Northern Michigan WaterfallsNorthern Michigan has some amazing waterfalls scattered throughout its vast expanse of wilderness and park areas. Last December (2013) I visited Munising for a couple of days after Christmas to snowshoe at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and visit a few of the Munising, Michigan area waterfalls. With plenty of snow on the ground and cold temperatures coming in, we got some pretty breathtaking and up close views of the waterfalls in their frozen or nearly frozen state. (This was prior to the polar vortex moving south.)
Of course, after the winter we had with snow and cold, I started to wonder what these same waterfalls would look like in the spring months. So off I went on Memorial Day Weekend 2014 back up to the Munising area to find out. With spring being cold and seeming to come in late, some waterfalls still had ice at the bottom and even Lake Superior still had ice. It was pretty amazing to see. But all the waterfalls were flowing briskly and providing another view of nature's beauty.
Laughing Whitefish FallsLaughing Whitefish Falls State Park is just west of of the Munising area. It's a smaller state park with a nice trail that you can take to get to the waterfall. In the winter the road to this park is not maintained and you do need to park out near the main road and go by foot. If you have the right amount of snow, you can easily make it into a beautiful snowshoe hike. In the summer, it's a quick walk from the parking lot to the falls. You can also connect from this trail to the North Country Trail if you want to extend your hike for a few more miles or a few more days.
|Laughing Whitefish Falls, December 26, 2013|
|Laughing Whitefish Falls, May 26, 2014|
Wagner Falls is located just before you get into Munising on M94. You can park along the road and take the short path that will lead you to the falls.
|Wagner Falls, December 28, 2013|
|Wagner Falls, May 24, 2014|
Munising FallsMunising Falls is amazing in the winter. The ice fall is big. And even with the ice, you can still hear the water that is cascading down inside the waterfall. Munising Falls is a short drive from Munising and is at the entrance to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore before you get to Sand Point. In the winter, the stairs that lead up to the higher level views of the waterfalls are roped off. But if you visit at that time of the year, you'll notice that doesn't stop people from going up and even behind the waterfall for a close up view.
|Munising Falls, December 26, 2013|
|Munising Falls, May 24, 2014|
Miners Falls is within the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore area. In the winter it's a bit more of a challenge to get to as the roads within Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore are not maintained and you will need to park ~3 miles from Miners Falls. Snowshoes again are the perfect way to get to the falls and to continue on and explore the park. In summer you can drive to the parking area for the waterfall and hike the short .6 miles to the waterfall.
|Miners Falls, December 27, 2013|
|Miners Falls, May 25, 2014|
Miners Castle and the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Superior shoreline
No trip to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore would be complete without a trip to Miners Castle. Even in the winter when it requires backcountry snowshoeing along Miners River and through the wilderness forest. And no, there are not any trails that lead from Miners Falls to Miners Castle - we went a little of course and navigated our own way.
|Miners Castle, December 27, 2013|
|Miners Castle, May 25, 2014|
These are just a few of the many waterfalls in Northern Michigan. They're definitely worth a visit and even worth the challenge in winter. Snowshoe in and you'll have these places all to yourself, along with the beauty of winter and nature all around you.
I encourage you to break away and explore these beautiful places. And for this post - there is no better quote from John Muir that describes how I felt when visiting these places both in winter and in spring.
"The snow is melting into music." John Muir