Miners Beach Falls, Michigan

I thought I had touched on all of the waterfalls I’ve visited in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, but apparently not. Miners Beach Falls (also known as Elliot Falls) is a little treasure just waiting to be found, and it’s amazingly easy to visit.

The Pictured Rocks just so happens to be one of my favorite places to visit. And if you’re looking to spend just one day there, the area around Miners Beach is a really great choice. There’s the interesting rock formation at Miners Castle, and if you continue down a dirt road for a short distance, you’ll end up at Miners Beach. In the depths of summer, I bet this beach is amazing for swimming. In early May, though, this beach can be downright wicked. The winds off the lake can cause the temperature to drop significantly, but you’ll still be rewarded with stunning views.

At the very eastern end of this beach is a waterfall that you could likely miss if you weren’t intentionally trying to find it. It’s not particularly tall, only about 6′, in two separate drops. But what makes this waterfall great is the scenery around it. Since the falls flow into Lake Superior, you can try numerous different angles to get both the falls and the lake in one shot. And when the lake is choppy with waves, it can only add to the beauty.

Directions:

  1. Go down Miner’s Castle Road (Alger County Road H-13) passing over Miners River.
  2. You’ll reach a point where you can turn left toward Miner’s Castle or turn right toward the Lakeshore trail head. Head toward the Lakeshore trail head.
  3. At the parking lot, you have two options. Heading up the Lakeshore Trail, you will find Potato Patch Falls. If you head left toward the sounds of waves, you’ll end up at the lake.
  4. Once at the beach, look right, and you should see the stream falling into the lake.

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy, it’s very sandy, so it’s not 100% stable)
Height: 6′
Length of Hike: 0.2 miles round-trip

Miners Beach Falls in May 2009

Where in the World is Miners Beach Falls?

Potato Patch Falls, Michigan

Potato Patch Falls in May 2009

Potato Patch Falls is a waterfall that isn’t advertised on the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore map, but it’s a very beautiful waterfall, and it’s relatively easy to access. It may be difficult to get a view of the whole waterfall, as the rock is very slippery and not very firm in places (at least it wasn’t when I visited this May).

Directions:

  1. Go down Miner’s Castle Road (Alger County Road H-13) passing over Miners River.
  2. You’ll reach a point where you can turn left toward Miner’s Castle or turn right toward the Lakeshore trail head. Head toward the Lakeshore trail head.
  3. At the parking lot, head up the Lakeshore trail, which starts near the information board.
  4. It’s a moderate climb up the trail. If you hit the sign for Potato Patch Falls, you are at the top of the falls, though it’s not the best view. Walk back down the trail a ways and look for an unmarked trail that has been clearly traversed. It will go downhill a little and hug huge rocks. You will know when you have reached Potato Patch Falls (assuming there is flow).

Accessiblity: 7/10 (easy/moderate, moderately steep but short climb)
Height: 30′
Length of Hike: 0.2 miles round-trip

Blue ice near the falls

Where in the World is Potato Patch Falls?