3 Short Waterfall Hikes in the Marquette Area

Upper Reany Falls a during the lush green summer
Upper Reany Falls a during the lush green summer

Marquette, MI – April 24, 2020 – Need a break from your house? Wondering what hiking trails there are near you with waterfalls? Michigan is known for having a vast number of unique waterfalls throughout the Upper Peninsula. Here is a list of three easy and short waterfall hikes in the Marquette area. Take an Upper Michigan waterfall tour to enjoy some freedom from your home during this Stay-At-Home Order.

Hiking Gear to Bring on Walking Trails with Waterfalls

Upper Reany Falls a during the lush green summer
Upper Reany Falls a during the lush green summer

First things first, you have to be prepared, even for short trips. When you’re moving through the woods, it’s best to have a good pair of hiking boots. Hiking boots will stabilize your feet and ankles to provide the most support when moving over uneven terrain. When it comes to waterfall hikes, you’ll want waterproof hiking boots. If you’re anything like me, you love getting in the water or crossing streams, which means you’ll want something to keep your feet dry. If you’re looking to get in deeper water, I highly recommend waterproof boot covers like Neos Overshoes.

Make sure are also carrying water or an energy drink like Gatorade to keep hydrated. Even on the shortest hikes you should carry a water bottle as the bare minimum.

Along with your other hiking gear, I suggest bringing a change of clothes with you. Leave it in the car for when you’re ready to head home. Despite waterproof boots or overshoes, getting your socks wet is one of the worst things, especially if you’ve been in cold water. Bring a second pair of shoes to change into a long with a socked pair of socks and pants.

Reany Falls Waterfall Visit

This is an extremely short walk and very easy waterfall to visit. Reany Falls is a beautiful multi-tiered waterfall nestled in the woods near Forestville. The waterfall features two main drops as well as a long run, which travels under a bridge before merging with the Dead River. This is a lesser none waterfall in Michigan as it is a smaller falls. If you want to get out and enjoy nature without being disturbed by other people or need something rated very easy, visiting this falls will likely give you that piece of tranquility. This is also the only waterfall on this list I would rate as even remotely handicap accessible, as part of the waterfall can be seen from the road.

Waterfall Directions

To visit Reany Falls traveling from the heart of Marquette west toward Negaunee, take US-41 West to Wright Street. Turn right onto Wright Street and travel on this road until it ends. Take a right onto CO Rd 492, then take a quick left onto Forestville Rd. Take this road all the way down to the Read River Falls Dam Parking Area. You will cross a bridge over the Dead River and see train tracks on your right. Once you’ve parked at the dam, walk back up the road until you see a sign on a tree for “Reany Falls” on your left. You should be able to hear the water from the falls. Take the trail from off the road and follow it up a small hill to lead you to the first drop of the falls. You’ll be able to see the run in the photos above from the bridge on the road. Continue into the woods to find the second drop of the falls.

Vehicle Required

Any – all paved roads

Waterfalls Nearby

As you learned from the directions, this waterfalls is right next to the entrance for the Dead River Falls hiking area.

Hiking Trail to Dead River Falls

Enjoy hiking trails with waterfalls near you
Enjoy hiking trails with waterfalls near you

The Dead River Falls Hiking Area has at least three drops taller than 15 feet along with several other smaller falls. While the beginning of the hike is somewhat strenuous with a large hill at the very start of the path, the rest of the hike to the main falls is fairly easy. Plus, it’s that big hill is downhill on the way back! Dead River Falls is a more popular area, but it’s got several inlets and alternative trails to allow you to find your own little spot of nature.

Waterfall Directions:

The waterfall hiking trail directions are very similar to those for Reany Falls. Once you’ve parked at the dam, head of to the right up the large gravel hill. Once you make it to the top, you’ll see a wooden sign for Dead River Falls. Follow the trail head through the woods to find your slice of freedom!

Dead River Falls Hiking Area has several different waterfalls.
Dead River Falls Hiking Area has several different waterfalls.

Vehicle Required

Any – all paved roads

Waterfalls Nearby

As stated this location several waterfalls varying in size along the river. Reany Falls is also right before the dam parking lot and is worth a quick stop as well! Both of these waterfalls as easily visited in the same day with their close locations.

Unnamed Morgan Falls Waterfall Hike

Named Unnamed Morgan Falls, this is one of my favorite waterfalls in Marquette County. It is fairly easy to access, though after a rain or in the spring, the sandy road can get quiet muddy. Where you will have to walk from may vary. Located right on the edge of Marquette along near Marquette Mountain Ski & Bike Area, this waterfall is a single drop falls standing at about 20 feet. It’s a beautiful short trail with a bridge that overlooks the top of the waterfall. In the spring Marsh Marigold blooms around the rivers edge. Despite being surrounded by heavily pine trees, in the fall this location becomes a fall color paradise!

Waterfall Directions:

Leaving the city center headed west on Washington Street, travel until the road intersects with McClellan Ave. Take a left at the corner, near McDonald’s and continue out of town on McClellan. The road will turn into CO Rd 553 after passing the traffic lights at the Grove Street intersection. Follow the road along the bend past the Noquemanon South Trails Trailhead. You’ll take a left off the main road onto an unmarked sandy side road, this is Marquette Mt Rd. If you pass Marquette Mountain Ski and Bike Area, you’ve gone too far, use their parking lot to safely turn around. Take the dirt road for about 1.5 miles. During the dry season, this road is generally passable with any vehicle, but go slowly. There are at least two parts that get very deep and muddy after snow melt or a rain. If you think your vehicle can not make it, stop! There are several cut outs along the way where you can park your car and continue by foot. The road itself is almost completely flat, so it’s an easy walk if you can’t make it all of the way to the small parking area. If you reach a wooden bridge, you’ve gone to far, but it’s fairly clear where to stop. There are stairs that lead down to the mountain biking trail. You’ll cross a bridge and then a short, but steep hill. You can go down the hill or follow another trail down a smaller slope.

Vehicle Required

Any during dry season, AWD/4WD if you want to make it all the way through during wet seasons

Waterfalls Nearby

There is a larger waterfall further up stream called Carp River Falls. It’s a rugged trail, but a very nice view.

All three of these waterfalls are located within 5 miles of each other and could be done in the same day, however, I recommend making two trips out of it and doing Dead River Falls and Reany one day and Morgan Falls another day!

Scott Falls is an easy access falls of M-28 in Alger County
Scott Falls is an easy access falls of M-28 in Alger County

Interested in learning how to photography waterfalls using long exposures? Check out this article to learn more: Photographing One of Alger County’s Most Notable Waterfalls – Scott Falls

Interested in other things you should do while in the U.P.? Here is a whole list.

Want to see more waterfall photos from Michigan? Visit Saddleback Photography

Have easy waterfall suggestions of your own for the area? Leave your thoughts in the comments!

By Lauren Bareiss

Full time at mediaBrew Communications, Lauren works as Head Graphic Artist and Front End Developer. No matter what event, Lauren will probably be there putting her camera in people's faces! Make sure to smile! Lauren shoots predominately with a Nikon D750 equip with 16-35mm 28-300mm, as well as a Tokina 11-16mm! Please feel free to check out Lauren's past and future posts on this mediaBrew website. Follow her on Facebook at /saddlebackphoto or www.saddlebackphoto.com