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?

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?