Bridal Veil Falls, Michigan

I missed Bridal Veil Falls the first time I went searching for it…and I was staring right at it! Not that I would have been able to really tell. Bridal Veil Falls is extremely seasonal in nature. Of the three (maybe four) times I’ve visited the falls, I’ve only seen water flowing once. It actually baffles me that it gets so much attention compared to the more impressive waterfalls in the park.

The first time I visited, I took a picture of the cliffs, and then realized later that I had taken a picture of the spot where Bridal Veil Falls was, but there was really no water flowing. It was “wet”, but it just looked like any normal cliff. That was understandable, considering it was July or August, and it had dried up by then.

The second time I visited in May, and by then the waterfall had already dried up. I was surprised it had disappeared so quickly. The third time was the charm, and I finally saw the falls. If you look to your right while standing at the Miners Castle viewpoint, you might be able to see the falls if they’re flowing. They can also be seen from the Miners Beach if you’re looking at just the right angle. To get a good photo from any of those spots, you really do need a camera that can zoom in, as you’re still some distance from the falls.

I also hiked along an unofficial trial to see if I could get a better view, starting right near Miners Beach Falls. It was a very muddy hike, and in the end, I have to admit I really didn’t get any better views. I did get to see some other beautiful scenery, though. You might consider taking a cruise, but I wouldn’t bet on seeing the falls unless it’s been raining like crazy. Take a cruise to see the much more impressive and permanent Spray Falls.

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 Miners Castle or turn right toward the Lakeshore trail head. Head toward Miner’s Castle, and from the Miner’s Castle viewpoint, you might just be able to see the falls.
  3. From the Lakeshore trail head, you might also try heading toward Lake Superior, and if you walk down the beach, the falls will come into view at some point.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 134′
Length of Hike: not applicable

Bridal Veil Falls in mid-May 2009

Where in the World is Bridal Veil Falls?

Jumbo Falls, Michigan

I visited Jumbo Falls relatively near the beginning of my waterfall searches. This little waterfall is maybe not nearly as exciting after seeing many other falls, but I still find it to be interesting nonetheless. It’s just so simple, and yet that makes it enjoyable. It also has more water flowing over it than waterfalls 80 times its size! So don’t let height fool you.

I also remember the area around the falls being very beautiful. The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is relatively cool throughout the year, and even in mid-August, the temperatures were very pleasant. The forest around the falls was at peak beauty, with green everywhere. It was just an enjoyable time.

Directions:

  1. Getting to the falls might be the hardest part, though it’s still relatively easy. On M-28 past Kenton (which I don’t really remember noticing), a short distance later you’ll come to Golden Glow Road.
  2. If you’re headed west on M-28, you’ll turn left onto Golden Glow Road. Head south.
  3. After a few miles, you’ll come to an intersection. Turn left at the intersection. Don’t go onto the forest service road.
  4. From there, head east along the road for a ways to a parking area for the falls. It doesn’t seem like it’s for the falls. When I visited, it had a sign about fishing, but you’re in the right area. Wander around, and follow the Jumbo River to the falls. You’ll probably hear them if you’re in the right spot. It’s only a short distance from that parking area to the falls.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 6′
Length of Hike: 0.1 miles round-trip

Jumbo Falls in August 2008

Where in the World is Jumbo Falls?

West Branch Sturgeon Falls #1, Michigan

First off, apparently this set of waterfalls may have slightly different names. I thought it was the set of Lower Hogger Falls, but it also could be called West Branch Sturgeon Falls. There are four of them on the West Branch Sturgeon River, and none of them are particularly tall.  During the fall, when the colors are changing, they are beautiful.

When we showed up to find Hogger Falls, which is also on the same river just upstream, we ended up finding these 4 falls instead. Just a few days earlier, it had rained considerably, which meant that the falls were flowing well. The tannins in the water provided a beautiful golden color to the water, which only adds to the scenic nature of the area. This particular waterfall might be the largest of the four falls, but it is also the most difficult to photograph, as there isn’t really a good place to stand to view the falls. That may be different if the water in the river is lower.

Directions:

  1. We took MI-38 west out of Baraga and headed for a ways on M-38.
  2. After traveling west on M-38, you will come to Newberry Road, which will be on your left.
  3. Turn left onto Newberry Road and head 3 miles south on the dirt road.
  4. After about 3 miles, you’ll come to a “road” on your left. If you go any further, you’ll end up at the West Branch Sturgeon River, where the bridge is out. If you turn around and head north, I guess it’s the first “road” on your right.
  5. We had to stop at that road because it was blocked by a gate, and I’m not necessarily sure I would head down that road anyway.
  6. From the gate, start hiking east down the road. Keep going until it appear that the road “ends”. It seemed to be blocked by a pile of dirt and trees, though there was a trail that wrapped around to the right.
  7. Follow that trail to the right, which heads to the river. Depending on where you end up, you’ll likely see a waterfall. The first waterfall we saw was not easily visible. I then headed back west following the river very closely. This is the third fall we saw along the river. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are numerous more that just can’t be seen very easily. You’re often considerably high above the river!

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Height: 6′
Length of Hike: 2.2 miles round-trip

West Branch Sturgeon Falls #1 in October 2010

Where in the World is West Branch Sturgeon Falls #1?

 

West Branch Sturgeon Falls #4, Michigan

First, I’ll mention you can find out more about the waterfalls on the West Branch Sturgeon River in my previous post, West Branch Sturgeon Falls #3. The lower set of Hogger Falls are not mentioned that frequently, most likely because they’re rather small and other larger falls are not too distant. Even so, they’re very pretty.

Let me say, though, that I’m not sure that I would be able to find the “4th” lower falls again. The first three were found by random chance after at least following what looked like a trail. After the first three falls, though, we really started wandering. The terrain around the West Branch of the Sturgeon is not exactly even, and so after climbing up and down hills and around trees, we stumbled upon the 4th falls. I distinctly remember climbing/sliding down a steeper slope to get a better view of this falls, only to find out there was a lot of vegetation near the river, making that a more difficult task than expected. It was an adventure, to say the least.

Directions:

  1. We took MI-38 west out of Baraga and headed for a ways on M-38.
  2. After traveling west on M-38, you will come to Newberry Road, which will be on your left.
  3. Turn left onto Newberry Road and head 3 miles south on the dirt road.
  4. After about 3 miles, you’ll come to a “road” on your left. If you go any further, you’ll end up at the West Branch Sturgeon River, where the bridge is out. If you turn around and head north, I guess it’s the first “road” on your right.
  5. We had to stop at that road because it was blocked by a gate, and I’m not necessarily sure I would head down that road anyway.
  6. From the gate, start hiking east down the road. Keep going until it appear that the road “ends”. It seemed to be blocked by a pile of dirt and trees, though there was a trail that wrapped around to the right.
  7. Follow that trail to the right, which heads to the river. Depending on where you end up, you’ll likely see a waterfall. The first waterfall we saw was not easily visible. I then headed back west following the river very closely. This is the fourth fall upstream that was “easily” visible, though this became more difficult to see than the first three.

Accessibility: 4/10 (moderate/strenuous)
Height: 3′
Length of Hike: 2.4 miles round-trip

West Branch Sturgeon Falls #4 in October 2010

Where in the World is West Branch Sturgeon Falls #4?

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…

Directions:

  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?

West Branch Sturgeon Falls #3, Michigan

On my trip to the western Upper Peninsula last weekend to enjoy the fall colors, I decided to take a detour to see Hogger Falls. Once finding what seemed to be the right area to head to the falls, we started on our journey. Well, I’m not sure that we ever found our original goal, Hogger Falls. The trail turnoff that supposedly led to the falls wasn’t very apparent. I did find a side trail early on that didn’t seem to lead to anything except a really random tree that had been clearly cut down into a weird shape.

I felt that we had walked too far to see Hogger Falls, but I had read that there were three smaller falls further down the trail. The book that I was using suggested that you drive down the road that follows the West Branch Sturgeon River, but the road was blocked by a gate. Which was probably a good thing, since the road was very uneven and full of water from recent rains. We found the trail that led to the lower falls. None of the falls are particularly large, but they were pretty nonetheless.  The third falls that we saw upstream was only about 3 feet tall. Since there was a considerable rainfall in the past few weeks, there was likely more water than normal.

Directions:

  1. We took MI-38 west out of Baraga and headed for a ways on M-38.
  2. After traveling west on M-38, you will come to Newberry Rd., which will be on your left.
  3. Turn left onto Newberry Rd. and head 3 miles south on the dirt road.
  4. After about 3 miles, you’ll come to a “road” on your left. If you go any further, you’ll end up at the West Branch Sturgeon River, where the bridge is out. If you turn around and head north, I guess it’s the first “road” on your right.
  5. We had to stop at that road because it was blocked by a gate, and I’m not necessarily sure I would head down that road anyway.
  6. From the gate, start hiking east down the road. Keep going until it appear that the road “ends”. It seemed to be blocked by a pile of dirt and trees, though there was a trail that wrapped around to the right.
  7. Follow that trail to the right, which heads to the river. Depending on where you end up, you’ll likely see a waterfall. The first waterfall we saw was not easily visible. I then headed back west following the river very closely. This is the third fall we saw along the river. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are numerous more that just can’t be seen very easily. You’re often considerably high above the river!

Accessibility: 8/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 3′
Length of Hike: 2.4 miles round-trip

West Branch Sturgeon Falls #3 

Where in the World is West Branch Sturgeon Falls #3?

Morgan Falls, Michigan

It seems appropriately timed to talk about Morgan Falls. I visited Morgan Falls in early October 2009. My friend and I were hoping to see brilliant fall colors in the Upper Peninsula, but the colors really hadn’t significantly changed yet. There were a few reds, yellows, and oranges that showed up in the pictures, but many of the trees were still green.

Getting to Morgan Falls isn’t too bad, though it does require some travels down a dirt road. The dirt road parallels the Carp River. The dirt road wasn’t too bad, especially compared to others I’ve been on. Once you get to the parking area, which really isn’t advertised, you’ll have to head downhill for a short distance. It’s moderately steep, but manageable. Once you get to Morgan Creek, there are two different ways to view the falls. One “viewpoint”, which is more easily accessed, views it side-on from the right. This view had a beautiful tree turning yellow, but you don’t get a complete view of the falls.

The other view requires you to cross Morgan Creek. If you look around, you will notice there is a wide log that has been placed over the creek. It was raining when we visited, so the log did look rather slippery, but we were both able to cross the log without accident! Once you get to left side of the creek, you’ll have to wander around to find the more head-on viewpoint. Morgan Creek and the Carp River merge right near where Morgan Falls is found, so you’ll notice a little “island” where people camp, even in October.

After initially crossing Morgan Creek, you can apparently hike to Carp River Falls also. It’s upstream from the merger point, about 1/2 mile from Morgan Falls. We didn’t have any luck finding the falls, but I also get the sense we may not have walked far enough. If you’re in the area, it’s probably worthwhile to check out both falls.

Directions:

  1. In Marquette, you’re going to want to find Division Street. Turn left on Division Street and head south out of Marquette. Division Street will turn into CR-553 after a ways.
  2. Just before you reach the Marquette Mountain Ski Resort, there will be a dirt road on your right. If you reach the parking area for the resort, you’ve gone too far. On Google Maps, the dirt road appears as Marquette Mt Road.
  3. Turn right on Marquette Mt Road, and head 1.4 miles to a parking area, which will be on your left. You’ll know you’re at the right area if you see a trail heading down to the stream below. There was more than enough room to turn around.
  4. After parking, decide which view you want to get. If you want to see the falls head-on, cross the Morgan River.

Accessibility: 7/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 20′
Length of Hike: 0.1 miles round-trip

Morgan Falls in October 2009

Where in the World is Morgan Falls?

Middle Hungarian Falls #2, Michigan

I’m not sure how much I have to say about the 2nd “middle” Hungarian Falls. The lower, upper, and 1st middle falls are considerably more interesting in terms of size and/or shape. The second middle falls is not that tall, maybe 7 feet. It’s still a very pretty waterfall, and if you’re hiking from the lower to upper falls, you’ll end up seeing it anyway.

Directions:

  1. You’ll be driving along M-26 toward Hubell, MI.
  2. In the outskirts of Hubell (if there can be outskirts in such a small town), turn onto Sixth Street.
  3. Sixth Street will dead end, but to the left is a dirt road named Golf Course Road. Take the road to the left.
  4. You will go up a hill, and the road will flatten out a little bit.
  5. Here’s the confusing part…As you’re driving on Golf Course Road, you will pass a number of dirt roads on the left. I got confused by the directions I was following and ended up turning onto the first road ON THE LEFT after a pile of rubble and a gate. The connection to the road was not even, so go slowly!
  6. From there, I headed down that road to the end, where there is a turn-around. Park here.
  7. From here, you will connect onto the trail to your right. Where I parked, if I walked straight instead of to the right, I hit what looked like the remains of an old bridge…
  8. From this trail, you will end up passing the Lower Falls first. Then you will come to the first Middle Hungarian Falls. All of the falls can be viewed from this trail, some better than others.

Accessibility: 6/10 (moderate)
Height: 7′
Length of Hike: 0.8 miles round-trip

The Second Middle Hungarian Falls in May 2009

Where in the World is Middle Hungarian Falls #2?

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?

Laughing Whitefish Falls, Michigan

The uppermost portion of Laughing Whitefish Falls in July 2008

Laughing Whitefish Falls is one of the taller waterfalls in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I’m a really bad judge of heights, but from other sources, it is about 100′ tall. That would definitely put it as the first or second tallest in the state. There are two parts to the falls, an initial, but short, vertical drop, followed by the much longer slide down. If this waterfall were in Pennsylvania or New York, it would have been surely called Buttermilk Falls, since this is one of the few waterfalls in the Upper Peninsula to have that “consistency.” Here in the Upper Peninsula, though, we have the interestingly named Laughing Whitefish Falls.

While not as widely known as Bond Falls or Tahquamenon Falls, it is still an impressive falls…impressive enough that it has its own scenic site set aside by the state. The hike to the falls is very enjoyable, though the drive down the dirt road to the parking area is pretty insane. I can’t recall many other dirt roads that have been more covered in potholes and deep grooves. I was actually concerned for my car. It’s a short way, though. Just go very slow!

After hiking to the falls, you will notice you are standing at the crest of the falls. You can take the numerous stairs down to the base of the falls, though the viewing platform could prevent you from further exploring the falls. Some people were slipping through the platform to get a better view.

Directions:

  1. From Munising, drive west on M-94 for a considerable way.
  2. Turn north onto Dorsey Road and drive 2.8 miles to the end of the road, which will be the parking area for Laughing Whitefish Falls.
  3. After parking, head down the relatively flat trail to the falls.

Accessibility: 8/10 (to crest), 7/10 (down the stairs)
Height: 100′
Length of Hike: 1 mile round-trip

The falls in August 2010

Where in the World is Laughing Whitefish Falls?