Big Garlic Falls, Michigan

Big Garlic Falls (could also be Upper Garlic Falls) is not a large waterfall, but it’s still a pretty waterfall nonetheless. Now getting to the Big Garlic River is not that difficult, but I’m not sure that I would be able to find this specific waterfall again in a quick and timely fashion. I think it would be more appropriate to say we “stumbled” upon it, with some guided help.

There are supposed to be at least 5 noticeable drops on the Big Garlic River, but this is the only impressive one that we saw. We did visit a set of rapids further upstream, which weren’t very memorable except for the very clear scent of garlic in the area. We then drove back toward the main road, and stopped where it seemed “appropriate”, and found the falls mentioned here. Otherwise, I really am not sure if there are clear directions except to just explore the area once you get there…


  1. When in Marquette, turn left onto Sugarloaf Avenue, which will become County Road 550. Head northwest on that road for about 12.5 miles. You will know you’re on the right road if you pass the parking area for Sugarloaf Mountain (which you can hike up or climb the stairs for a great view of Marquette and Lake Superior).
  2. After 12.5 miles, you’ll drive over the bridge crossing the Big Garlic River. Continue for 1.2 more miles.
  3. Turn left onto Gold Mine Rd. and head about 2.8 miles down the dirt road.
  4. I think (it’s a little fuzzy) that we parked on the side of the road there (or off on the side) and then walked toward the Big Garlic River, and from there found these falls. The book we used suggested the other falls were just downstream, but we couldn’t see any “easy” way to go and visit them, so we just skipped them.

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Height: 15′
Length of Hike: 0.2 miles round-trip

Big Garlic Falls in October 2009

Where in the World is Big Garlic Falls?