|Distance||0.3 miles roundtrip|
|Best Seasons||Spring, Summer, Fall|
- One of the most spectacular waterfalls in the Upper Peninsula
- Amazing views from on top of an old railroad bridge
Agate Falls is a must stop for any trip to this part of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. This and nearby Bond Falls are two of the most impressive waterfalls in Michigan, and they're both so close you should see both in the same day. With a location right along the highway, this is a quick and easy adventure with a major scenic reward.
The paved trail starts by passing underneath the highway, then it opens up into the forest, as shown in the first picture below. Almost as soon as you started, you'll reach the viewpoint of the falls, shown in the second picture below. The trees block much of the falls, and unfortunately they're evergreens so coming during leaf off periods won't improve your view.
Neither the official Michigan Department of Natural Resources page linked at the bottom of this page nor the Ottawa National Forest page about Agate Falls mention rules about pets -- since nothing is said either way I would assume dogs are allowed, but it's probably best to keep them on leash. This is an excellent place for the whole family since it's a short, flat walk on a paved, designated accessible trail to view the falls; however, the trail down to the falls is much too steep for young children so I recommend staying on the paved trail with kids. The official page says the parking area and facilities are open from May to October, but I suspect you would be able to park here and at least hike the accessible portion of the trail during the winter (going all the way down to the falls would be slippery and dangerous when snow and ice is present). This is a fairly popular spot, but people don't linger long once they've seen the falls, so if you're patient you can have the place to yourself for a moment.
Agate Falls is located right off the south side of Michigan Highway 28 between Paynesville and Kenton. From the Ottawa National Forest Visitor Center in Watersmeet, take U.S. Highway 45 north. After about 15 miles, turn right on Himanka Hill. The road bends and changes name to Paynesville Road, then turn right on Shortcut Road. Turn right onto Michigan Highway 28 ahead, and the turnout for Agate Falls will soon be on your right.
Google Maps Directions
Parking, Fees, and Facilities
Parking is free! There are restrooms, a picnic area, and water available near the lot.