thankful and anxious to share it with you.

So for the next few weeks we play the waiting game. Until then, you can enjoy a look at the final cover and a sneak peak at a few interior pages. These interior spreads feature one of my “Top 20” Michigan waterfalls, Miners Falls. This impressive falls is centrally located in Munising, MI and is part of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. If you’ve heard of or seen the unique rock formation Miners Castle, this is just up the road.

Thanks for reading and Happy Waterfallin’
~Greg

A preview of the book

Waterfalls of Michigan book cover
Front cover
Miners Falls
Top 20 waterfall – Miners Falls
Waterfall guide book
All the details of getting to the falls plus notes and tips
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Welcome!

Thank you for visiting my new Waterfalls of Michigan website featuring my new book! Besides being able to purchase this handy guide, I also plan to showcase Michigan’s many great waterfalls in this blog. Stay tuned!