I just got my very first pair of snowshoes and what better way to break them in than heading to the Upper Peninsula. Munising, Michigan is one of our favourite towns in the entire state, no matter the season, and makes the perfect location for some snowshoeing adventures.
The Holiday Inn Express Lakeshore
We stayed in The Holiday Inn Express Lakeshore, right on Lake Superior. The hotel is located about 5 minutes outside of downtown Munising, giving it a bit more seclusion but still the convenience of town. One of my favourite things about it was the decor. The hotel was modeled after a log cabin and the inside decor fit that theme perfectly with plaid carpet and moose lighting! It was the cozy comfort from the woods.
Steve and I have visited Munising Falls several times now and each time we find something new to discover about it. This visit the Falls was transformed into an impressive ice tower. Up close you could hear the water still running through the ice column and there were several smaller icicles behind the massive one. The texture of the ice was incredible. If you only get to visit this waterfall once, I recommend you see it in the winter. No wonder why it used to be a part of the ice climbing festival in the U.P!
Munising Falls is located off of H-58 on Sand POint Road, on the east side of Munising. It is very accessible, even in the winter. The waterfall is about 50 feet tall. See Munising Falls on Google Maps.
The Twin Falls
MNA Memorial Falls and it’s seasonal nearby falls are generally referred to as “Twin Falls” because of their location. Steve and I have never seen these two before because we never could find them. It’s actually quite easy once you know where you are going. The land is owned by the Michigan Nature Association and is open to the public.
Although the ice columns of both MNA Memorial Falls and it’s twin aren’t nearly as large as Munising Falls, they were both still very impressive. And like Munising Falls, we could hear the water still flowing in columns. One of my favourite parts about visiting the waterfalls in this area is the area that surrounds them. Although not nearly as rugged as the western U.P, the large bowl-shaped cliffs with trees growing out of them make the area quite scenic and very peaceful.
Head east on H-58, shortly past the turn for Munising Falls. Turn right on Nestor Street. Follow Nestor street nearly to the end. There is a sign that supposedly says “MNA Memorial Falls” on the right. WE could see the top of the sign, the rest was buried under snow. You can park on the side of the road and follow the trail. It’s a very short walk and well worth it.
Au Train Falls
Steve and I visited AuTrain Falls once before, in the spring, and weren’t very impressed with it. We still weren’t this time, but it is easily accessible and we wanted to fit in one more waterfall to our trip. We couldn’t find the upper falls due to the large mounds of snow, but the lower falls was very easy to get to. And because we had our boots on, we could walk in the river and experience the waterfall in a little different way.
AuTrain lower falls is only about 10 feet in height, while the upper is closer to 40 feet. A hydroelectric metal pipe and building kind of ruins that rustic feel but it’s a good example of how beneficial waterfalls have been to the U.P.
AuTrain Falls on Google Maps
To access the falls from Munising, head west on M-94 for 12 miles and turn right on Autrain Forest Lake Road. Follow Autrain Forest Lake Road for 0.2 miles and then turn right onto Power Dam Road. About 0.3 miles later, you’ll arrive at a parking lot. Park and walk (very short) past the gate and to the lower falls.
An Unique Restaurant – The Dog Patch
The Dog Patch is a famous restaurant in Munising. I’ve never been to a place quite like it before. The staff are friendly and the food is delicious, like a home cooked meal. The best I can describe the atmosphere is like a 1950’s cartoon comic strip. It truly is an unique place to go. It’s in downtown Munising, right on Superior St. Check out The Dog Patch for more information.