When it comes to exploring Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, we mean it when we say the possibilities are endless. Whether you’re completing the Lake Superior Circle Tour, hoping to find new hiking trails or just looking to get outside as the weather gets warmer, adding some magnificent waterfalls to your list is a must. Not only does the sight and sound of flowing water help you to relax and reconnect with nature, but it’s also been scientifically proven to decrease your blood pressure! Bring your family, a friend or just yourself for a solo adventure — there are plenty of jaw-dropping waterfalls to see. Here are a few accessible and unique waterfalls to add to your checklist as you explore the Western Upper Peninsula.
Eagle River FallsBack to Top of List
If you’re hoping to make a quick stop to see some roadside falls on your way to Copper Harbor, Eagle River Falls presents the perfect opportunity. Right off of M-26, you can peer over this deep river gorge across from the walkable Lake Shore Drive Bridge and watch as Eagle River Falls cascades down its dramatic 40-foot drop before emptying into Lake Superior.
The pedestrian bridge was once there for an old, narrow highway, but it makes the perfect viewing platform these days. More adventurous individuals can also follow the small footpath from the parking area down to the edge of the river. Learn more about Eagle River Falls in Eagle River.
Hungarian FallsBack to Top of List
Located on a prized, rustic recreational area in the heart of the Keweenaw Peninsula, Hungarian Falls is open for the public to explore all year long. This local nature preserve features a variety of hiking trails, ranging from moderate to advanced in difficulty levels.
When heading towards the flowing falls, you will want to take the upper access trail, as it’s the easier option to get to the top where you will find a viewing area. Depending on the time of year, you may even find a variety of other wildlife and fish in the pond located at the top of the falls. Learn more about Hungarian Falls in Hubbell.
Paul's FallsBack to Top of List
Looking for something a little more off the beaten path? Paul’s Falls on the Sante River is the most remote waterfall destination you can hike out to in the Keweenaw. Be warned: it’s a 6-mile-round-trip hike on overgrown logging roads, deer trails and U.P. wetlands — but it’s worth the trek. Once you head deep into the heart of Copper Country, you’ll come across Paul’s Falls' impressive dive into its sandstone bowl. Be sure to tread lightly, as the river bank gets steep and slippery on either side. Learn more about Paul’s Falls in Copper Harbor.
O Kun de Kun FallsBack to Top of List
If you’re hoping to add a plunge fall to your list of must-see waterfalls around Lake Superior, then you won’t want to miss the O Kun de Kun Falls. Getting to the largest falls in Ontonagon County is a fun experience in and of itself.
First, find the trailhead on the east side of US-45 after parking and follow signs to the North Country Trail. As you hike, you’ll also get to see smaller falls upstream before heading downstream to see the real show.
Once you arrive, you will cross a suspension bridge below the falls to get a better view. And, as long as you’re careful and watch your footing, you can actually go behind the falls to see the cascading water from a whole new vantage point! Plan your visit to O Kun de Kun Falls.
Bond FallsBack to Top of List
This impressive waterfall is the perfect stop on your way to the Porcupine Mountains, regardless of what time of year you’re planning your trip. Spread 100 feet across, Bond Falls drops nearly 50 feet downwards, emptying back into the Ontonagon River.
The boardwalk and main viewing areas are both wheelchair accessible and easy to access, and furry friends are welcome as long as they are leashed. Stopping in for lunch? There is a picnic area with grills, tables and toilets situated right at the trailhead. Visit Bond Falls in Paulding.
Great Conglomerate FallsBack to Top of List
Named for the great mass of conglomerate rock it spills right over, Great Conglomerate Falls forms two separate waterfalls that are nearly impossible to capture in a single picture. Once you’ve parked, you will follow a clearly-marked trail for ¾ mile to a viewing platform.
Just a ½ mile down the North Country National Scenic Trail (which you can easily access nearby) are both Gorge Falls and Potawatomi Falls, so you can check three separate waterfalls off your U.P. waterfall bucket list when visiting this area! Learn more about Great Conglomerate Falls in Gogebic County.
Nawadaha FallsBack to Top of List
If you’re looking for one of the easiest sites to visit while exploring the Porcupine Mountains, Nawadaha Falls is the perfect stop. Situated as the upper-most of three waterfalls along the Presque Isle River, this 15-foot-high waterfall has a width that will vary depending on its current water levels and time of year.
The walk out to the falls is an easy stroll on relatively flat ground in under five minutes, with other beautiful sights to observe along the way. Visit Nawadaha Falls in Gogebic County.
Chicagon FallsBack to Top of List
While this particular waterfall isn’t necessarily impressive in size (it only drops about 10 to 15 feet down), the views all around this location are a must-see. Once you’ve parked in the nearby lot, you’ll follow a trail for about a mile – feel free to hike or bike this route and it should only take you 10-15 minutes to complete. There’s even a good chance you’ll be rewarded with a private viewing of these remote, bustling falls! Stop by Chicagon Falls in Iron County.
Manabezho FallsBack to Top of List
Watch the Presque Isle River’s final moments before it moves into Lake Superior at Manabezho Falls right off of CR-519 at the western end of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.
Famed as the largest and last drop in the river with a crest of 150 feet, you can expect to take a short but steep walk, which will guide you to the overlook at the top of the 25-foot drop. Downstream from these falls, the river dives into a narrow gorge, creating another spectacular site to visit while in the area. Finish your tour by exploring the pedestrian suspension bridge that leads to Presque Isle. Catch Manabezho Falls in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.
Power House FallsBack to Top of List
This destination is named for the old hydraulic powerhouse that still stands next to this 40 foot wide, 15 foot cascade down the Falls River. Just a short distance off of US-41, many visitors who participate in the Lake Superior Circle Tour enjoy stopping to stretch their legs as they observe Power House Falls.
Canyon FallsBack to Top of List
For many, Canyon Falls are a must-see when passing through the area. Just a few miles off of US-41 in Baraga County you will find the Canyon Falls Roadside Park. But this is no ordinary roadside park — just a ½ mile down a well-marked path you will find a 30-foot-high cascade over rock shelves and into a massive gorge.
Lovingly nicknamed the “Grand Canyon of the U.P.,'' the Sturgeon River slides into a boxy canyon-like gorge that has been cut into the rocks over time from the constant cascade of water. If you follow the river downstream, eventually you will also come to Sturgeon Falls, where the gorge becomes a mile wide and 300 feet deep! Add Canyon Falls to your list. You won’t regret it.
Other Activities to Pair with Chasing Waterfalls Across the Western U.P.
Did you know that the U.P. is home to all but one of Michigan’s waterfalls? With more than 300 different types of waterfalls dotted all across the Upper Peninsula, there’s definitely a little something for everyone. Whether you’re hiking, biking, camping or cruising through in a car, there are so many picturesque towns, museums and attractions to add to your adventure along the way. Check out these other fun activities.