In the dead of summer, nothing beats the heat like a swim in one of Michigan’s most stunning freshwater areas. While the Great Lakes will always have our hearts, there’s something undeniably magical about taking a dip in or near a rushing waterfall. Here are eight incredible spots throughout Michigan where you can do just that.
1. Ocqueoc Falls (11 miles west of Rogers City, off M-68, Presque Isle)
This stunning site actually houses the largest waterfall in the Lower Peninsula and the only universally accessible waterfall in the country, making it a must-visit destination for Michiganders of all ages. Hike along the scenic Bicentennial Pathway until you reach the falls, where you’ll find a cool, welcoming swimming area to explore.
2. Dead River Falls (2 miles west of Marquette)
Venture to Marquette for a swim at this beautiful site, which will take you slightly off the beaten path — but we promise the payoff is worth it! Approximately two and a half miles off of Forestville Road, you’ll find a parking area that gives way to a trail. After a mile-long hike along the riverfront, there’s nothing more refreshing than a dip in the water in the shadow of multiple stunning waterfalls.
3. Tahquamenon Falls (41382 West M 123, Paradise)
Michigan’s most famous waterfalls are famous for a reason, and they’re even more wonderful when you’re fully immersed in their beauty. We recommend taking a dip near Lower Falls, will absolutely overwhelm you with natural delight. This family-friendly swimming site is the perfect place to relax after a long day in the great outdoors.
4. Memorial Falls (Munising)
Want to cool off in a natural shower without getting too soaked? Memorial Falls might just be the perfect spot for you. This lovely location in Munising is actually comprised of two separate waterfalls, each of which flows through a breathtaking cave. Take a brief hike from the parking lot off Nestor Street and get ready to walk behind the falls as you admire the forested beauty that surrounds you.
5. Bond Falls (near Ontonagon)
This popular destination in the Upper Peninsula certainly deserves its title as one of Michigan’s most stunning waterfalls. On a hot summer afternoon, there’s nothing more refreshing than basking in the rushing waves of a waterfall, and Bond Falls never disappoints. While you’re urged to use caution near the currents, the peaceful, shallow pool below the falls are a great place to get your feet wet.
6. Tannery Falls (within Tannery Creek, Munising)
This is another wonderful spot for those who’d like to get up-close and personal with a waterfall without taking the full plunge. Sometimes referred to as the Olson Memorial Falls, this gorgeous spot is a must-see during your next visit to Munising and sits just a stone’s throw away from MNA Memorial Falls. Following a scenic hike, you’ll have the chance to stand directly beneath the falls.
7. Canyon Falls (US-41, Covington)
If you’re athletically capable and feeling adventurous, make the journey to Canyon Falls Roadside Park near L’Anse. It’s here that you’ll find opportunities for cliff-diving and swimming throughout the gorge and waterfalls that lend a stunning atmosphere to the park. Be advised that cliff-diving can be dangerous, so we don’t recommend this spot for families or those seeking a calmer adventure.
7. Scott Falls (South side of M-28, near H.J. Rathfoot State Roadside Park, Munising)
In contrast with Canyon Falls, Scott Falls is an easily accessible spot that offers a peaceful ambiance and all sorts of calm beauty. As with several of the other falls listed, it can be accessed off M-28, not far from the towns of Munising and Au Train. Scott Falls sit just steps from the parking area, and this delightful site offers visitors the chance to splash in the refreshing waterfall flow and its accompanying pool. What’s not to love?
Is there a hidden waterfall swimming hole here in Michigan that we should know about? If you’re willing to let us in on your secret, please feel free to share your recommendations below! Now, what are you waiting for? Your next wonderful waterfall adventure awaits.