click on a WATERFALL to learn more

Great Conglomerate Falls

Potawatomi Falls

Gorge Falls

Sandstone Falls

Rainbow Falls


The Black River contains 5 amazing waterfalls as it near Lake Superior.  Clearly marked trailheads make it easy to find the falls.  Great Conglomerate Falls splits around a knob of conglomerate, the riverbed widening out as it falls down into the gorge.  Rails have been added to an outcropping that overlooks the falls, providing a wonderful viewing experiance!  As is often the case, trees are growing taller and obstructing the view.  There seems to be little care given to maintaining the viewing deck vistas.

Potawatomi Falls stands as the crowning jewel along the Black River.  It's grandeur is obvious.  There are a couple of viewing decks from which to see this waterfall.  As can be seen from the photos here, the volume of water greatly affects the look of the waterfall.  During dry conditions the right hand side of the waterfall dries up and the flow moves over to the far left side.  But in the spring, when spring melt is at its peak, the river bed fills up from one side to the other, creating a raging river that overwhelms even the protruding mass of conglomerate that typically stands out as a defining characteristic of Potawatomi Falls.

Gorge Falls is about 1/8 mile downstream from Potawatomi Falls.  A walkway connects the two waterfalls, with stairways and hand rails helping you navigate elevation changes.  I love these  waterfalls on the Black River!

Sandstone Falls is the one waterfall along the Black River that can be easily explored up close.  The trail to the waterfall deposits you at the river's edge.  There are interesting potholes, similar to those on the Presque Isle River.  Be careful to avoid falling into one.  Actually, this entire area is uneven.  Watch your footing and enjoy!

Rainbow Falls can have a rainbow visible when the sun is shining and the mist rises up from the sheer drop of the river into the gorge below.  It is difficult to view the waterfall easily from the viewing deck.  (The base of the deck can be seen in the upper right of the main picture above.)  I took this shot from the other side of the river.  That side is accessed via a footbridge at the harbor further down river and then hiking back to the waterfall.


of Michigan

Phil Stagg