Beautiful Waterfalls in Michigan
With more than 300 waterfalls in Michigan, exploring Michigan’s waterfalls is a lifelong venture.
What is so special about a Pure Michigan waterfall? It’s the white, foamy crests that dive up and down through the river’s steady flow. It’s the rush of water as it tumbles in translucent curtains down the falls.
It’s the adventure to find them and the resounding roar you hear before you even catch a glimpse.
That’s why we’re excited. That’s why we love Michigan waterfalls.
Many of these waterfalls can be easily accessed from a trail in Michigan. So pull your hiking boots on and get ready for a road trip because we have an unmatched Michigan waterfall guide for you!
PRO-TIP: Almost all of the waterfalls are located in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. While we highly recommend visiting all of them, this guide will be a written tour of some of our favorites, starting in the eastern upper peninsula and moving west.
Exploring Michigan Waterfalls
You may think summer is prime waterfall time, and it is! However, fall colors, winter ice, and spring blossoms make for beautiful waterfalls and a unique outdoor adventure.
Whatever season you choose, you’re in for some breathtaking moments.
We’re so excited for you to get started on your Michigan waterfall quest, and we hope our guide inspires you and leads you forward.
Keep exploring! Sometimes the best waterfall adventures are the ones you find on your own.
Read on to discover 31 Must-See Waterfalls in Michigan.
Upper Peninsula Waterfalls
The well-known Tahquamenon Falls deserves its own blog (which is why we wrote one.)
Divided into the upper and lower falls, Tahquamenon is a place of stunning natural beauty. The upper falls are 200 feet wide with a 50 foot drop into a Michigan river. In fact, it’s the second-largest waterfall east of the Mississippi.
Nicknamed the Root Beer Falls for their signature brown color, Tahquamenon’s upper falls are jokingly rumored to originate from a nearby root beer factory.
In truth, the falls get their glowing brown hue from the tannins in the surrounding hemlock and cedar trees.
The lower Tahquamenon Falls are just as unique. You can drive between the locations or embark on a four-mile hiking trail to reach them. Made up of five small waterfalls, the lower falls surround a small island, accessible by rowboat to visitors.
If you aren’t already convinced, with a Michigan state park pass, this Tahquamenon adventure is free.
Tahquamenon Falls State Park also has camping sites, scenic hiking opportunities, and its own brewery and pub.
Waterfalls on Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Journey to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore for the sandstone cliffs and stunning lighting of these national lakeshore waterfalls. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is one of the country’s most popular national parks and these picturesque waterfalls play a big role in it’s scenic beauty.
West of Grand Marais, Sable Falls is located in Burt Township, Michigan. The water here flows smoothly over curved sandstone formations and into a rushing river.
You’ll be immersed in the woods, but the trail to the waterfall is only half of a mile from the parking lot (perfect for those with hiking hesitations.)
If you follow the path all the way down, you’ll find yourself on Sable Falls Beach with a stunning view of Lake Superior stretching out before you.
Chapel Falls and Mosquito Falls
This waterfall is the perfect opportunity for hiking. The Chapel Loop is 10 miles of rock formations, sunlight, and woodsy trails.
If that seems a little long, don’t worry. There are shorter routes you can take. During this hike, you’ll find both Chapel Falls and Mosquito Falls in all their splendor.
Keep an eye out for the amazing Chapel Rock and Chapel Beach, too.
The Munising MI waterfall is a unique wonder in itself.
Falling over a ridged sandstone cliff, the falls catch beautiful light in the summer sun and freeze into magical, snowy formations in the winter.
If you find yourself on Miners Castle road, take a quick detour to Miners Falls.
After a short hike, you’ll find yourself taking in the views of the forty-foot, rushing waterfall, tucked into the woodsy cliffside. The lovely trails leading between outlooks to this waterfall allow leashed pets.
Spray and Bridalveil Falls
You’ll get the best view of the beautiful Spray Falls and Bridalveil Falls from a Pictured Rocks boat tour.
Learn more about the boat tours here.
These waterfalls in Alger County make for a wonderful UP vacation! Every scenic trail and first glimpse of falling water just screams Michigan travel paradise.
This is your opportunity to adventure through a waterfall gorge and see the falls from all angles and up-close. Memorial Falls may be small, but it is magical.
With a rocky series of drops, Alger Falls looks like it was meant to be a staircase for giants.
Stop by this roadside waterfall while meandering down M-28 for an irresistible view. It may be wise to save a trip to Memorial and Alger Falls for after a rainfall to ensure optimal water flow
To find this waterfall, follow an easy boardwalk trail through the woods. Wagner Falls is protected by a 23-acre state scenic site, and for good reason.
be sure and bring your camera. This waterfall is a worthy expression of Michigan nature.
Rock River Falls
The forested trails of Rock River Canyon Wilderness will lead you to Rock River Falls.
Here, you’ll find peaceful scenery and tranquil water, which cascades over rocky ledges into a lovely pool.
Laughing Whitefish Falls
The last Alger County waterfall on our list (don’t worry, you may find more when you visit), is Laughing Whitefish, one of the tallest waterfalls in Michigan.
The water of this fall forms little rapids down dark layers of rock to the river below.
Whitefish Falls may have you returning for another look before the end of your Alger County exploration.
More Amazing Upper Peninsula Waterfalls
Black River Falls
Located in the Escanaba River State Forest, the Black River waterfall is a plume of crashing white water nestled into tall black rocks.
You won’t regret choosing this fall when you reach your destination, surrounded by strong Michigan trees and a wide, blue sky.
This waterfall in L’Anse, Michigan, is like something out of a fantasy world.
Called the “Grand Canyon of the UP,” Canyon Falls channels over black rocks and into a boxed canyon.
Let’s take a drive to Paulding, MI, to take in the sights and sounds of Bond Falls.
The water drops down 50 feet, and you’ll get a perfect view from the boardwalk trails that weave around the falls.
You simply can’t miss Agate Falls while you’re in the UP, especially if you’re already visiting the nearby Bond Falls.
You’ll find this beautiful array of wide-set falls on the middle branch of the Ontonagon River. The Agate Falls is one of the top Michigan tourist destinations in the western Upper Peninsula, so be sure and add this to to your travel bucket list.
Don’t be surprised if you find less traffic circulating around Bonanza Falls in White Pine, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth seeing.
The waterfall is considered a hidden gem in the UP, and its pretty streams spread out over a variety of stacked, slate rock ledges.
The surging tide of Potawatomi Falls is wondrously overwhelming.
Located in the Ottawa National Forest, the waterfall comes with hiking trails and enchanting scenery to enjoy.
Presque Isle River Waterfalls
Manabezo Falls, Manido Falls, and Nawadaha Falls of Presque Isle, are on the edge of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.
Waterfalls on the Keweenaw Peninsula
The Keweenaw Peninsula is kind of like the shining beacon of the western Upper Peninsula.
It’s surrounded on three sides by Lake Superior’s waters and is home to many of Michigan’s finest waterfalls. Here are a few to get you started…
Silver River Falls
What better way to start your Keweenaw Peninsula waterfall tour than with Silver River Falls and its historic sandstone bridge?
The waterfall is divided into two different drops, both boasting their own unique Michigan flavor.
Take a quick back trail through the woods to the Hungarian Falls’ majestic scenic sites. The water comes from Dover Creek and travels down the falls to Torch Lake.
If you want to see them in full force, visit during a rainy spring.
Eagle River Falls
When Eagle River reaches this waterfall, it washes down the tall rocks and falls easily into the river’s current againWith its park and steel bridge, this would make a great roadside waterfall visit.
Although Ripley Creek’s waterfall is seasonal, its energetic flow makes up for the months it misses. With a 100-foot drop down a ski hill’s surface, Ripley Falls starts out strong and then continues in smaller drops farther down the hill.
Waterfalls in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula
As the largest waterfall in the lower peninsula of Michigan, Ocqueoc Falls deserves its own heading.
It’s off the M-68 highway in Ocqueoc, Michigan, just about 30 minute ride north of Alpena. Follow the falls trail and you can enjoy hiking and biking the six miles of trails on this scenic site before taking in the beauty of the falls and even swimming in its foaming pools.
If you’re tempted to stay for more than a day, go camping at the state forest campground nearby and return in the morning for more Michigan waterfall fun.
PRO-TIP: After spending the day hiking and splashing the in falls, head down to Alpena just about 40 minutes away. You’ll find a charming town worth set right on the sparkling shores of Michigan’s Thunder Bay.
More Michigan Waterfalls to Explore
There are so many more waterfalls in Michigan! Here are a few more we love:
Horseshoe Falls in Munising
Froling Falls, Morgan Falls, Dead River Falls, and Carpe Falls in Marquette MI
Gabbro Falls in Bessemer Township
Great Conglomerate Falls in Gogebic County
Houghton Falls (Douglass Houghton Falls)
Michigan Waterfalls F.A.Q.
A. The Upper Falls of the Tahquamenon Falls, which are more than 50 feet tall and 200 feet wide
A. In the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
A. There are more than 300 waterfalls in Michigan, with all but one of them located in Upper Peninsula.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR-
Kyrsten Newlon is a content writing and editing intern for mymichiganbeach.com. Growing up in Kalamazoo, she wrote and read everything she could. Now, she is a student at Grace College with Journalism and Communications majors and an English minor. She has been published by Grace College, the Winona Lake Newsletter, Input Fort Wayne, and various online blogs. Kyrsten loves raising puppies to be service dogs, spending time in coffee shops, and adventuring through Michigan.