There are over 200 divine waterfalls in Michigan, but it’s the state’s scenic Upper Peninsula that’s home to all but one of them. Ranging in size from under 5 to 50 feet vertical drops, the waterfalls are heavenly places often nestled among nature and trees.
While Munising is a gateway community to the majestic Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, the little city is also surrounded by exquisite waterfalls. Some of the falls on the outskirts of town require longer hikes to get to or are especially difficult to reach in the winter. However, there are several falls within the city that only entail a 10 minute or under walk.
Check out these five dazzling waterfalls while visiting Munising in the winter without trekking a long distance:
1. Munising Falls
Munising Falls is one of the easiest waterfalls to visit and is in the westernmost portion of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The falls are equally, if not more, impressive during the winter as the water freezes.
Follow H-58 east to the Washington Street Junction. Falls is located across from the hospital. Walk the paved 1/4 mile trail to the shaded sandstone canyon along Munising Creek to the base of the beautiful falls. Two sets of stairs lead to elevated platforms enabling views of the 50-foot waterfall which drops over a sandstone cliff. The trail is fully accessible to the central falls viewing platform. Leashed dogs are allowed on the trail.
2. Wagner Falls
Wagner Falls is a beautiful and easily accessible waterfall with a height of 20 feet. The water source for the falls is Wagner Creek. This waterfall is stunning for those who enjoy photographing waterfalls, or for those who would like to find a peaceful spot to enjoy.
Located south of Munising along M-94, just past the junction of M-94 and M-28, you will see a sign for the falls on the east side of road. Since the parking area isn’t plowed in the winter, park along M-94 near the trailhead. Walk about ¼ mile to the waterfall. Leashed dogs are allowed at this waterfall.
3. Alger Falls
Alger Falls is a wonderful waterfall that cascades many small levels before reaching the bottom. Located along M-28 east of downtown Munising, Alger Falls is a roadside waterfall in the city. For best viewing, pull alongside the road – which is slightly widened for parking. The waterfall rarely freezes in the winter but is encompassed by breathtaking ice formations and piles of snow.
4. Memorial Falls
Memorial Falls, also referred to as the Twin Falls due to its proximity to Tannery Falls, is 40 feet in height and is overseen by the Michigan Nature Association. During the summer, the falls flow over a cave into a beautiful gorge. This waterfall freezes in the winter, making it a popular spot for ice climbing. There trail to the waterfall can be slippery during the winter as the path wraps around a gorge, so visitors must use caution while visiting. Pets are not permitted on the trail.
To get to waterfall, head east on Munising Avenue – which turns into H-58 – for approximately one mile. Turn right on Nestor Street until you reach a sign for waterfall parking. The trailhead is in a residential neighborhood, so visitors are urged to park along Cleveland Street. After a 10 minute walk, you’ll come across the waterfall.
5. Tannery Falls, also known as Olson Falls
Tannery Falls – also known as Olson Falls – is a 40-foot waterfall and much like Memorial Falls, the water flows above a cave and freezes completely during the winter. The falls can be accessed by following the same trail that leads to Memorial Falls.
Tannery Falls is also called “Olson Falls” in honor of Rudolph Olson, a former member of the Michigan Nature Association. Locals refer to both Memorial and Tannery falls as the “Twin Falls” sometimes due to their proximity, which has caused confusion among area visitors in the past.
The easiest way to access this waterfall in the winter is by parking along Cleveland Street, just as you would to visit Memorial Falls, and follow the trail on Nester Street. You’ll come across Memorial Falls after a 10-minute walk. To get to Tannery Falls, you’ll have to walk behind Memorial Falls and follow the path along the cliffs. Use caution as the trail can be slippery.
About the Author: The Munising Visitors Bureau strives to promote attractions, events and other projects in the Munising area.