Chapel Falls

Chapel Falls
May 2005

State: Michigan

Location: Michigan U.P., Alger County, in the Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore.

Height: 80?

Crest: 10?

Water Source: Section Creek

Waypoint: 46.52889N 86.44444W

Summary: This is a mostly wild waterfall, meaning that it is a long way from your car. It will take over an hour of walking to get there. If you are not feeling adventurous, you may want to pass on this one. But any real waterfall enthusiast would seek it out. :) It is one of the more scenic waterfalls in Michigan and is part of the popular Chapel Loop hike.

Chapel Falls is located in Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore. You can get a detailed map of the area from the Pictured Rocks headquarters in Munising. To reach the Falls, go west on H58 from Munising for about 15 miles. You will pass through the small town of Melstrand. A mile or two past Melstrand there is a dirt road off to the left marked with a sign that says "Chapel Area". Follow that road. The road is quite rough and bumpy and wild in places. I saw a bear crossing the road when I first visited the falls. There is a fork in the road. Stay to the right, or just follow the signs. There is a parking area at the trailhead.

The walk to the falls is about two miles through woods. You walk along side the gorge for much of the trip, and there are some steep drop offs. In the spring there are lots of wildflowers.

The trail crosses the creek just above the falls, and the best views can be found on the otherside where there is a viewing platform. The view of the falls is somewhat obscured by trees. This waterfall loses a lot of its beauty as summer progresses.

With some effort you can get into the gorge and work your way up to the base of the falls. You can continue on the trail for another 2 miles to reach Chapel Rock, which is very impressive, and Chapel Beach, but watch out for flies!!

[Lake Superior] [Alger County] [5 Mile Map] Nearby Falls

From the Chapel Falls trailhead, there is another trail that goes to Mosquito Falls. The Chapel Falls Trail, Mosquito Falls Trail and part of the North Country Trail, form a 12 mile loop that is one of the better hikes in Pictured Rocks. Spray Falls is two miles east of Chapel Beach. Miners Falls, Little Miners Falls and Sable Falls are also in Pictured Rocks. Wagner Falls, Munising Falls and other waterfalls are all in the immediate Munising area.

Photo Gallery

In the Gorge

View from the near side

Base of Falls May 2005

June 2001

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Last Modified: Saturday, 20-Feb-2010 08:14:51 MST.

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