Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, with its vast wilderness and dozens of uncrowded towns, is a vacation paradise for dogs to bring their owners. With hundreds of waterfalls between Drummond Island and Ironwood, going waterfalling is a fun outdoor activity to do with your pet. Most of these scenic sites require your dog to be on a six-foot or shorter leash, so please bring one along.
Upper Tahquamenon Falls
The Upper Tahquamenon Falls is one of the largest waterfalls east of the Mississippi River and the largest in Michigan. It is 200 feet across and has a drop of nearly 50 feet, thundering as 50,000 gallons of water per second splash to the bottom!
To reach the viewing area, you and your dog will walk a quarter-mile paved trail from the parking lot. If you can climb down the 93 steps to the brink viewing platform, you will get a close-up look at the tumbling, foamy water and feel the mist. Continue to follow the paved trail downstream to the gorge. There you can take 112 steps down to the river’s edge — a beautiful sight all year-round.
Lower Tahquamenon Falls
You and your dog can hike or drive from the Upper Tahquamenon Falls to the Lower Falls four miles downriver. From a paved trail, you can view and photograph the five scenic waterfalls split by an island. However, in the summer, dog travelers recommend renting one of the park’s rowboats (yes, you can bring your dog aboard) and paddling to the island. A quarter-mile boardwalk takes you and your four-legged companion through the island’s thick, coniferous forest, ending at the viewing platforms. Then row back and grab a snack at the concession stand.
On one of your visits to the U.P. include an adventure trip to Marquette County. There, see the falls south of Big Bay on the Yellow Dog River and Big and Little Pup Creeks. The wild Yellow Dog River has at least seven waterfalls along its course.
Yellow Dog Falls
One of the biggest is the Yellow Dog Falls with a 20-foot drop and a distinguishing boulder that splits the falls in two. You and your dog can reach these falls by following a mile-long trail from the parking lot off County Road 510.
Bulldog Falls is along the Yellow Dog River in the heavily forested McCormick Wilderness. This is a bit more challenging to reach, so bring a GPS or compass and follow the directions in the link above to see the clear water cascading over the black, broken rocks.
Big Pup Creek Falls
Less than two miles south of where the County Road 510 bridge crosses the Yellow Dog River, there is a smaller bridge over Big Pup Creek. Park near the bridge and go down to the creek, walking downstream for a few hundred yards to view the Big Pup Creek Falls. You also can see these falls as it runs alongside County Road 510 for a short distance.
Little Pup Creek Falls
Not as large as the 20+-foot drop of the Big Pup Creek Falls, the five-foot drop of the Little Pup Creek Falls is pretty. Its water flows through ancient, black volcanic rocks toward Yellow Dog River. You can access it on a two-track off County Road 510, a mile south of the bridge over Big Pup Creek.
Bond Falls Scenic Site
Bond Falls Scenic Site near Paulding is a popular stopping point while traversing the west side of the U.P. These beautiful falls are approximately 100-feet wide with a 50 foot drop. You and your dog can reach the falls by simply following a 600-foot boardwalk to the six viewing locations. For more adventuring, set out on the nearby trails.
Dog owners like the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park for several reasons. Leashed dogs are welcome to romp along the park’s entire Lake Superior shoreline and on miles of wilderness hiking trails. Park rangers estimate there are 93 waterfalls in the Porcupine Mountains, Michigan’s largest state park. Overlooked Falls, ironically, is one of the most visited falls in the park and is only a few hundred feet down the Little Carp River Trail. You can access the trail easily from the parking lot off Little Carp River Road.
Continue walking along Little Carp River Trail to reach the Greenstone Falls (a two mile out and back hike from the parking lot). This one is especially scenic in the fall.
Wherever you adventure in the U.P. this year, you will find pet-friendly places to stay near dog-welcoming waterfalls, beaches and attractions. Search for your overnight lodgings here and add them to your U.P. trip plan. We will do our best to give you a five-paw experience all the while you’re here!