Alder Falls - Michigan
Waterfalls are fun to discover and enjoy the beauty of. The Upper Peninsula of Michigan as a ton of them that you can enjoy with the whole family. Though many of them take an adventurous spirit to find. One of those is Alder Falls located near Big Bay, Michigan.
Finding this waterfall can be a chore. It depends if you are coming from Big Bay or from Marquette. It is located on highway 155 that connects the two cities. It is just 3 miles south of the gas station in Big Bay or 22.5 miles from Marquette. There are no signs to direct you so you have to be really alert. Coming from Marquette do not be surprised if you miss it and end up at the gas station. Just turn around and head back about 3 miles.
The road to the falls is just a plain dirt road. There are no signs to indicate where the falls are located. It is located next to a very large green garage. The dirt road forks immediately. You want to take the left branch. The right one is a personal driveway. You will go down this road or trail that is a little bumpy and very narrow. Watch out about meeting another car heading out.
You will drive about half a mile down the trail when you will see a small clearing on your right. I stress “small”. There will be a small sign up above the area on a tree that signifies the parking area. You cannot fit more than three vehicles there. If there are more, there is another small clearing on the left that you can use.
Under the sign you will find a narrow path leading down to the falls. I stress “down”. If you have physical issues that prevent too much exercise, you might want to reconsider this trip. There are few times that holding onto a tree is very important so that gravity does not work too much. The way is steep and much of your path is dependent on tree roots.
The falls are beautiful. It flows over some dark rocks and into a creek. There are several places where you can take some folding chairs and just sit back and relax to the wonderful sounds around you. On a hot day, it is great to place your feet in the creek and feel the cool water rushing over you. This is a waterfall worth seeing. Take a picnic and enjoy. Taking a cooler might not be the wisest thing to carry, but backpacks would work great. Don’t forget your camera to get some amazing pictures.
The trip back up the trail will be more difficult. Once again, use the trees along the path to help pull you up. If the ground is soft, take caution. Make sure that you take a first aid kit anytime you go on a hike. Accidents happen even to those that are well experienced.