Waterfalls - 18 min read

20 Best Waterfalls in Michigan (Highest & Most Beautiful)

Becky Vordermann

Becky Vordermann, Updated September 21, 2022

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Michigan is known for both industry and its natural beauty. More than 300 waterfalls contribute to the beauty found in this midwestern state. Its Upper Peninsula is especially rugged and forested. This is where most of the beautiful and best waterfalls of Michigan can be found.

If you are seeking waterfalls, as you travel through Michigan, you will definitely want to visit the Upper Peninsula. Many state parks offer visitors accessibility to falls that lie on rivers, that eventually lead to the largest great lake, Lake Superior.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is home to many of the spectacular waterfalls in this state. There are also waterfalls on private land, that one can pay to visit. Others are hidden gems, and only can be found after taking a hike deep into the forest, or along the rocky riversides.

Michigan has waterfalls for all sorts of visitors. Ocqueoc Falls are the only universally accessible waterfalls in the country. Other falls like Tahquamenon Falls, require just a short hike to reach them. If you are more adventurous, Michigan also has waterfalls, like Rock River Falls, that you must be fit to visit, due to the longer hike required to reach them.

Michigan’s Best & Most Beautiful Waterfalls

1. Tahquamenon Falls

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Tahquamenon Falls, Michigan’s largest waterfall is located near Paradise. It is a very spectacular site to see and if you are only going to see one waterfall during your visit to Michigan, this should be the one.

This waterfall is located in the eastern portion of the Upper Peninsula. There is a state park fee required to visit the falls. If you plan on visiting many falls, you may just want to buy a seasonal pass.

The falls are fairly easy to access via a 1.5-mile loop trail. Hiking, birdwatching, and trail running are all popular on this trail. You can also camp in the park, allowing you more time to explore the natural flora and fauna around the falls.

Tahquamenon Falls is very wide. They are 200 feet across. Water can flow through the falls at 50,000 gallons per second, during the wet season. Unfortunately, you cannot reach these waterfalls by bike.

During the summer months, mosquitos frequent the area and bug spray is recommended for those that visit. The state park has track chairs available to give those with limited mobility the ability to access the falls. These chairs are made for all four seasons and can go through water and snow.

Tahquamenon Falls is a must-see waterfall if you are visiting Michigan. It’s easy to access and quite a spectacular sight!

2. Bond Falls

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Bond Falls is located on the middle branch of the Ontonagon River, near Paulding. This is in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, on the western portion of the peninsula. The falls are 100 feet wide and drop 50 feet.

They are magnificent, as they pour over fractured rock beautifully. Springtime is the best time to view the falls, when waters are rushing in the river. In the summer months the waterfall flows much less.

The falls are very accessible to visitors, during all four season. There is access via roadside parking to the hiking trails that lead to the falls.

In the winter the trails to the falls are groomed for cross-country skiing. Bond Falls is pet friendly. It also has a picnic area making it a great place to spend time having a snack or lunch.

Bond Falls is great waterfall to visit with the whole family, because of its accessibility and lovely picnic area.

3. Bridalveil Falls

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Bridalviel Falls is located within Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The picturesque waterfall runs over limey sandstone, which is not as soft as sandstone at the bottom of the falls. There is less erosion at the top of the falls because of this. If you are geologically savvy, you will surely want to check it out.

The waterfalls are best viewed at water level. You cannot see them at the top. You can view them from afar at Miners Castle overlook and Miners Beach.

If you are going to visit Bridalviel Falls, you will want to go in the wet winter or spring. In the summer, the falls barely flow, resembling the trickle of a faucet.

Overall, this is a gorgeous site to see. If you are visiting Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, you will want to add them to your itinerary.

4. Miners Falls

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Miners Falls is part of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. This waterfall is accessible by hiking from a parking area found on Miners Castle Road. The hike to Miners Falls and back is 1.2 miles total.

This trail is easy for most visitors. Most younger children can even tackle, the trail. The trail is dirt and a fairly easy trek. There are two lookout points to see the falls from.

Sandstone makes of the falls drop along the Miners River. The waterfall’s drop is about 50 feet. The flow that feeds this fall is fast. Many agree, that Miners Falls is the most powerful along Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

If you are looking to get a short hike in and see a waterfall, while visiting Pictured Rocks, you won’t want to skip Miners Falls. Spring is the best time to view the falls and enjoy the area, as the forest is lush and wildflowers bloom during this time.

5. Sable Falls

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Sable Falls is located along Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. It is easy to access for most visitors of all ages. Taking 168 steps down to a lookout, will provide you with an excellent vantage point to observe the waterfall.

If you struggle with steps, you may want to choose to visit one of the many other waterfalls along the lakeshore. Sable Falls is 75 feet tall. The water at the falls drops over Munising and Jacobsville sandstone formations. Sandstone is very common in the area.

Sable Falls is close to Lake Superior. A short trail from a parking area, takes you to these falls. If you continue past the falls, you will reach a pleasant rock beach on the mighty Lake Superior. The rocky beach is an excellent place to stop for a snack, and enjoy the lake.

Sable Falls is great for visitors with dogs. Pets are allowed on the trail and step that lead to the falls, as long as they are leashed. If you are looking to hike to a waterfall with family and furry friend, this is a great place to explore.

6. Manabezho Falls

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Manabezho Falls can be found in Porcupine Mountain State Park. This is in Michigan Upper Peninsula. This water fall is on the Presque Isle River. It is the last drop along the river, before the water flows into Lake Superior from it.

The waterfall is quite large. It’s 25” tall and 150” wide. During the spring, the falls is most powerful. It appears segmented in the summer, when the water levels are down.

It’s easy to reach this waterfall from CR519. Once you park, it is only a short trek to the view it. Visitors can enjoy crossing the suspension bridge to Presque Isle, during their visit to the falls.

If you are looking for a beautiful and easy to access waterfall in the Upper Peninsula, Manabezho Falls is a great stop.

7. Manido Falls

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Manido Falls is smaller than most other waterfalls on this list. It is only 10-feet tall. Depending on the season, Manido Falls is 50 to 150-feet wide. Spring is when the falls are largest, while in the summer months the falls can dwindle.

The waterfalls are located in Porcupine Mountain State Park. They are above Manazho Falls, on the Presque Isle River. They can best be viewed from an overlook on the west side of the river. There are stairs that lead to the overlook.

You can also view the waterfall from the east side. This route is more treacherous, as one has to maneuver through rocks to reach the best observation points.

This is not the most popular waterfall. If you are looking for a quiet hike this is a great option.

8. Nawadaha Falls

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Nawadaha Falls is located in Porcupine Mountain State Park. It is above Manido and Manabezho Falls, which are further down the Presque Isle River, that leads to Lake Superior. The falls are accessible by hiking.

The loop hike to access the waterfall is most rugged, on the east side of the river. The waterfall is 15-feet tall. It is 50 to 150-feed wide, depending on the season. In the summer months, the waterfall does not flow as fast or full.

Unfortunately, Nawadaha Falls are often difficult to photograph. The sun shines directly behind them on sunny days. If you want to photograph this waterfall, you will want to visit it on an overcast day.

Nawadaha Falls is a great stop for those wanting to see multiple waterfalls in one place. There is camping in Porcupine Mountain State Park too, for those that want a multi-day adventure.

9. Ocqueoc Falls

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Ocqueoc Falls is the largest waterfall in lower Michigan.
It is special, as it’s universally accessible. This makes it easy for many to view. The pathway to view the falls is made to accommodate wheelchairs and other mobility devices.

Ocqueoc Falls is a great place for visitors to engage in other outdoor activities too. There are 6 miles of trails for hiking and biking in the summer months. In the winter, this trail can be used by cross-country skiers and fat bikers.

Ocqueoc Falls is one where you can swim at too. If you are looking to check out something from Michigan’s history, an old mill sits above the falls. Salmon can be viewed here, during spawning season.

Ocqueoc Falls has something to appease almost anyone. If you have limited mobility, would like to see a bit of nature, are interested in history, or want to recreate at a waterfall, then you will surely want to pay a visit to this waterfall. There is even camping for those that want  to spend more than a day checking it out.

10. Hungarian Falls

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Hungarian Falls, a gorgeous natural feature that is located near Keweenaw. It is accessed from Golf Course Road. The falls is actually a series of falls, not just a single drop, which adds to the beauty of it. This series of falls flows to Torch Lake.

The falls are best accessed by a footpath, that is easy to travel on. There is swimming and climbing opportunities at the waterfalls. too. You can spend the whole day having fun at the falls. Unfortunately, there is no camping allowed here.

Hungarian Falls is located in a dense hardwood forest. Maple, oak, birch, and white pine trees are numerous. Keweenaw Fault is a geological feature, that lies here too, for those interested in geology and geography. If you are looking for a waterfall area that will fascinate you for an entire day, this is a great place to visit.

11. Spray Falls

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Spray Falls is unique, as it is easiest to view from a boat!
The 70-foot water fall drops directly in to the great lake, Lake Superior. It sits along Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. This is home to many of the other falls on this list.

If you have access to your own boat, you can use that or there are tours in the area that can take you out on the lake to see the waterfall for a fee. Spray Falls is also different from many others as it sits above a shipwreck. “Superior”

If you want to access the waterfall by hiking, the North Country Scenic Trail allows a limited view of it. You will need time and to be physically fit, if you plan on accessing the falls hiking the trail, as it is an over 9-mile hike.

12. Laughing Whitefish Falls

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Laughing Whitefish Falls is gorgeous. It is about 20 minutes from Marquette and 28-miles west of Munising, in the Upper Peninsula. The falls are located in Laughing Whitefish State Park, which is a 360-acre recreation area. This makes it a great spot to stop for an all day adventure

The waterfalls are quite easy to reach. One has to hike about a half-mile from the parking area to visit them. This is a hike that both young children and older individuals can easily tackle. If you want to hike more, the state park has a total of 2.5 miles of trails that connect to the North Country Trail.

In addition, to viewing the waterfalls there are other recreation opportunities in the park. These include birdwatching and naturalist programs. This is an excellent stop for the whole family to learn about and observe nature.

13. Tannery Falls

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Tannery Falls is an easily accessible waterfall near Munising, Michigan. It is easy to reach by hiking. Most agree it’s doable for visitors of all ages. Dogs are not allowed on the trail to the falls. If you have a furry friend that you want to hike with, you will want to choose one of the many other waterfalls in Michigan, that do allow dogs.

The trail to the waterfall is accessible year-round. It can be more difficult to navigate in the winter, depending on how much snow is on the ground. You will definitely want to wear warm and tall boots if you plan on visiting during the snowy months. The UP of Michigan can get lake effect snow, which can accumulate quickly to a foot or more at once.

There is no designated parking area, at the trail to the waterfall. You have to park on the street. Fortunately, the waterfall is rarely busy. This is a great place to visit if you want to avoid crowds and check out one of Michigan’s waterfalls, anytime during the year.

14. Horseshoe Falls

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Horseshoe Falls is a beautiful waterfall. It is on private land, so a fee is required to visit it. This fee is higher than most would expect, so if you plan to visit the falls with your family you will need to plan accordingly for the fees.

There are interpretive signs that educate visitors on the many natural features found near the falls, including plants. A scavenger hunt is set up for children at Horseshoe Falls, too.

This helps make the hike to the waterfall fun and unique. It also allows children to learn something during their visit. You may even learn something yourself, if you are helping your child with the scavenger hunt!

If you don’t mind paying the fee, Horseshoe Falls is worth stopping at. The extra activities at the location make it a fun stop for all ages. There is a gift shop and fishpond on location. The gift shop has very tasty ice cream.

15. Wagner Falls

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Wagner Falls is an impressive set of waterfalls near Munising.
It’s easy to access, with a trail leading to the falls from a parking area. This makes it easy to get to for small children. Dogs are allowed on the trail, making it fun for all including furry friends.

Wagner Falls does not have a great area to picnic at. If you are looking to have lunch or recreate in other ways, while you visit a waterfall, this may not be your best option.

Mosquitos and blackflies are plentiful in the area. Make sure to bring your insect repellent if you visit these beautiful waterfalls.

16. Rock River Falls

Credit: John Gremmer / Flickr

Rock River Falls is a lovely sight to see, but not the easiest to access. It is recommended that you have a high clearance vehicle to even reach the trail to the waterfall.

Once you reach the parking area, near Deerton, the 1.8 mile out and back hike to the waterfall is not easy for all to trek. The trail is rock in some areas. You must cross boards over wet terrain on other parts of the trail.

This is an excellent waterfall to visit with a pet. Dogs are allowed off leash on the trail. Grouse and frogs are often sighted in the area, for those looking to view wildlife.

If you are looking for a secluded and adventurous hike and waterfall to visit, this is one you should seek out. You will want to bring shoes you don’t mind getting wet and drive a vehicle with four-wheel drive to access it though. Bug spray is also recommended.

17. Superior Falls

Credit: Lake Superior Circle Tour

Superior Falls is a great waterfall to visit with the whole family. It’s accessible by a short hike, just over a half mile long. Even toddlers can take this hike without much of a struggle.

Superior Falls was featured on Discovery Channel’s Stunt Junkies: Go Big or Go Home, with Tao Berman’s kayaking launch over the waterfall. This aired in 2006.

The waterfall sits on the Montreal River, just before it reaches Lake Superior. It is near the town of Ironwood, in the Upper Peninsula, just off of Highway 122. This is very close to the border of Wisconsin.

The flow of the waterfall is controlled by the power company, as a dam sits above it. The waterfall flows best in the springtime, though it does flow at least 20 cubic feet/second year-round.

This is a great place to visit year-round. It’s very easy to access too, making it the perfect falls for almost anyone to visit.

18. Great Conglomerate Falls

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Great Conglomerate Falls is located near Ironwood. It is the uppermost waterfall on the Black River, in a series of five waterfalls. Many agree it’s the most impressive of the five.

Great Conglomerate Falls is 30-feet tall. The falls is actually two waterfalls that are split on either side of a conglomerate rock formation.

This beautiful sight in nature is easy to view from a viewing platform and boardwalk trail. The trail is part of the North Country Trail. The trail can be muddy in spots, so wear boots or shoes you don’t mind getting dirty.

Overall, the hike to Great Conglomerate Falls is not difficult or long. It is about 2.5 miles out-and-back. It may not be the best for young children, due to its length.

19. Munising Falls

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Munising Falls are found in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore area. They are found in the actual city of Munising near the Munising Memorial Hospital, making them easy to locate.

You can park near the falls and hike up a 800 foot trail to the falls. The falls are 50 feet tall. The trail leads to the base of the falls and there are stairs that lead you up to other viewpoints.

Visitors love hiking through the canyon to see a variety of flora and fauna. Ferns are abundant. Mink frequent the area.

In the winter, the falls freeze and offer a magical display of ice formations. No matter what season you are visiting Michigan, Munising Falls is a glorious sight.

20. Jacob’s Falls

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Jacob’s Falls is an extremely accessible waterfall found four miles from Eagle River, Michigan on M26. You can drive right up to it, making this waterfall enjoyable for visitors of all ages and even those with limited mobility.

Jacob’s Falls is easy to find. It’s clearly marked with a sign. You can see it as you drive by or pull into a parking lot across the road to get out and observe this beautiful waterfall for a longer period of time. It is near the popular tourist destination Jampot, which serves up tasty treats and of course jam!

Jacob’s Falls is made up of several drops. It is part of Jacob’s Creek, which flows to Lake Superior. In the quarter mile from the waterfall to the lake, the creek descends 200 feet.

Visitors wanting to get a better look at the falls, may choose to take a trail along the falls to better see its drops. This trail is very steep though, so be sure you have the appropriate footwear and are physically fit before taking it.

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