Black River Waterfalls

General Info

Just a few miles north of Bessemer, Michigan, the Black River flows toward Lake Superior. In the process, the river produces five stunning waterfalls, with five separate waterfall-viewing areas. You can travel the Black River National Scenic Byway (County Road 513), and have easy access to the waterfalls.

Several short trails just off the road lead to the falls, as well as beautiful fields of wildflowers and sandstone rock formations. In the winter, you can also view the falls, although snowshoes are typically required. And, in the spring, there are opportunities for whitewater kayaking.

Five Falls

Great Conglomerate Falls is a large, well-marked waterfall that splits over a conglomerate rock formation. It's less than a mile hike from a nearby Scenic Byway parking lot.

Potawatomi Falls, a 30-foot cascading waterfall, is considered my many to be one of the most beautiful waterfalls on the Black River. It's well-marked and has a restroom, nearby. The trail to Potawatomi Falls is only an eighth of a mile long, making access to the falls very easy.

Gorge Falls is accessible from the same parking lot as Potawatomi Falls, and is also about an eighth a mile from the lot. Gorge Falls runs through a narrow passage in the rock and drops about 34 feet into a large pool of water.

The next waterfall is Sandstone Falls. Although it's only a 15-foot drop, you can climb right next to it from the adjacent river banks. It has a unique appearance caused by a variety or rock slabs. It can be accessed via a well-marked quarter-mile trail.

Rainbow Falls, the last of the waterfalls along the Black River, is also the largest of the falls. With a 30-foot drop, it offers a spectacular scene that can be viewed from both sides of the river. A half-mile trail, with many stairs, leads to the falls.


To get to Black River Waterfalls...
1. Get on Highway US 2 in Bessemer.
2. From Highway US 3, take Powderhorn Road North.
3. At the "T" in the road at the stop sign, take a left on Black River Road.
4. The waterfalls run for 14 miles, along Black River Road, ending at Black River Harbor.