Silver Bell Falls

May 2016

State: Michigan

Location: Chatham, about 25 miles from Munising

Height: 30

Crest: 5

Water Source: Nelson Creek

Waypoint: 46.45117N 86.97035W

Summary: Silver Bell Falls is a wild, scenic, but also very seasonal waterfall located north of Chatham. It is located at the end of some old, rough logging roads and best seen in spring.

Silver Bell Falls is a wild waterfall located in Hiawatha National Forest north of Chatham. Nelson Creek plunges 30' down a near vertical cliff. This is a small creek, and it can dry up in the summer months. But in the spring, or after a good rain, this is an impressive and scenic waterfall.

Reaching this waterfall is not too hard, but it is probably not something you want to do in a regular car. The roads are pretty rocky and bumpy. From Chatham head north on Rock River Road. This road starts out paved, but becomes a dirt road after half a mile. Four miles north of Chatham turn left onto Forest Road 2276. There is a sign with the number 2276 on it. This road is pretty rough, and has degraded in recent years. Go about 4.6 miles, keeping to the right. At this point there is a gate, which might be closed. It was open when I visited, but if not, park here. Continue for another mile to the trail head. The road ends there, so you cannot miss it. The trail to the falls is about a 1/4 mile, and is an easy hike.

The best views of the falls are on the near side of the creek. It is easy enough to cross the creek, but the views on the other side of the gorge are obstructed. With some effort you could climb down to the base of the falls.

On some maps this is called 'Silver Falls'.

[Alger County] Nearby Falls

Rock River Falls is just a few miles away, located off of another two track that branchs off of FR 2273. Laughing Whitefish Falls can be found off of M-94 17 miles to the west. Munising Falls, Wagner Falls and the many other waterfalls in the Munising area are 25 miles to the east.

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