Location: Big Bay, Michigan
Located 20 miles north-west of Marquette, Michigan, Alder Falls is a beautiful, multi-leveled waterfall. The lowest drop is the most impressive at around 30 feet in height. This cascading falls is surrounded by pure beauty and is one of my favorite places to visit.
After admiring the last and largest drop, the easiest way to travel upstream is by crossing the creek just below the waterfall. Expect to get a little wet, but it’s worth it.
Head up the hill and continue to follow the creek for a short distance. You’ll soon come to the second drop.
One of my favorite parts of this drop is not the waterfall itself but the area here. With large stone walls and old growth trees, it is a very special place.
The third falls is just around the bend and has two small drops.
The final is the smallest and is a short distance from the third. Just above this one the creek turns into a swampy area.
The hike is short, but may be prolonged due to the road condition. We recommend a high clearance vehicle with 4 wheel drive or plan on parking at the start of the road and walking in.
Once parked, the trail is relevantly easy until the last part. The trail descends to the river a bit steep, but manageable.
To get to Alder Falls from Big Bay, Michigan, take Country Road 550 South towards Marquette. After passing the bridge that goes across Alder Creek, there is a road on the right called Alder Creek Truck Trail. This is where you may want to park if your vehicle can’t handle sandy roads.
The last time we were here there was a lot of washed out road that made it impassable by anything other than a high clearance vehicle.
From the start of the trail, it’s about .6 miles to the parking area. The foot trail is on the right with a sign that reads “No Motorized Vehicles.” Park here and follow the foot trail down to the falls.