Michigan July 08, 2017
9 Waterfall Hikes In Michigan That Will Overwhelm You With Natural Beauty
From our Great Lakes to our cool, shaded forests, there’s no shortage of natural beauty here in Michigan. While there are plenty of classic hiking trails to explore throughout the state, nothing adds extra excitement to a trek quite like the presence of a waterfall. It would be impossible to include each and every stunning locale in one article, but we’ve compiled a list of nine must-see waterfall hikes that you’ll absolutely love.
1. Trail To Upper Falls, Tahquamenon Falls (41382 West M 123, Paradise)
You’ll find hikes within Tahquamenon Falls State Park that cater to all skill levels, but we’ll keep it simple — for a relaxing, partially paved hike toward Michigan’s most famous falls, walk directly from the parking lot and start your journey on a quarter-mile wooded path. You’ll end your short trek with a magical glimpse of the falls and memories to last a lifetime.
2. Bond Falls Loop (Bond Falls Road, Paulding)
This gorgeous Michigan spot allows for a scenic hike that loops around for just under a mile. The hike itself isn't strenuous, so every member of your family can enjoy the unique ambiance of this Michigan gem. Upon reaching the falls, you'll marvel at rushing water as it flows over fractured volcanic rock.
3. Laughing Whitefish Falls Trail (Rock River Township)
Take a mile-long trek through the forested beauty that surrounds Laughing Whitefish River in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The trail itself is far from strenuous and offers lovely views along the way, but the real gem of this hike is access to Laughing Whitefish Falls themselves. Make sure to bring your camera -- this is one hike you'll certainly want to remember.
4. North Country Trail, Porcupine Mountains (Ontanagon)
If you’re a more experienced hiker looking for the ultimate waterfall trek, make the journey way north to the Porcupine Mountains and embark on this 11-mile hike through some of Michigan’s most incredible natural splendor. Follow the trail from Bessemer as it winds alongside the Black River and makes its way toward Lake Superior. During this hike, you’ll see seven — yes, SEVEN — separate waterfalls. Does it get much better than that?
5. Sturgeon Falls Hike (Sidnaw)
This hike is short, but it offers a more challenging option for hiking enthusiasts who want to catch stunning waterfall views. During the one-mile trek, you’ll pass through forested wonder and have the chance to refresh your mind and body with that clear Upper Peninsula air. The pinnacle of your hike comes about when you reach the gorgeous rushing waters of Sturgeon Falls.
6. Ocqueoc Falls Trail (Millersburg/Rogers City)
As the only publicly accessible "major" waterfall in the Lower Peninsula, Ocqueoc Falls is an absolute must-visit for Michiganders of all ages. The trail can be accessed near Millersburg and stretches on for just .3 miles before giving way to lovely views of the falls. This is the perfect starter waterfall hike if you’re just beginning to explore Michigan’s great outdoors.
7. Munising Falls Trail (Munising)
If you find yourself near Munising, you’ll likely be overwhelmed with the variety of natural attractions to explore. While there are multiple waterfalls in the area, Munising Falls is a fantastic starting point. The trail to the falls stretches on for just 800 feet, so it’s a great mini-hike for small children who might not be game for a longer journey. The beauty of the falls will blow you away, no matter what your age.
8. Sable Falls Trail (Grand Marais)
Embark on this .6 mile hike to check out the magical scenery of Sable Falls, located near the lovely community of Grand Marais. The trail is available year-round, so you can plan your visit for any season — and it’s accessible enough to be used by hikers of nearly all athletic abilities. The falls themselves are lovely and the hike is stunning — what’s not to love?
9. Canyon Falls and Gorge Trail (US-41, Covington)
Located approximately 15 miles south of L’Anse, this hike is perfect if you’re ready to be blown away by the beauty of our home state. Embark on the one-mile journey to the falls, which primarily follows level terrain and is suitable for all ages. The falls are breathtaking, the gorge itself is like a mini Grand Canyon, and the fresh air is nothing short of wonderful. This is one hike that you might just want to embark on over and over again.
This is just a handful of the most wonderful waterfall hikes here in the Great Lakes State. We’d love to hear from you — where are your favorite spots to explore Michigan’s waterfalls? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!