Spray Falls, Michigan

Spray Falls plunging into Lake Superior (August 2010)

I’ve been wanting to visit Spray Falls for a considerable amount of time, and I’ve been finally able to add it to the list of waterfalls I’ve seen. I’ve visited the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore about seven or eight times by now, and I’ve always put off visiting Spray Falls.

I’ve read stories that made it sound like it was a terrifying journey to view the falls from the trail. I thought to myself, “I shouldn’t go alone just in case something bad happens.” Other descriptions also made it seem like there weren’t so great views of the falls from the trail, and that the only real way to get a great view was from the Pictured Rocks cruise. Well, that’s a bunch of bull.

The hike to the falls is not short, though.  It is rather long. I think the book I have says about 3 miles one-way, but I would hazard to say that it is longer than that. There is a lot of curving as you hug the shoreline. There are some steep parts, but they’re not all that bad. It’s just a long hike, but well worth it!!! You get to be rewarded with the view of a waterfall plunging into Lake Superior. And by the way, it is MUCH more interesting than Bridal Veil Falls, which people seem to have an obsession with when showing pictures that represent the Pictured Rocks. Spray Falls is NOT seasonal, which makes it much more worth it to hike to see the falls.

Directions:

  1. From Munising, head east on H-58 for 20 miles or so.
  2. You’ll pass the center of Melstrand on your way, and then you’ll come to the road leading to Little Beaver Lake. Take a left onto that road, and head down that road for about 3 miles.
  3. On your left there will be a parking area for the trail head.  Park here.
  4. Start your journey at the trail head. It can be a little confusing at first. You’ll be starting on the White Pine Trail, which is not very clearly marked. You’ll see a bunch of numbered signs, though, that indicate you’re following the right trail. There is another “fake” trail that looks like it might lead somewhere, but it doesn’t.
  5. After about 0.5 miles, you’ll see a sign pointing toward Lake Superior and Beaver Lake. Head toward Lake Superior. It will wind around for a ways.
  6. After a while, you’ll be at Lake Superior. Look for the sign that points toward Chapel Beach. You want to follow this trail, which will be to your left. You’ll follow this trial for however long, passing by a number of a campground sites. FINALLY, after much effort, you’ll come to the sign indicating Spray Falls which leads to the “outlook”. It’s a cliff edge, though it wasn’t really that scary, and that’s coming from someone who’s not a fan of heights. Then return the way you came or head on to Chapel Beach, another 2 miles further.

Accessibility: 3/10 (hiking), 10/10 (cruise)
Height: 70′
Length of Hike: 6 miles round-trip

Wide view of Spray Falls and the Pictured Rocks

The view of the falls from the Pictured Rocks Cruise

Where in the World is Spray Falls?

Mosquito Falls, Michigan

I guess Mosquito Falls might get left to the wayside. In the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, there are other more interesting waterfalls than this one. Even so, if you’re checking out Chapel Falls or Chapel Beach, you can visit Mosquito Falls. There are multiple interconnecting trails that lead to these falls and others.

Mosquito Falls has two distinct drops on the Mosquito River. Both of them are only 4-5′ tall. The upper falls can be viewed better (more directly), while the lower falls is viewed from above, or at least at less photogenic angle. The hike to the falls is enjoyable, though I remember it being muddy and slippery…not steep at all, but muddy and slippery.

Directions:

  1. From Munising, head east on H-58. Head about 16-17 miles on H-58 going east.
  2. You’ll pass through a town called Melstrand. A mile or two after that, you’ll come upon a sign indicating the entrance to the Chapel Area of the Pictured Rocks.
  3. You’ll turn left on that road, Chapel Road.
  4. You’ll head five or six miles down Chapel Road. Stay on Chapel Road, which is not paved for much of the way.
  5. Chapel Road will end at the parking area that leads to Mosquito Falls, Chapel Falls, Lower Chapel Falls, and Chapel Rock.
  6. The direct trial to Mosquito Falls is the trail furthest to the left, I believe. Check the signs if you are in doubt. The signs clearly direct you to which trail leads where. The trail to Mosquito Falls is about 0.8 miles one way.

***If you don’t mind a longer hike, I think you can do a loop hike, passing by Mosquito Falls, connecting onto the North Country Trail and then reconnecting onto the Chapel Falls Trail. The North Country Trail will follow the Lake Superior shoreline.
***Also, if you listen as you begin your hike to Mosquito Falls, you may hear another waterfall. I guess there’s a “hidden” one near the beginning of the trail, though at that time, I didn’t explore further. I did hear the waterfall, though.

Accessibility: 7/10 (Easy/Moderate)
Height: 4′ (lower), 4′ (upper)
Length of Hike: 1.6 miles round-trip

Lower Mosquito Falls in July 2008

Upper Mosquito Falls in July 2008

Where in the World is Mosquito Falls?