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15 Top-Rated Waterfalls in Michigan

Written by Anietra Hamper
May 14, 2020

There are hundreds of waterfalls throughout Michigan and some located in protected wilderness areas that make experiencing the natural solitude next to the rushing water especially magical. The largest concentration of waterfalls, and some of the most stunning, are located in the Upper Peninsula.

If you want to make a full trip out of seeing waterfalls in Michigan, you can plot your driving route along the Upper Michigan Waterfall Tour, which takes you to nearly 200 waterfalls in the region. The Lower Peninsula also has many stunning waterfalls to observe.

As you plan your trip, keep in mind that certain times of the year may be of particular interest, as the seasons change the flow of water and the scenery near the waterfalls. Spring is one of the best times to explore Michigan waterfalls, when the snowmelt from the mountains enhances the volume of water. Fall is another great time to visit, when the color on the forest trees creates a dynamic backdrop to the flowing water. Winter serves up the waterfalls in a frozen majestic state, and summer is peaceful for a waterside picnic.

While there are more waterfalls in the state to see than you can plan for in a single trip, get started with our list of the best waterfalls in Michigan.

1. Bond Falls

Bond Falls

Bond Falls is one of the most scenic and popular waterfalls, located near Paulding in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. This waterfall is unique because it is not a single cascade dropping into a pool below. Instead, Bond Falls is a series of waterfalls flowing over jagged rocks, with multiple smaller falls that drop about 50 feet over the course of their journey to the bottom.

Bond Falls is in the middle of the Ontonagon River in the Porcupine Mountains. One of the reasons for the popularity of Bond Falls is its accessibility. You can access the falls from a boardwalk and six dedicated spots for viewing. You can also pull off the roadside, where there is parking available and enjoy the rushing water from the top of the falls at one of the picnic tables.

Address: Bond Falls Road, Paulding, Michigan

2. Tahquamenon Falls

Tahquamenon Falls

The Tahquamenon Falls is Michigan's largest waterfall, with the upper falls stretching 200 feet wide and 50 feet tall. The lower Tahquamenon Falls is 100 feet wide and 22 feet tall located four miles downstream. The waterfall is located at Tahquamenon Falls State Park near Paradise in the Upper Peninsula. It remains the second largest waterfall east of the Mississippi, next to Niagara Falls.

In the springtime, the rushing water is famous for creating a thunderous roar that is easily heard from the parking lot. The state park surrounding the falls has spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities, so it is a location where you can pack a picnic lunch and spend the day.

For a better view of the falls, you can rent a rowboat and capture a perspective from the water.

Address: 41382 West M-123, Paradise, Michigan

3. Ocqueoc Falls

Ocqueoc Falls

The Ocqueoc Falls is the largest waterfall in Michigan's Lower Peninsula. In fairness, it is one of the only main waterfalls in the Lower Peninsula. The water from the falls cascades over limestone rock in the Ocqueoc River. The Ocqueoc Falls waterfall is located in Ocqueoc, which is about 11 miles west of Rogers City.

The site around the falls has more than six miles of marked hiking trails that are used for cross-country skiing in the winter, so you can add in some recreation to your waterfall viewing. During the summer, you can take a dip in Ocqueoc Falls to cool off after a hike. The waterfall has picnic tables and grills, as well as camping nearby.

Address: M-68 Highway, Ocqueoc, Michigan

4. Munising Falls

Munising Falls

Munising Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Munising. It is tucked away inside of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula of Alger County. It is one of many great waterfalls in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, and this one is rather easy to access. You can take one of several trails back to the waterfall, and there is a nice boardwalk with a number of viewing spots.

While Munising Falls is spectacular in the summer, it is great to see in the winter as well, when the water freezes and forms a large column of ice. Since there are some other great waterfalls nearby, you should start with a visit to the Munising Falls Visitor Center for information on the best trails to this waterfall, then plot out stops at several others in the area.

Address: Sand Point Road, Munising, Michigan

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Munising

5. Hungarian Falls

Hungarian Falls on the Keweenaw Peninsula

One of the most picturesque waterfalls in the Keweenaw Peninsula in Hubbell, near Escanaba, is Hungarian Falls. If you want to visit Hungarian Falls, it is best to plan for a full day, so that you can also enjoy the protected lands in the Keweenaw Peninsula. There are 10 acres of public land near Houghton, Michigan with mature hemlocks and nature trails.

Hungarian Falls is a series of three waterfalls that consist of an Upper Falls, Middle Falls, and Lower Falls.

The Upper Falls drops 20 feet down the rock face into a gorge and flows from several sections. The Middle Falls is just below the dam located downstream. It drops 20 feet and is the easiest of the three sections to access. The Lower Falls is a dramatic 50-foot drop off the cliff, but it is difficult to access. It is best to see these falls when the water is high for the most impressive views.

Address: Keweenaw Land Trust, Hubbell, Michigan

6. Sable Falls

Sable Falls

Sable Falls in northern Michigan is characterized by a dramatic 75-foot plunge off a sandstone cliff. You can access the Sable Falls waterfall from Grand Marais in the Upper Peninsula. It is near Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on Lake Superior, so there are plenty of scenic areas nearby to make a day trip out of viewing waterfalls.

There is a parking lot in Grand Marais, where you can catch a trailhead on the east side of the park and hike a half mile back to the falls. This is a nice waterfall for families to experience since it is a fairly easy walk and because there are other things to see nearby like the Grand Sable Dunes and Lake Superior.

Address: H-58 (west of Grand Marais), Grand Marais, Michigan

7. Miners Falls

Miners Falls

The scenic Miners Falls is one of the best in Michigan for its appearance and accessibility. The waterfall is located in Munising in Michigan's Upper Peninsula Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The water plunges 40 feet over a jut in the sandstone cliff that plunges into a pool of water. It is especially impressive after a heavy rain in the spring.

You can access the falls with a short drive from H-13 onto a dirt road that leads to a parking lot. You can access the trailhead from the parking lot. There is a nice half-mile (one-way) nature walk back to the waterfall. There is a great overlook platform at the base of the waterfall.

8. Spray Falls

Spray Falls

If you are looking for a dramatic waterfall to photograph then Spray Falls should top your list. It is located near Munising and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The waterfall is a standout because it shoots off the sandstone cliff into Lake Superior in a spray formation, thus its name.

The natural scenery surrounding the falls has a depth of color, especially in the summer, and the jagged rocks and cliffs around Lake Superior add great texture for photos.

To access the waterfall, you can hike 1.5 miles (one-way) back on the North Country National Scenic Trail starting at the Little Beaver Lake Campground, or book a boat cruise to see the falls from the water.

9. Horseshoe Falls

Horseshoe Falls

Unlike most of the other great waterfalls in Michigan, Horseshoe Falls is privately owned so there is an admission fee to see it. Horseshoe Falls is a beautiful spring-fed waterfall near Munising in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The unique feature of this waterfall is the series of cascades after the 20-foot drop at the top of the falls.

There are several other waterfalls nearby, but Horseshoe Falls is consistently flowing because of the spring that feeds into it. It is a nice waterfall to see, and if you have kids, they can also feed the fish in the trout pond on the property.

Address: 602 Bell Avenue, Munising, Michigan

10. Laughing Whitefish Falls

Laughing Whitefish Falls

One of the most scenic waterfalls in the Upper Peninsula is Laughing Whitefish Falls in northwestern Alger County near Marquette, Michigan. It is located at the Laughing Whitefish Scenic Site. The 100-foot-tall cascading waterfall is one of the most photographed in Michigan. The water flows in a wide formation down a rippled limestone escarpment into Lake Superior.

You can reach the top of the waterfall from a mile-long, round-trip scenic trail. For a different vantage point, you can take stairs to the bottom of the falls or capture images from various observations decks on the way down.

11. Douglass Houghton Falls

Douglass Houghton Falls

The Douglass Houghton Falls in the tip of the Upper Peninsula is Michigan's tallest waterfall with a 110-foot drop. Access to the waterfall is restricted because of the loose rock and steep gorge that surround it, causing potentially dangerous conditions. It can still be accessed from Hammel Creek near Lake Lindon, but extreme caution is advised.

The dramatic waterfall is in the process of opening to the public, which will take some time for safety measures to be put into place for more accessible viewing. The waterfall is named for Douglass Houghton, the first recognized geologist in Michigan.

12. Manabezho Falls

Manabezho Falls in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

The Manabezho Falls is located on the Presque Isle River in the remote Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Manabezho Falls is the largest waterfall on the river, with a 25-foot drop and a 150-foot crest.

The scenic falls is easy to access from the west end of the park off CR-519. The waterfall is dynamic because of the varied depths of the cascades down the rock levels into the water below.

Manabezho Falls is especially beautiful in the fall, with the rich colors on the leaves making for a stunning frame around the water. A frozen scene in the winter is also beautiful, with the 100-foot-wide waterfall encased in ice.

Address: 33303 Headquarters Road, Ontonagon, Michigan

13. Tannery Falls

Tannery Falls

Tannery Falls near Munising is one of the best waterfalls to see, especially if you are looking for caves. The waterfall has a 40-foot drop and flows fairly well in the spring when there is more rainfall. The cave behind the falls adds a dramatic effect to the scenery.

You can access the waterfall from a small trail off Sand Point Road. It can be hard to spot, and it is not as easily accessible as other waterfalls in the area, but it is a nice one to put on your list if you are up for the adventure.

Address: H-58, Munising, Michigan

14. Rock River Falls

Rock River Falls in the Rick River Wilderness Area

Deep in the Rick River Wilderness Area near Chatham in the Hiawatha National Forest is Rock River Falls. The falls has a 15-foot drop and a fanned-out appearance as the flowing water jets off the rocks. This waterfall is more remote and more difficult to access, so it is advised that you should have sturdy footwear and plan time to get to it.

The Rock River Falls is located in a wilderness area, so you will need to drive several miles on old logging roads, and the trails back to the waterfall are not marked. If you have a penchant for adventure to go along with your waterfall passion, then Black River Falls is a good one to target for a day.

15. Wagner Falls

Wagner Falls

An easy and beautiful waterfall to access and photograph in the Upper Peninsula is Wagner Falls. This is a scenic waterfall with a 20-foot drop that cascades through several sections and is quite scenic. There is a convenient parking lot and a short easy half-mile trail back to the falls. There is also a boardwalk and observation deck, so it is easily accessible for kids.

The Wagner Falls Scenic Site is only two miles from Munising. The water from the falls eventually flows into Lake Superior. You can make several days out of visiting waterfalls just in this area, and Wagner should be on your list.

Address: M 94, Munising, Michigan

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