Lower Au Train Falls, Michigan

There are two waterfalls on the Au Train River that are very close to each other: Upper Au Train Falls and Lower Au Trian Falls. There often referred to as just Au Train Falls, but they’re definitely two separate falls. Lower Au Train Falls is the smaller of the falls, though I think it is just as interesting.

Depending on the time of year you show up to view the falls, the falls will look different. I’ve posted pictures from two different visits, the first in May 2009, the second in July 2008. There was obviously more water in May 2009 right after the snow had melted. Interestingly, the cool color of the bedrock is not as visible during periods of higher flow, but is better at low flow. The bedrock has a yellowish-brown hue to it.

Directions:

  1. Get onto M-94 between Munising and Chatham.
  2. Look for Alger County Road H-03. Turn onto this road. If you are heading east from Munising, it will be a right turn.
  3. After you turn onto H-03, you will turn right on the first road you see. It will be a dirt road.
  4. Continue on that road, and in a very short distance, you will come to a sign for a hydroelectric company. If you keep driving past that sign, you’ll end up at a gate.
  5. Park near the gate, and then walk past the gate downhill, where you’ll encounter Lower Au Train Falls. It is visible from many different viewpoints, including from a bridge crossing the river.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 10′
Length of Hike: 0.1 miles round-trip

Lower Au Train Falls in May 2009

Lower Au Train Falls in July 2008

Where in the World is Lower Au Train Falls?

Upper Au Train Falls, Michigan

There are two major drops on the Au Train River, distant enough from each other that I’ll talk about each of them separately. Upper Au Train Falls is a very pretty waterfall/cascade. The amount of water that you will see cascading down the falls is wildly variable, dependent on both rainfall and the amount of water allowed to flow from the dam directly upstream. I have included two photos, the first from May 2009, when there was a considerable amount of water. The second photo was taken in July 2008, when there was MUCH less water flowing.

How close you can get to the falls is somewhat dependent on the amount of water flowing over. If the flow is low, you can easily “rock-jump” across the little streams. If the flow is higher, you may have no other choice but to wade and get wet if you want to get a closer view. To get down to the falls, you do have to maneuver your way down a rather muddy trail.

Directions:

  1. Get onto M-94 between Munising and Chatham.
  2. Look for Alger County Road H-03. Turn onto this road. If you are heading east from Munising, it will be a right turn.
  3. After you turn onto H-03, you will turn right on the first road you see. It will be a dirt road.
  4. Continue on that road, and in a very short distance, you will come to a sign for a hydroelectric company, and from that parking area, Upper Au Train Falls will be very visible.

Accessibility: 10/10 (to view from roadside)
Height: 20′
Length of Hike: 0.2 miles round-trip (to get closer to falls)

Upper Au Train Falls in May 2009

Upper Au Train Falls in July 2008

Where in the World is Upper Au Train Falls?