16 Top-Rated Waterfalls in Michigan
Author Anietra Hamper has traveled throughout Michigan to experience the best of the outdoors, from fishing and hiking to the state's spectacular waterfalls.
There are hundreds of waterfalls to see in Michigan, and your biggest challenge will be deciding where to start. Most of the waterfalls are located in the Upper Peninsula.
You can make a full vacation or a weekend getaway out of just seeing the waterfalls by driving the route along the Upper Michigan Waterfall Tour, which takes you to the state's largest concentration of waterfalls with nearly 200 in the region.
Spring is one of the best times to explore Michigan waterfalls. 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 places to visit to see waterfalls than you can plan for in a single trip, get started with our list of the best waterfalls in Michigan.
- 1. Bond Falls
- 2. Tahquamenon Falls
- 3. Ocqueoc Falls
- 4. Munising Falls
- 5. Hungarian Falls
- 6. Sable Falls
- 7. Miners Falls
- 8. Spray Falls
- 9. Horseshoe Falls
- 10. Laughing Whitefish Falls
- 11. Douglass Houghton Falls
- 12. Manabezho Falls
- 13. Tannery Falls
- 14. Rock River Falls
- 15. Wagner Falls
- 16. Eagle River Falls
1. 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
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
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. A unique feature to point out about Ocqueoc Falls is that is the only universally-accessible falls trail system in the United States.
The area around the falls has six miles of marked loops for a variety of activities including hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoe trails to add in some outdoor recreation during your visit. 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 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
Read More: Top-Rated Things to Do in Munising, MI
5. Hungarian Falls
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.
Location: Keweenaw Land Trust, Hubbell, Michigan
6. 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, MichiganSeney,
7. 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.
Winter is one of the most popular times for extreme sports enthusiasts to visit the National Lakeshore waterfalls for ice-climbing adventures. You do not need to be an expert to try ice climbing on the falls, especially if you visit during the annual Michigan Ice Fest, which offers introductory courses to the sport and guided treks.
Trailhead Location: Miners Falls Rd., Munising, Michigan
Read More: Best Small Towns in Michigan
8. 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.
Location: Lakeshore North Country Trail, Munising Township, Michigan
9. 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
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.
Location: Laughing Whitefish Falls State Park, Rock River Township, Michigan
Read More: Top-Rated Things to Do in Marquette, MI
11. 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.
This dramatic waterfall is named for Douglass Houghton, the first recognized geologist in Michigan.
Location: Route 26, Calumet, Michigan
12. Manabezho Falls
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.
Location: Presque Isle Rd, Ironwood, Michigan
13. 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
Deep in the Rock 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.
Trailhead Location: Usfs 2293, Deerton, Michigan
15. 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
16. Eagle River Falls
Eagle River Falls in the Keweenaw Peninsula is easily accessible, just off the roadway, and a spectacular waterfall that you can enjoy from different vantage points. This waterfall is positioned where Eagle River ends and flows into Lake Superior.
The pedestrian bridge offers a nice vantage point from above, but it is equally impressive when viewing the waterfall from the river below. The falls drop more than 60 feet, with rushing water that is most impressive in the spring during the snowmelt.
Address: M-26, Eagle River, MI
More Related Articles on PlanetWare.com
More Places to Visit in Michigan: While you are in Michigan, you might be interested in doing one of the top weekend getaways in the state, many of which are small towns. If you're planning a trip in summer, be sure to check out some of the top beaches while you are here.
More Waterfalls: When it comes to great waterfalls, most people tend to think of the mountains out West, but there are a surprising number of outstanding falls in the East. If you enjoy planning trips around waterfall viewing then you should review our list of top waterfall in North Carolina, and Wisconsin.