I saw Nawadaha Falls, but I didn’t see it very well. It’s just that the warnings made the short hike to the falls sound more dangerous than I’m guessing it actually was. The falls are on the Presque Isle River in Porcupine Mountains State Park. There are two larger waterfalls downsteream: Manido Falls and Manabezho Falls. Those falls are extremely easy to view as there is a stairway that leads directly to them. To view Nawadaha Falls, you have to get off of the trail and do a little bit more strenuous hiking. I think it’s probably very doable, though. I’m just disappointed that I didn’t try, though it gives me an excuse to go back and visit one of the best state parks in Michigan.
Update: A comment from a reader reminded me that I hadn’t updated this post. When I visited the Porcupine Mountains again in 2010, I found that getting to Nawadaha Falls was much easier than expected. First option, there is a short trail that leads to Nawadaha Falls now, and it starts near the pay station. Second option: even if you’re at Manido Falls, it’s easier to climb up and head upstream to Nawadaha Falls than expected, so you can even try that option. The view of the falls was very odd. In one way, it was impressive because very high levels of rainfall had led to roaring rivers. At the same time, the drops of Nawadaha Falls essentially disappeared due to so much water!
- From US-2 in Wakefield, head north of M-28 for a short ways.
- Turn left onto Thomaston Road (whcih may be numbered County Road 519).
- If it is not numbered Co. Road 519, you will soon end up connecting into Co. Road 519. From there, just keep driving north for a ways. You will end up entering the West Entrance to the park.
- Very close to the entrance, there will be a smaller parking area before the main parking area. (The main parking area leads to Manido/Manabezho Falls). Park at this smaller spot, and there is a boardwalk leading directly to Nawadaha Falls. You can still reach the falls from a trail starting at Manido Falls, but it requires more effort and some uphill climbing.
Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Length of Hike: 1 mile round-trip
Where in the World is Nawadaha Falls?