Leatherby Falls is one of the most impressive and unique Michigan waterfalls we have visited. Chutes, drops, slides, cascades…you name it, it has it.
Located on the West Branch Huron River, this waterfall is wild and very remote, which of course is one of the reasons we love it. It’s made up of three parts; Upper, Middle, and Lower. The lower falls is pretty but not much more than a couple of small drops. It’s nothing special, especially in comparison to the rest of the waterfall.
The middle portion, named Leatherby Falls, is made up of two drops. The first drop, moving upstream, is a beautiful cascade that twists and tumbles down several layers of large basalt rock.
The second drop is completely different. The water falls in a single drop over a rock wall with pits in it before entering a small pool before continuing downstream.
Upper Leatherby Falls is roughly one mile upstream from Leatherby Falls. A sliding drop, this waterfall has some pretty unique characteristics. I could have spent hours at this falls, trying to take in all of the details. From far away, it looks like a typical slide waterfall but when we got closer we saw that several little chutes had been carved into the rock from the water. There were mini gorge-like passageways for the water to move through. These “gorges twisted”, turned and abruptly end. They were incredibly smooth and very beautiful.
Slightly difficult to find, but easy to access, this waterfall is a new favorite of ours. We’re looking forward to a return visit in the spring.