Alger Falls, Michigan

Alger Falls in July 2008

I believe that Alger Falls might win the award as my most visited waterfall anywhere. I live in Michigan, so it makes sense that one of the falls in Michigan might be the most visited…but why Alger Falls?

Alger Falls is by no means the tallest, widest, or most impressive waterfall in the state (or even county, for that matter). Photographing it can even be difficult because the sun seems to like to play games with the falls.

And yet the reason that the sun plays games is also likely the reason that I’ve seen it so many times. It’s wildly easy to visit. It is a roadside waterfall, just a hundred feet or so from M-28. This is not some back highway with very few cars. This is the main road leading into Munising. At certain times of the year you might not see many cars, and yet during the summer, it’s crawling with people. And if you’re heading into Munising, there’s a pretty high probability you’ll be passing Alger Falls.

The falls are off at an angle, so the first time, there was some hesitation about where to park. Pull off, and you’ll be OK. There’s a sign indicating you’re at the right place. After the first visit, it becomes much less difficult to recognize where the falls are. I think I’ve shown the falls to nearly every person I’ve visited the Upper Peninsula with. Oh, and another benefit…Wagner Falls is less than a quarter of a mile away, and Horseshoe FallsTannery FallsMemorial Falls, and Munising Falls are within a few miles. If you don’t mind expanding the radius further, there are at least 20 relatively easy-to-visit falls in Alger County alone.

Directions:

  1. Heading north along M-28, just about 2 miles from the center of Munising, you’ll find Alger Falls off on your right. There’s a green sign (hard to read at a distance) that indicates you’ve reached the falls!

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy)
Height: 35′
Length of Hike: Roadside

A view of the falls in October 2009

Where in the World is Alger Falls?

Wagner Falls, Michigan

The first portion of Wagner Falls (can be viewed from the boardwalk) in July 2008

When you first view Wagner Falls, you’re only seeing part of the picture. Much of the picture is hidden and you have to search to find the rest. That’s the fun part about Wagner Falls. There are three (possibly four) drops separated by short distances that create Wagner Falls, and there may be more cascades even further upstream.

In order to view the falls that are upstream, you’ll have to leave the viewing area and climb up some rather steep ground to view the other falls. You have to be extremely careful, not only for yourself but the flora and fauna beneath you. If you’re there in July or August, pay attention for the beautiful Spotted Coralroot, a small but beautiful orchid that survives without photosynthesis.

Directions:

  1. The simplest way to describe how to get to the falls is to suggest starting from the city of Munising.
  2. Head south on MI-28 from Munising.
  3. After a short distance, you’ll come to the junction of M-28 and M-94. Turn right onto M-94. (Note: Right at this junction, if you look to your left, you’ll see Alger Falls.)
  4. After turning onto M-94, drive a short distance to the parking area for the falls, which will be on your left. It’s right off of the road.
  5. From there, follow the trail to the falls. To see the other falls, you’ll have to leave the trails.

Accessibility: 10/10 (easy for 1st falls), 5/10 (moderate for 2nd and 3rd Falls, below)
Height: 81′ (total drops)
Length of Hike: 0.1 miles for first falls, 0.9 miles for all falls

Segment #2 of Wagner Falls in May 2009

The 3rd, uppermost segment of Wagner Falls in May 2009

The first segment of the falls in October 2009

Where in the World is Wagner Falls?