Dead River Falls #3, Michigan

It’s crazy to think that I visited the Dead River waterfalls just under 8 years ago. When I first started actively looking for waterfalls, I found many of them in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I almost skipped out on the Dead River Falls because they didn’t sound particularly exciting. But luckily I decided to go for it, and don’t regret it one bit. These falls are more impressive than I expected.

As I mentioned before in posts for Dead River Falls #1#2, and #4, these falls have a bit of danger associated with them (more so than some falls). To get to falls 2 through 4 (with others even further along the trail), the trail leads you very close to the river, and it’s a rather precarious trail. The river was clearly flowing well, and one misstep could have been problematic, to say the least. That being said, if you’re careful, you’ll be rewarded with views of these beautiful falls. It just so happens the third fall here is the least scenic of the bunch, with the second and fourth falls being very impressive.

Directions:

  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

dead-3

Dead River Falls #3 in May 2009

Where in the World is Dead River Falls #3?

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