Middle Falls (Falls River), Michigan

This “middle” falls on Falls River in L’Anse may be one of the quirkiest waterfall experiences that I’ve had. First of all, the easiest way to view the falls is by parking at a Burger King (and of course buying food during the stop). As you start hiking toward the river, you may begin to notice that the temperature will start to get progressively warmer. At the riverside, it was noticeably warmer. I believe there is a plant above the river that causes that. It is a very weird feeling, to say the least.

I’m not sure the trail is “beautiful.” There are houses above the riverside, some distance away. It even seemed like people used the area for recreation/partying? It also didn’t smell particularly great! I have also seen a few descriptions of it as one of the most beautiful rivers in Michigan, but I don’t really agree with that. So why visit? Because it’s really easy to visit!

Directions:

  1. Head north on US-41 to L’Anse/Baraga.
  2. As you enter L’Anse, keep on US-41 until you approach the Burger King.
  3. Park at the Burger King. (There is another entrance, but the other has signs indicating no trespassing.)
  4. Head toward the river/bridge. Near the bridge, there is a trail heading north. Follow the trail to the falls, including Middle Falls and Lower Falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 20′
Length of Hike: 0.3 miles round-trip

Middle Falls in May 2009

Where in the World is Middle Falls?

Little Tioga Falls, Michigan

The small drop on the Tioga River

The “Little” Tioga Falls (also referred to as Tioga Park Falls) are not very spectacular at all. There isn’t a very large drop on the falls, it’s not even remotely wide, so I just don’t know why there is such “importance” given to this waterfall. Let me clarify that…This drop on the Tioga River can be accessed from a rest area off of US-41/M-28 in Baraga County west of Michigamme. When you stop at the rest area, there is actually a sign that indicates the direction to the falls. The trail to the falls is actually very pretty, though also very short. I was actually more excited by all of the wildflowers along the way. The river is actually very calming too. There is another “drop” just a few hundred feet downstream, but at certain times during the year, that “cascade” isn’t even noticeable.

Directions:

  1. Driving along US-41/M-28 west of Michigamme, if you’re driving west, there will be a rest area on your left some miles past Michigamme.
  2. Pull off at the rest area, where if you wander around, you will find the sign indicating the direction to the falls. Explore the area for all of the cool wildflowers.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 3′
Length of Hike: 0.4 miles round-trip

Where in the World is Little Tioga Falls?

Silver River Falls, Michigan

The upper portion of Silver River Falls in May 2009

Silver River Falls is not the most exciting waterfall in Michigan, but it is still in a very beautiful region of Michigan and the terrain is fun to explore. The drive to Silver River Falls is destined to be filled with pot-holes, so get ready for a bumpy ride. Luckily, the ride on the dirt road is one of the shorter ones, so it won’t be too long before you arrive at the parking area.

Once at the parking area, begin exploring, there is not a huge elevation change here, so it is very easy to wander around along the Silver River. Right near the parking lot is a drop of a couple of feet that is not extremely interesting. Further downstream is much more photogenic cascade/slide that has been carved into the river.

Directions:

  1. From L’Anse, head northeast on N. Main St., which will turn into Skanee Rd.
  2. Drive for a couple of miles until you notice Silver Falls Rd. on your right.
  3. Turn right onto Silver Falls Rd. From here, head to the very end of the road, where you will find a parking area. The falls are found just outside your car.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 20′
Length of Hike: 0.2 miles round-trip

The lower segment of Silver River Falls

Where in the World is Silver River Falls?

Powerhouse Falls, Michigan

Powerhouse Falls is one of a number of waterfalls on the aptly named Falls River. The name of the falls is also very appropriate, since it is found directly next to a powerhouse, which I don’t think is currently functional. I appreciate when waterfall names make at least some sense!

Powerhouse Falls is the waterfall furthest upstream on the Falls River, though there could possibly be more upstream that are not accessible. All of the waterfalls along the river have very odd access points, and this one is no exception. In order to get to the falls, I parked at the beginning of a road that had been blocked off. As I started walking down the dirt road, it can get a little confusing. You’ll have to take a right turn, and from there, you’ll just have to follow the sound of the falls. Right near the falls, there is a picnic area. I guess it felt odd because it seemed like people should be driving down the road and using the picnic area, but nobody was to be found.

Directions:

  1. On US-41, about 1.5 miles south of L’Anse, turn onto Power Dam Road.
  2. Go a little less than a mile. You’ll cross a railroad track and you’ll meet E. River Road.
  3. If I remember correctly, you should park right near the intersection of Power Dam Road. and E. River Road. It looks like Power Dam Road continues, though there will be plastic fencing preventing you from driving further. Park here.
  4. Start walking down that blocked-off road. At one point, you will see the road continue on or you can veer to the right. Turn right.
  5. From here, head down the road to the end, where you’ll find the picnic area, the powerhouse, and the waterfall.
  6. Explore upstream of the falls, where you’ll find some pretty rapids.

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Height: 13′
Length of Hike: roadside (though I don’t know if I could get right to the powerhouse)

Powerhouse Falls in May 2009

Where in the World is Powerhouse Falls?

Canyon Falls, Michigan

Canyon Falls is not a tall waterfall, nor is it even one of the widest waterfalls in Michigan. Many are considerably wider. The thing I was amazed by, though, was the sheer volume of water flowing over the falls. Now this definitely has to do with the timing. I visited in mid-May, just as most of the snow had melted. This may be one of the best times to visit Canyon Falls, though from the pictures I’ve seen, it usually has a lot of water, though maybe not this much.

With Canyon Falls, you get other interesting features. There are at least two other waterfalls along the river in about a half a mile. The other two waterfalls, Middle Canyon Falls and Lower Canyon Falls, are not nearly as large or as interesting, but still nice to see nonetheless. The hike to see other falls takes you though the canyon, which is not that deep. As you’re walking along in this area, pay attention for at least one smaller, likely seasonal waterfall that flows into the larger Sturgeon River.

Directions:

  1. If you’re heading north on US-41 toward L’Anse and Baraga, the roadside park leading to Canyon Falls and the others will be on your left.
  2. Pull into the roadside area and park.
  3. The trail to the falls is very clearly labeled.
  4. As you walk along the trail, you’ll first pass some smaller drops, and then you’ll come to Canyon Falls.

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Height: 15′
Length of Hike: 0.8 miles round-trip

Canyon Falls in May 2009

Where in the World is Canyon Falls?

Slate River Falls, Michigan

I thought that the hike to Slate River Falls was going to be short and fun. Wow, was I misled. I guess the actual hike to the falls was fun from a hiker’s perspective, but not necessarily fun when you had different expectations in your mind.

The book that I use to find different waterfalls in Michigan, 199 Michigan Waterfalls, suggested that the hike occurred right near the river, and was relatively easy. It seemed to hint that one might have to get their feet wet briefly, but when I got to the falls, I definitely could NOT understand how I wouldn’t get soaked. The river was much wider than expected, though not that deep. The problem is that there is no trail right next to the river. All I could imagine is that you might be able to wade up the river to get to the falls, but there was no way I was doing that! The water was not warm, and while the distance to the falls is not that far, it’s not that short either!

The solution to the problem is a little more complicated than what I expected. After walking down the road/trail heading in the general direction of the falls, I noticed that there was actually a trail on the left side of the river that climbed a hill. I followed this trail, and discovered that it did actually lead to the falls, though there was a pretty steep climb up and a relatively steep slide down a rather muddy hillside to get to the falls. This means there is also a subsequent steep climb up a muddy hillside. It’s not rock climbing in any sense of the word, but it is rather difficult to get a good grip. Even so, I think there are a lot of people that will enjoy the hike to this beautiful waterfall. Once you get there, you are rewarded with a waterfall that you will probably be able to enjoy all by yourself!

Directions:

  1. From US-41 in L’Anse, turn right onto Broad St.
  2. After a short distance, turn right onto Main Street.
  3. Go for about 11 miles, where you will cross over the Slate River. I have to admit I wasn’t actually sure that I had crossed over the Slate River.
  4. On your right will be a dirt “road/trail” that you can use to park. When I visited, there was a real estate sign indicating that the property was for sale. Who knows what will be there five years from now, but it seems that different signs are there when different people visit. I didn’t notice any sign actually indicating “Slate River Falls.”
  5. After parking somewhere on that road (which sorta looks like it would lead to a house if there were one), look for a trail that leads up the left side of a hill. From there, you will walk a quarter mile or so to the falls.

Accessibility: 3/10 (moderate/strenuous)
Height: 25′
Length of Hike: 0.6 miles round-trip

Slate River Falls in May 2009

Where in the World is Slate River Falls?

Middle Canyon Falls, Michigan

There’s not an official name for this watefall, but this waterfall is found between Canyon Falls and Lower Canyon Falls, so I’ve decided to call it Middle Canyon Falls. This waterfall is probably not noticed by many people. I’m thinking most people end up visiting just Canyon Falls, with a few people exploring beyond to find Lower Canyon Falls. On the way to Lower Canyon Falls, you can listen for this smaller waterfall, though it can be easy to miss. I found that it was easier to look for the falls on the return hike when you’re looking more directly at the river. It is also easier to find the best viewpoint for pictures on the way back.

Directions:

  1. If you’re heading north on US-41 toward L’Anse and Baraga, the roadside park leading to Canyon Falls and the others will be on your left.
  2. Pull into the roadside area and park.
  3. The trail to the falls is very clearly labeled.
  4. As you walk along the trail, you’ll first pass some smaller drops, and then you’ll come to Canyon Falls.
  5. It might not appear like you can continue on, but continue on the trail to Middle and Lower Canyon Falls.

Accessibility: 7/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 8′
Length of Hike: 1.6 miles round-trip

Middle Canyon Falls in May 2009

Where in the World is Middle Canyon Falls?

Lower Canyon Falls, Michigan

Lower Canyon Falls is on the Sturgeon River, which I believe has numerous waterfalls spread out over a distance. Right off the highway at a roadside park, you can find this set of waterfalls, Canyon Falls, Lower Canyon Falls, and Middle Canyon Falls in between.

Compared to Canyon Falls, Lower Canyon Falls just isn’t as exciting. That might be because it’s hard to see the whole waterfall. If one could see the whole waterfall, part of which is hidden by rocks, you might find a complex waterfall. From certain angles, I could tell that there might be some very interesting drops. I don’t know if there’s a way to walk to these falls on the opposite side of the river. You’d have to check for private property, but if there is a way, you might want to check it out.

Directions:

  1. If you’re heading north on US-41 toward L’Anse and Baraga, the roadside park leading to Canyon Falls and the others will be on your left.
  2. Pull into the roadside area and park.
  3. The trail to the falls is very clearly labeled.
  4. As you walk along the trail, you’ll first pass some smaller drops, and then you’ll come to Canyon Falls.
  5. It might not appear like you can continue on, but continue on the trail to Lower Canyon Falls.

Accessibility: 7/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 15′
Length of Hike: 1.6 miles round-trip

Lower Canyon Falls in May 2009

Where in the World is Lower Canyon Falls?

Lower Falls (Falls River), Michigan

Based on the name of the river, there should logically be a number of waterfalls on the Falls River, and there are. This is Lower Falls, the one closest to Lake Superior. This is the smallest of the falls on the river, and there are larger ones further upstream. (Upper Falls, once being reported as “open” for visitation, is not as accessible as suggested.)

Some people have found the Falls River to be one of the most beautiful rivers with waterfalls in Michigan, but I have to respectfully disagree. The falls on the river are pretty, but there are other rivers in Michigan with far more spectacular waterfalls than these. If anything, these falls seemed underwhelming compared to others I have visited. Even so, if you are in the Baraga or L’Anse area, you should check them out since they are easy to access and view.

Directions:

  1. As you are driving on US-41 north passing through L’Anse, you will pass by a Burger King. Park at the Burger King.
  2. From the Burger King, walk toward the bridge over the Falls River.
  3. There will be a path to your right that will lead you down toward the river.
  4. From this path you will be able to view Middle Falls, and then just keep walking. You will pass some cascades and a weird dam-like object in the river, and then you will come to Lower Falls.

*Others have suggested parking near some power plant, but when I did that, I noticed signs that said no trespassing, even though there was a trail. Beginning from Burger King works just as well, and allows you to see a bunch of falls at once, even some smaller ones that probably only flow in the spring.

Accessibility: 8/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 15′
Length of Hike: 0.5 miles round-trip

Lower Falls in May 2009

Where in the World is Lower Falls?