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.
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
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.)
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.
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.
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
No 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!