waterfalls near Grand Marais

Most of the waterfalls in this area are the result of water running over a shelf or cliffs of limey sandstone called the Munising Formation. This formation of rock extends from Tahquamenon Falls, some 75 east of the Lakeshore, to Laughing Whitefish Falls, about 30 miles west of the Lakeshore. The Munising formation is also called the Northern Michigan cuesta or escarpment. Estimates differ regarding the number of waterfalls in the Upper Peninsula, ranging from 150 to 300. Waterfalls may be on public or private land; please be respectful of the area you are visiting. 

Please use caution while hiking to area waterfalls. Stay on the trails and watch for uneven footing. Where permitted, pets must be on a 6 foot leash at all times. Pets are not permitted at all waterfalls. Map of Alger County Waterfalls

Sable Falls

Located about one mile west of Grand Marais on Alger County Road H-58. Sable Falls tumbles 75 feet over several cliffs of Munising and Jacobsville sandstone formations on its way to Lake Superior. The first viewing platform is down a staircase with 169 steps. The hike from the parking area to this staircase steps is short. The trail continues past the falls and down the canyon. It is about a half-mile to the beach as Sable Creek as it winds its way to Lake Superior. 

Tahquahmenon Falls State Park

The second-largest waterfall east of the Mississippi River is located only one hour from Grand Marais. A drive through the beautiful north woods brings you to Tahquahmenon Falls State Park, where the falls sparkle in every season. Visitors can enjoy a walk on smooth paths between the upper and lower falls, or take a rowboat out to the island in the river to get a closer look. A visit to the large gift shop featuring northwoods crafts and a stop at the cafe make the day complete. Open all year. Tahquahmenon Falls State Park website

Munising Falls

Located within the city limits of Munising where Washington Street becomes Sand Point Road, near Munising Memorial Hospital. The Munising Falls Interpretive Center is at the beginning of the trail to the waterfalls. Walk the paved .25 mile trail up the cool shaded sandstone canyon along Munising Creek to the base of the falls. Two sets of stairs lead to platforms to view the 50 foot waterfall as it drops over a sandstone cliff. Watch for ferns, wildflowers, and an occasional mink.

Miners Falls

Located about five miles north of Alger County Road H-58 off Miners Castle Road. The hike from the parking area to the waterfall is 1.2 miles round-trip. A gravel path through the northwoods leads to two overlooks. Enjoy the Miners Falls Nature Trail and views of the Miners Basin along the way. The Miners River drops about 50 feet over a sandstone outcrop, creating this gorgeous waterfall. There are 77 steps down to the lower viewing platform at the falls. This is an especially beautiful trail in the springtime with abundant wildflowers. 

Bridalveil Falls

Located about a half-mile northeast of Miners Beach along the Pictured Rocks cliffs. Bridalveil Falls are only viewable by water or from a distance at Miners Castle. The falls cannot be seen from atop or from the North Country National Scenic Trail. This is a seasonal waterfall that slows to a trickle in the summer and fall. Bridalveil Falls is often featured on postcards and publications about Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

Mosquito Falls

Located about 15 miles east of Munising off Alger County Road H-58, then about 5 miles north to the parking area at end of Chapel Road. Walking toward Mosquito Beach, a side trail leads .9 miles to the falls, which drops over an 8 foot high rock shelf on the Mosquito River. Watch for river otter and beaver in the stream. This is a lovely springtime trail through the forest carpeted with wildflowers.

Chapel Falls

Located about 15 miles east of Munising off Alger County Road H-58, then about 5 miles north to the end of Chapel Road. After a brisk 1.5 mile walk past abundant stands of jewel weed, hikers can view the 60 foot high Chapel Falls as it cascades toward Chapel Lake. The trail is on an old roadbed with several small hills. Two viewing platforms along the way provide views of the scenic Chapel Basin. The trail continues to Chapel Rock and Lake Superior.

Spray Falls

Located about 1.75 miles northeast of Chapel Beach. This remote waterfall is best viewed from the water though it may be seen from along the North Country Trail. Spray Falls plunges about 70 feet over the Pictured Rocks cliffs directly into Lake Superior. The 1856 shipwreck “Superior” lies at the base of the falls in 20 feet of water.