Meximine Falls

Ottawa National Forest, Michigan

Trip Date: Friday, August 10th, 2018
Last Updated: Monday, October 1st, 2018
By Ricky Holzer

Hike Information

Rating ★☆☆☆☆(1/5)
Overall Difficulty Easy
Navigation Difficulty     Easy
Distance 0.1 miles roundtrip
Time 15 minutes
Terrain Mostly flat
Best Seasons Spring, Summer, Fall
Family Friendly Yes
Dog Friendly Yes
Accessible No


Hike Summary

As someone who grew up in Arizona where water is scarce, even the tiniest of waterfalls are exciting to me. However, to anyone else who's lived near the Great Lakes for a big chunk of life, this waterfall will probably be a disappointment. The Forest Service even tries to hype this waterfall on their official page for it (linked at the bottom of the page), stating, "Depicted in the artist print "The Spirit of the Ottawa" by Roberta Barg this [sic] waterfalls is a must see." Unless you're looking for a free place to camp (Burned Dam Campground charges no fees since it is designated "primitive") or are trying to visit every single waterfall in the Upper Peninsula, you can probably skip this trip.

To reach Meximine Falls, follow the short trail to the river at the northwest corner of the campground. Once you reach the river, walk upstream until you reach the falls, as seen in the two pictures below.

The upper torrents of Meximine Falls

The upper torrents of Meximine Falls

The lower torrents of Meximine Falls

The lower torrents of Meximine Falls

The view upriver is also quite nice, as pictued below. I enjoyed sitting by the river and watching the sunset after I ate my dinner -- there's nothing like listing to the trickling water and enjoying the lack of cars, sirens, and thumping of upstairs neighbors before going to sleep in my tent.
Looking upstream from Meximine Falls

Looking upstream from Meximine Falls

While this isn't much of a hike, it's a great place to camp (and free!) if you don't mind using pit toilets and not having running water. So as a hike, I rate this place 1 out of 5, but as a place to sleep while listening to nature's white noise machine in a secluded spot with few other people, I would give it at least a 4 out of 5. Let me know what you think in the comments section below, and be sure to use #nocoastbestcoast on Twitter and Instagram!

Important Information

Generally National Forests are less restricting about pets, so you can most likely have your dog off leash on this trail and in the campground; whether or not that is a good idea depends on how your dog reacts to wildlife or how friendly they are with people. This is a perfectly wonderful place for kids as long as you watch them closely around the rushing water. You can visit here in the three warmer seasons, but driving here during the winter might be difficult or impossible in the heavy snow the Upper Peninsula is known for. This is a small campground and only a minor destination in itself (if that), so you will most likely be able to enjoy the falls by yourself.


From the Ottawa National Forest Visitor Center in Watersmeet, take U.S. Highway 45 north a short distance to Old US Highway 2 and turn right. Continue for about 6.5 miles, then turn left on Forest Road 4500 -- a well graded gravel road easily traveled in a sedan. In about a mile, turn left at the sign for Burned Dam Campground.

Google Maps Directions

Parking, Fees, and Facilities

Parking is free! If you aren't camping here, there's a small parking area near the pit toilets.

Nearby Hikes

The majestic Bond Falls from the accessible viewing platform
Bond Falls
Ottawa National Forest, Michigan
The beautifully cascading waters of Agate Falls
Agate Falls
Ottawa National Forest, Michigan
Cascade Falls is the final destination of this scenic hike
Cascade Falls Loop
Ottawa National Forest, Michigan
Boardwalks along the trail
Summit Peak and Mirror Lake Loop
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

External Links