Michigan waterfall tours will be amazing this spring due to the plentiful snow season.
When relatives or friends come to visit, everyone wants to show them around to see why we live here.This area has many beautiful sights, although sometimes our waterfalls get over-looked. Tours with visitors are valuable for us because we sometimes take our area’s natural beauty and relatively low population density for granted.Iron County streams, and those near the county borders, have ﬁve beautiful waterfalls that are reasonably accessible.Iron County also has one easily accessible gorge and rapids that together with the falls make a good day tour.Jumbo and Duppy Falls are located on the Jumbo River. Mexi-Mini Falls are found just west of the Iron County line on the Ottawa National Forest. This waterfall is located in East Gogebic County on the Middle Branch of the Ontonagon River.Long Lake Falls is found on Chicaugon Creek, west of Long Lake. The remnants of the Crystal Falls and the beautiful Horse Race Rapids and gorge are found on the Paint River.Based on the low abundance of people we see when we visit these sights, they are not as well known as they should be.There is reasonable driving access to most of the falls mentioned although a walk is required for some.A four-wheel drive is not required although some are on dirt/sand roads and a pickup or SUV with adequate ground clearance is still the best way to access these falls.A good stop on the way to the falls is the Crystal Falls DNR Ofﬁce and/or the Iron County Chamber of Commerce Ofﬁce in Iron River.Maps of Iron County and Ottawa National Forest can be obtained there as well as questions answered.The DNR Ofﬁce phone number is (906)875-6622 and the Chamber phone number is (906) 265-3822. These respective ofﬁces are a good beginning point to make a tour that covers most of the falls.
Mexi-Mini Falls is located at the U.S.Forest Service Burnt Dam campground.From Iron River: head west on U.S. 2 about 23 miles to U.S. Forest Service Road 3960.Turn north (right) and travel about 5.7 miles to Old U.S. 2. Turn east (right) on Old U.S. 2and proceed 0.5 miles to USFS Road 4500.On 4500 travel north (left) about 0.5 milesto the Burnt Dam campground. This falls is well worth visiting and has easy drive upaccess. Duppy Falls is located just west of For-est Highway 16 in northwest Iron County on the Ottawa National Forest.
Duppy Falls can be reached from intersection of U.S. 2and Forest Highway 16 by travelling north on FS 16 – about 19 miles to USFS Road 3610 (just north of Tepee Lake). USFS Road3610 is just a landmark to indicate you aregetting close. Continue on Forest Highway16 about 0.7 miles to the ﬁrst trail road tothe west (left). Travel 0.2 miles down For-est Service Trail Road 3645 to a grass clear-ing next to State Creek. An unmarked trailcrosses the creek on a small wood bridge.The falls can be found by walking a trailsouthwest about 0.5 miles to the falls. The falls is well worth the walk and Jumbo River (adjacent to the access trail) below the falls is also very picturesque.
Jumbo Falls is located just south south-west of Kenton. From Duppy Falls just travel north on Forest Highway 16 – 5.6 miles to Kenton. Turn west (left) on M-28 and travel1.7 miles to Golden Glow Road just past the Jumbo River stream crossing. Turn south(left) and travel 1.6 miles to Golden GlowRoad W. Turn east (left) and travel 0.3 mile to USFS Road 4589-b and turn southeast (right). Travel just over one mile to a parking area for the falls. A short trail takes you upstream to the falls through old growth conifer trees.
Long Lake Falls is located west of Long Lake on Chicaugon Creek. From Crystal Falls, head west on U.S. 2 for about ﬁve miles to Long Lake Road. Turn north (right) and travel three miles around the north end of Long Lake to a gravel access road on the west side of Long Lake Road marked by some private camp signs. Turn west (right) and take the fork to the right and then next intersection straight off the gravel onto a trail road. The intersections on this last access trail are marked with homemade “falls” signs leading toward the Long Lake Falls. After you traveled 0.6 miles stop at an intersection and park out of the way at two signs “Falls and Horton.” It is about a 0.4 mile walk down the hill on a trail to the falls.
Many people ask where the Crystal Falls is located in the city of Crystal Falls.The falls is still present and can be seen as the photo shows when the hydro dam gates are opened up in high water. The falls got its name when some of the early resource development land cruisers saw the mist off the falls glistening in the sunlight. The power house for the dam was constructed on the east bank of the old falls. At low water all the water ﬂows though the powerhouse. The falls and dam can be accessed by taking Sixth Street north off U.S. 2 in Crystal Falls 0.4 miles to a fork with Fair- banks Drive. Take Fairbanks 0.1 mile to the river crossing below the dam.
Margeson Falls is located on the Margeson Creek Northeast of Crystal Falls. The reasonable access requires walking about one mile, initially through private land.Horse Race Rapids is located south-east of Crystal Falls. Travel about 6.2 milessouth on U.S. 2 from Crystal Falls to County Airport Road. Turn east (left) past the airport where it becomes Horserace Rapids Road. The combined distance traveled on the two roads is 3.9 miles to the end at a WE Energies Recreation Site parking area.It is a short walk down hill into the gorge to see the series of rapids. The walking is facilitated by a path and wooden steps. There is more rapids viewable upstream of the main rapids; those are accessed by a less well worn path leading upstream (north)at the edge of the gorge. This is classed as a Class IV rapids meaning it requires a skilled white water kayaker to run this rapids that extends about 0.8 miles.If walking is a problem the easiest access falls are Mexi-Mini and Jumbo Falls,although it is a short walk to the main Horse Race Rapids. If you take the time to take this tour you will be well rewarded by a series of picturesque falls and impressive rapids where you often may be the only visitor. Make sure you bring a camera.
It’s A Great Place To Be
~Iron County Michigan Lodging