Dead River Falls #1, Michigan

I’ve already posted about Dead River Falls #2, so this is a check that post out to read more about the second falls. The first waterfall, at least the first major one you’ll happen upon, is pretty. #2 and #4 on the river are even better, though. You’ll still end up passing falls #1, so enjoy the scenery. (Falls #3 isn’t as exciting.)

While I say the others are cooler, I still was pleasantly surprised by the first falls. I had read about the falls elsewhere, and the people seemed less than enthusiastic about the falls. From certain viewpoints, the view is not that great. From other vantage points, it’s much better. Follow the directions I’ve given here to see the better viewpoint, where you’re much closer to the falls.


  1. From US-41/M-28 in Marquette, you are going to turn at Wright Street near the Target and Taco Bell.
  2. Drive a short distance to Forestville Road, and take a left.
  3. Continue driving on that road for about 3 miles. You will curve left at one point and end up at a dam/power plant. (As a note, Reany River Falls is only a few yards from this parking lot.)
  4. From the parking area, head toward the bathrooms. You will see a trail leading up the side of a hill underneath power lines. Head up that trail.
  5. There is a sign pointing to the falls. You can follow the sign and it will get you to the first waterfall.
  6. From there, continue upstream. You will have to climb up a hill, which was moderately steep. It will help to follow the sound of the river. From the top of the hill, you should be able to find the trail leading to the other falls. The trail hugs the river.

When I visited in 2011, access to these falls was closed. After visiting in 2017, I can confirm that the trail has been reopened. I had hoped that maybe the trail had been re-routed to avoid some of the steeper parts of the trail, but that’s not the case. Please exercise caution when visiting these falls.

Accessibility: 4/10 (moderate/strenuous)
Height: ~6′
Length of Hike: 0.7 miles round-trip (you could see this one without going to the other falls)


Dead River Falls #1 in May 2009

Where in the World is Dead River Falls #1?


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