Forty Foot Falls

May 2016

State: Michigan

Location: Marquette County

Height: 40

Crest: 15

Water Source: Cliff River

Waypoint: 46.8341333N 87.9790833W

Summary: A very wild, cascading falls, reachable by some very rough two tracks. This is one of the most remote waterfalls in Michigan. If you have a vehicle capable of some off road travel, this is a great adventure.

Forty Foot Falls is one of the wildest, and remotest waterfalls in Michigan. The falls is a 40 foot high, 100+ foot long cascade. It is a very scenic falls located in one of the more pristine spots of Michigan.

Of all the waterfalls in Michigan, this is one of the most challenging to reach. You really need a Jeep or truck capable of handle some rough, rocky and muddy two tracks. It is about 7 miles as the crow flies from the nearest paved road. The shortest route to the falls is from Skanee Road. Head east to the end of Skanee Road, and continue east on the unpaved, but well maintained, Erick Road. After 1.3 miles you will reach the bridge over the Huron River, and Big Ericks Falls. After here the roads get much rougher. Continue east on Ericks Road. There are no road signs, and lots of turns and side roads, but if you just continue on the largest road, and tend to the right, you will stay on Ericks Road. After 4 miles, take a left on to Northwestern Road. It is not very apparent that this is a different road, as Northwestern Road becomes the main road at this point. Continue for another 2.2 miles with lots of sand and pines. The main road turns south here, and a small two track heads off to the left. If you miss this, there is another turn off about 200 feet beyond that. These two meet up, and head north east. This is a very rough two track, with lots of rocks and mud. Follow this road for about 2.5 miles, staying to the right. You will pass the Cliff Falls Hunting Club. There is a small pull off near the falls, and the falls are audible from the road.

A short trail leads to the top of the falls, and down to the bottom. There is a campsite at the top of the falls, complete with a grill. The falls is privately owned, but visitors are welcome as long as they respect the area.

Nearby Falls

Big Falls is 7 miles to the west as the crow flies, and West Yellow Dog Falls, is 8 miles to the south as the crow flies, but the actual travelling distance is much more and requires travelling more rough roads in both cases. If you are comfortable travelling Northwestern Road, you can continue east for 20 miles, and visit Pinnacle Falls.

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