The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is where to go if you want to see many waterfalls in Michigan!
And one of the areas of the western Upper Peninsula that you can find waterfalls is in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park!
There are 3 waterfalls to see along the Presque Isle River in the Porcupine Mountains.
The 3 Presque Isle River waterfalls in Porcupine Mountains State Park
2. Manido Falls
About the Presque Isle River
According to the Michigan State Parks:
The Presque Isle is the largest river in the Porcupine Mountains.
Its name, which is French for “almost an island,” was given to it by early fur traders who noticed that the small peninsula of land near the river’s mouth becomes an island during high water.
Wild and scenic, the Presque Isle spills over numerous waterfalls and cascades on its journey to Lake Superior.
The Porcupine Mountains waterfalls are located in Presque Isle scenic area
There are basically 2 main areas of Porcupine Mountains State Park. There’s the “main” area, which is the side of the popular Lake of the Clouds overlook, and there’s the Presque Isle area.
The Presque Isle River and the waterfalls you can see along this river are in the Presque Isle scenic area.
The drive time to the Porcupine Mountains waterfalls trail from Lake of the Clouds is around 45 minutes.
Where to start the Presque Isle River waterfalls loop trail
There are a few “trailheads” to hike the Presque Isle River Trail. I don’t think it really makes too big of a difference which one you start at, as it will basically be an out-and-back… or a loop if you hike both sides of the river!
But possibly one of the most common spots to start the River Trail is just off the side of the road from the bridge. This is the “Presque Isle River Waterfalls Loop Trailhead” on google maps.
The main road is called S Boundary Road and Forest Trail 117 on google maps.
Once you are near, you will see the bridge that goes over the river, and there are small parking areas on the side of the road on both sides of the bridge.
Hiking from the West River Trail
On one side of the bridge (and river) will give you the trail access to the West River Trail.
Hiking from the East River Trail
On the other side of the bridge (and river) will give you trail access to the East River Trail.
More places to start the hike to waterfalls
You can also keep driving towards the Presque Isle campground. You’ll see the road that continues to the campground just beyond the bridge. The next few spots are just a couple minutes away by car.
The campground is at the end of the road, but before you reach that, you’ll come across more spots that will give you trail access to the waterfalls.
The first spot you’ll come across is the most direct way to get to Nawadaha Falls. If you’re looking for a bathroom, this will be the closest toilet to the bridge trail access!
And then if you keep driving further, you’ll come across a sign directing you to the day use area, also with trail access.
Presque Isle campground
And then if you keep driving further… you will end up at the campground!
This is a rustic campground (no electricity, no showers, and it has basic no-flush toilets), and it’s the quieter of the 2 Porcupine Mountains drive-in campgrounds.
Map of Presque Isle River (and the waterfalls)
For reference (and for a better understanding of the area!), here is a map of the Presque Isle Scenic Area that includes all 3 waterfalls!
No swimming in river at Porcupine Mountains waterfalls
And that’s a bit about seeing waterfalls on the Presque Isle River!
See the best of the Porcupine Mountains:
Explore more waterfalls in the UP:
- Bond Falls (kind of near the Porcupine Mountains)
- Tahquamenon Falls (popular state park with different areas to see waterfalls)
- 3 waterfalls to see on the drive from Munising to Marquette
- Waterfalls in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
- How to make it a UP Michigan waterfalls road trip
HAPPY SEEING WATERFALLS IN THE PORCUPINE MOUNTAINS!