Rock River Falls

May, 2004

State: Michigan

Location: Chatham, about 25 miles from Munising

Height: 15

Crest: 30

Water Source: Rock River

Waypoint: 46.41111N 86.97528W

Summary: This wild waterfall is hidden in the Rock River Wilderness Area north of Chatham. Reaching it will require you to drive down some old logging roads and hike a mile or two along some ill defined trails, but if you are looking for a good waterfall adventure it is worth it.

Rock River Falls is in the Rock River Wilderness Area in the Hiawatha National Forest, which is just north of Chatham. This area is not well marked, but finding the falls is not too hard. From Chatham head north on Rock River Road. This road starts out paved, but becomes a dirt road after half a mile. Four miles north of Chatham turn left onto Forest Road 2276. There is a sign with the number 2276 on it. This is not that bad of a road and a normal car can handle it just fine. Go 3.7 miles on this road. There will be another road going to the left. This is Forest Road 2293. The last number on the sign is partially obliterated, and can easily be read as 2298. This road is not as nice as the last. Fortunately you only have to travel .6 miles on this one. There is a small parking area on the left, but there are not any signs for the falls. There are small signs indicating that you are in a wilderness area.

The trail to the falls first follows an old road of some sort. This old road shows up on MapQuest, but it is definitely not open to any sort of vehicle traffic. The old road ends somewhat abruptly at the bottom of a hill. From there on the trail is not real well defined but you can pick it out. It was wet and rainy when I was there and parts of the "trail" were under water. No climbing is necessary.

[Lake Superior] [Alger County] Nearby Falls

If you continue down FR 2273 you will apparently reach a gate and a trail to the 30 foot Silver Bell Falls. I did not feel my car was up to the trip as the road was pretty beat up and I had know idea how far away the gate was. Laughing Whitefish Falls can also be found off of M-94. Munising Falls, Wagner Falls and the many other waterfalls in the Munising area are 25 miles to the east.

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Here is someone who had the fortune of visiting Rock River Falls on a sunny day.

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