When you think of top waterfall destinations in the U.S., places like California, Oregon, and Washington usually top the list, and rightfully so. Michigan, however, has no shortage of incredible waterfalls.
Many of the state’s waterfalls are tucked deep in the woods, requiring some challenging hiking and way finding, but Michigan also has more than a few waterfalls for the entire family to visit. Because the outdoors is for everybody, every waterfall highlighted on this list can accommodate wheelchairs and people of all abilities. From 50-foot plunges to thundering cascades, these are my top picks for the easiest waterfalls in Michigan to visit.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is full of waterfalls that are easy to access, but none are as spectacular as Munising Falls. This 50-foot drop is right near downtown Munising and a short walk away from the Pictured Rocks visitor center. The main viewing platform is near the base of the falls is ADA accessible and provides a gorgeous, picturesque view and two more platforms can be found to the left and right.
Please stay on the path and resist the urge to hop over the railing. The area around the falls is very fragile and large pieces of rock can fall from the amphitheater at any time.
In Munising turn right at the intersection of M-28 and H-58. In 1.3 miles, turn left onto Washington Street. In .6 miles, the Munising Falls Visitor Center will be on the right. From the parking lot the path to the falls is about 100 yards.
Other Waterfalls in the Area
Alger Falls is along M-28 as you head into Munising and can be seen from your car as well.
Across from Alger Falls, turn onto M-64 and drive a short distance to Wagner Falls, another easy waterfall to visit.
Memorial and Tannery Falls are also a short distance away from Munising Falls.
Eagle River Falls
The look of this waterfall changes a lot based on the season. During the spring and after periods of heavy rain, the entire rock face can be covered, making it one of the most impressive drops in the state. In lower water, the river makes its way across the rock like veins across your hand. This waterfall should be near the top of your to-do list regardless of the season. There is a pedestrian bridge next to the highway that provides the best view of the waterfall, but was under construction both times I visited in 2019.
The photos I have posted here are from a low-water scramble I actually made going up the waterfall. They only show a small fraction of what this waterfall can be.
From Houghton, follow US-41 north for 26 miles until you reach the town of Phoenix. Turn left onto M-26 and follow it for 2.2 miles. The falls are on the right side of the road and are well marked. Turn right onto 4th Street and park along the side of the road.
Only a short distance away from Eagle River Falls, this is by far one of the easiest waterfalls in Michigan to visit. You don’t even have to leave your car! Jacob’s Falls is a 15 foot tall sliding waterfall no more than 10 yards from M-26 near Eagle River. Jacob’s Creek drops 200 feet over a quarter mile on its way to Lake Superior and, like Wagner Falls, there are several other drops upstream that are much harder to access.
If you’re stopping to see Jacob’s Falls, I highly recommend stopping at The Jampot right next door for some delicious homemade jam, coffee, and baked goods.
From the town of Eagle River, head northeast on M-26 for 2.9 miles. A sign for the waterfall will be just before it on the right side of the road. Park on the shoulder if you want to see the falls closer. I’d recommend not parking directly in front of the waterfall so others passing by can still see it. The Jampot is another 350 feet farther up the road.
When talking about the easiest waterfalls in Michigan, we can’t leave out the only publicly accessible waterfall in the Lower Peninsula! It may not be as large as some of the other waterfalls in the state, but the fact that it’s within a day’s drive for most of the Lower Peninsula makes it a special waterfall. Visitors can also go swimming in the pools between the drops, making for one of the most unique waterfall experiences in Michigan.
Ocqueoc Falls is also the first universally accessible waterfall in the United States. ADA accessible paths, picnic tables, and trails means visitors of all abilities can get close to the waterfall and enjoy the park.
From I-75, take exit 310 in Indian River and go east on M-68 for 30.2 miles. Turn left onto Ocqueoc Falls Highway. The entrance to the park will be on your right in just under a half mile.
Majestic! Bond Falls is the second largest waterfall in Michigan and can rival some of the best in the country as far as sheer beauty goes. It’s 40 feet high, over 100 feet wide, and has 2-3 smaller waterfalls (depending how you define a waterfall) just upstream that are also gorgeous. There is an ADA accessible boardwalk from the parking lot that goes 180 degrees around the waterfall and has numerous viewing decks, making it one of the easiest waterfalls in Michigan to visit. Short trails also parallel the river upstream to give views of the upper falls.
Despite its size and easy access, Bond Falls sees much smaller crowds than its rival to the east: Tahquamenon.
Head south on US-45 from Bruce Crossing for 9.2 miles into Paulding. Turn left onto Bond Falls Road. In just over 3 miles the entrance to the park will be on the left.
Other Waterfalls in the Area
Agate Falls is a few miles north of Bond Falls where the Ontonagon River goes under M-28. There’s a scenic pull-off and trails to the falls.
The trailhead to O-Kun-de-Kun Falls, one of my favorite hidden gem waterfalls, is 17 miles north on US-45.
The crown jewel of Michigan’s waterfalls and the second-largest east of the Mississippi River. This is a must-see regardless of the time of year. The upper falls are the biggest attraction, but the lower falls are also worth a visit. They can be viewed from the shore, but the park has rowboats to rent that visitors can take to an island in the river for a better view.
Paths to the upper and lower falls are both paved and ADA compliant. The park also has an awesome track chair that can be used to explore the unpaved trails around the park as well.
From M-28, turn north onto M-123 towards Newberry. Follow M-123 for 26.7 miles and the entrance to the Upper Falls is on the right. Follow the paved path for about 300 yards to see the falls. To get to the lower falls, Continue along M-123 for 3.5 miles and turn right onto Lower Campground Lane. Follow this to the parking lot to see the lower falls.
Have you been to any of these waterfalls? Any you’ve been to that I left out? Let me know below!
If you want to see more waterfalls and not deal with the crowds of the popular places, here’s my list of Top 5 Hidden Gem Waterfalls in Michigan.
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