Autrain Falls

May 2006

State: Michigan

Location: Alger County, about 15 miles south west of Munising

Height: 40 and 10

Crest: 200

Water Source: Autrain River

Waypoint: 46.33861N 86.85111W

Summary: A pair of waterfalls conveniently located right off the highway between Munising and Laughing Whitefish Falls. Unfortunately the larger of the two falls has been somewhat spoiled by some ugly hydroelectric metal pipes. Still it is easy to get to and close to other waterfalls.

Autrain Falls is along M-94 about 10 miles southwest of Munising. If you are heading to Laughing Whitefish Fall from Munising you will drive right past Autrain Falls. There is even a sign on the road telling you where the falls is.

The Autrain River has been dammed. M-94 passes just below the dam and you can see the reservoir from the road. Unfortunately they chose to run the pipes that carry water from the reservoir to the power plant right above the big upper falls. What makes it even more unfortunate is that the pipes cross the river twice, once well out of sight and the second time right above the falls. It is a shame they could not have come up with a somewhat more esthetically pleasing design.

The upper falls are a large ramp about 40 feet high. The lower falls is a short walk down the road and consists of a drop of less than 10 feet. You can get to the base of big falls with a little effort. It is hard to get a picture of the entire falls from the base due to the width of the falls. There are a couple of angles that make the falls look much wilder than they actually are.

An interesting feature about this falls is a number of small springs emptying into the gorge opposite the falls. I imagine these are due to the dam. Water does not like being dammed, and will work its away around and through the rocks. Some of these springs make the descent into the gorge a little trickier than it would otherwise be.

They sometimes turn this waterfall off. I was there in May 2005 and almost no water was flowing over the falls even though all the other falls in the area were full of water.

[Lake Superior] [Alger County] Nearby Falls

Wagner Falls, Munising Falls and others are 10 miles to the northeast along M-94 in the Munising area. Rock River Falls and Laughing Whitefish Falls are roughly 10 and 15 miles to the west.

Photo Gallery

View from parking area, 2004

Wild View, 2006

In the Gorge, 2006


Lower Falls, 2004

Lower Falls, 2004

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Last Modified: Tuesday, 29-Dec-2009 15:43:07 MST.

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