Top 5 Michigan Waterfalls [Photos]
Spring means the water is flowing and Michigan's waterfalls will be at top capacity. So, if you don't mind the spring chill and more than a little mud, you can enjoy some of our state's finest waterfalls before the black flies pop up in May.
This list is subjective, and limited to the scope of my travels through the backwoods of Michigan, which is some place we all should venture at least once during our time in this beautiful state we call home.
A short half mile hike from a non descript road side park along US 41 just south of Alberta, these falls are small but beautiful, and pour into a gorge that runs for miles along the Sturgeon into the back country. If you follow some locals along the gorge, you can find spots to jump to the chilly waters off the cliffs.
If you've never been to the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula, plan a trip today. It is the most beautiful spot in Michigan, especially in the summer when the green lushness makes it look like paradise. Montreal Falls is on the backside of the Peninsula, off the remote and gorgeous Bete Gris Bay. After taking a beat up lumber road to a fishery, the Falls are still a two mile hike, where they cascade from the woods into the tip of the bay near Keweenaw Point.
You could drive over the Falls on M-28 and not realize. Once again, a small roadside park is the only clue these massive falls are here. After parking, take the trail down to the falls under M-28 and the adjoining rail trail (which is a fantastic bike trail, if you're looking for one to tour the UP). A great fishing spot, the Falls seem majestic if you don't mine scrambling down some steep trails to get there. A hidden gem.
Probably the easiest to find of all the Falls on this list, Bond Falls is a state park just east of Paulding off M-45. Easy to access, as stairs follow the flow downstream from the Bond Falls Dam. If you don't have a recreation access sticker, you can still enter the falls from Bond Falls Road. A great picnic spot, Bond Falls is even accessible in winter, which I imagine can lead to some great photos.
You probably thought Tahquamenon Falls, near Newberry, would top this list. It's not a bad waterfall, just a little overrated. If you're going there, take a few extra hours to traipse up to Grand Marais and over to the Sable River, which flows through a canopy of pines, traveling hundreds of feet down from Grand Sable Lake to Lake Superior below. This is just a beautiful area, and smells like northern Michigan should smell -- of pines and fresh flowing water. You can almost imagine what life was like for the indigenous peoples long beofre the white man came. Accessible off H-58 just west of Grand Marais. For a scenic drive, stay on H-58 west past Grand Sable Lake to the Log Slide overlook. Take a few photos and then continue west to the Au Sable lighthouse.