Hike to Dead River Falls

1.5 miles 100 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by James Brady

These waterfalls are located just minutes outside of Marquette, Michigan. The falls can be accessed via a .75 mile trail (1.5 miles out-and-back). This is a great trail for photography or for an afternoon nature walk.

If you are looking to see numerous waterfalls without going too far off of the beaten path, the Dead River Falls are for you. Located just a few minutes outside of Marquette, the falls are situated along a half-mile stretch in which the Dead River drops over 90 feet. Several of the falls along this stretch drop over 15 feet.

The trailhead to the falls is located behind a powerhouse on Forestville Road. The easiest way to access Forestville Road is by taking US-41N to Wright Street. After taking a right on Wright Street, you will travel approximately 2.0 miles before you make a left turn onto Forestville Road, which is unpaved in certain areas. You will travel on Forestville Road for a curvy 2.0 miles until you come across the powerhouse on your left. There is parking in the area and the trail is well marked so you should be able to spot it fairly easily.

The trail begins as an access road which initially goes up a steep gravel road. You will follow the access road for approximately a quarter mile until you see a footpath down to the river on your left. You will emerge on the river by the lowest waterfall. To see the other falls, you will have to take the trail upstream through some rocky terrain. If the water is low enough, you can scramble over the rocks near the river. If the water level is higher, you will be forced to stick to the trail. The trail crosses the river at a few points via wood that has been placed there or by utilizing downed logs. In general, the trail is easy to navigate and is suitable for any level of hiker.

You will enjoy great views of the various falls as you walk along the trail. If you don’t mind cold water you may even want to take a swim. Please note, you should enter the water and examine the depth of the water before you attempt to jump off of the rocks. It is important to take precautions and ensure the water is deep enough to safely jump into. Also, please be aware of the strength of the current. Despite the slower current in the summer, swimmers will still have to swim fairly hard to compensate for the current. Please do not enter the river unless you are a capable swimmer.

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Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Cliff Jumping
Swimming Hole


Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

NOT a beginner trail anymore

Absolutely gorgeous but the steep roots and rocks over some steep cliffs is not easy by any means. At minimum an intermediate hike. Brought my 4 kids and we made it, but it was very difficult and sometimes dangerous. Totally gorgeous and worth it, especially with Fall colors early October.


Go early. My girlfriend and I had the place to ourselves for around 2 hours but at around noon, at least 6 other groups showed up. But the falls were gorgeous and we got plenty of time with them

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