Wagner Falls

Munising / Alger County, Michigan, USA

Rating: 1     Difficulty: 1.5
Wagner Falls

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Wagner Falls was a small 20ft multi-tiered waterfall that was pretty convenient for us to visit. It was just outside the town limits of Munising, and we only needed to walk on a short trail and boardwalk to a lookout yielding the photo you see at the top of this page. So given its convenience factor as well as its dimunitive size, we saved this waterfall for last, which was at the end of a series of waterfalling excursions in and around Munising at the end of a very long day of binge waterfalling (especially after all Pictured Rocks Cruises were cancelled on that day due to high winds so we actually had the time to do most of the worthwhile waterfalls).

Our visit was in the Autumn and given the somewhat light but graceful flow, it seemed like the falls might be seasonal to the extent that it would flow throughout Spring and Summer, then diminish unless it would get replenished by Summer thunderstorms. That said, there are plenty of photos in the literature (including ours) with fall colors juxtaposed with the falls having satisfactory flow so it might typically have more reliable flow than I'm giving it credit for. I believe that we might have benefitted from some rain storms in the weeks prior to our arrival, which resulted in the flow that you see in the photos on this page.

The short excursion only took us 20 minutes total, including the walking and picture-taking. Perhaps the greater challenge to this excursion would be to try to both enjoy the falls while not disturbing the tripod-wielding photographers who pretty much dominated most of the limited real-estate at the lookout at the end of the trail. Indeed, this waterfall seemed to be very popular with photographers thanks to its graceful strandy characteristic (i.e. the kind that Julie tended to say would have "character").

Finally, I noticed that sometimes this waterfall would also be referred to as Wagner's Falls or Wagners Falls. I didn't know who this Wagner was, but he must've been important enough to have a waterfall and creek named after him.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Munising Falls was one of our diversions resulting from the cancellation of all Pictured Rocks cruises on the day of our arrival. However, attractions like Miner's Castle were pumping blowholesMunising Falls was one of our diversions resulting from the cancellation of all Pictured Rocks cruises on the day of our arrival. However, attractions like Miner's Castle were pumping blowholes
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore was the main attraction of Munising. Cruises that tour the colorful cliffs and arches (as well as some historical buildings) leave from the town's docksPictured Rocks National Lakeshore was the main attraction of Munising. Cruises that tour the colorful cliffs and arches (as well as some historical buildings) leave from the town's docks
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore was pretty much all about the cliffs. Munising was an excellent base for touring the Pictured RocksPictured Rocks National Lakeshore was pretty much all about the cliffs. Munising was an excellent base for touring the Pictured Rocks
The roadside pullouts and trailhead for the Wagner Falls Scenic SiteThe roadside pullouts and trailhead for the Wagner Falls Scenic Site

The well-developed and very easy short trail to Wagner FallsThe well-developed and very easy short trail to the falls

The easy trail then became boardwalk as it started to skirt Wagner CreekThe easy trail then became boardwalk as it started to skirt Wagner Creek

Starting to see parts of Wagner Falls further up the boardwalkStarting to see parts of the falls further up the boardwalk

Approaching the end of the boardwalk where there were a couple of photographers with tripods occupying the lookout of Wagner FallsApproaching the end of the boardwalk where there were a couple of photographers with tripods occupying the lookout of the falls

While trying not to disturb those photographers with the tripods, I took this photo from a little further down the boardwalkWhile trying not to disturb those photographers with the tripods, I took this photo from a little further down the boardwalk

Last look at Wagner Falls before going back to the carLast look at the falls before going back to the car

Back at the roadside car park and trailheadBack at the roadside car park and trailhead


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


left to right sweep from the main overlook of the stream and waterfall before walking down the boardwalk to show the context of the overlook itself


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

Wagner Falls was part of the Wagner Falls Scenic Site, which was just south of the town limits of Munising. From downtown Munising, we took the Hwy 28 south for about a mile to its junction with Route 94. We noted that Alger Falls was right off the road by this junction on the east side (left side facing south) of Hwy 28. That waterfall was barely flowing so we didn't bother stopping for that dimunitive 10-15ft falls.

Anyways, we turned right onto Route 94 then drove for about 0.3 miles to the signposted pullouts for the trailhead. There was parking on both sides of the road, but the trail began on the south side of Hwy 94. So if you happened to be parked on the north side of the road, you would have to patiently and carefully cross the busy highway to start the hike, which might not be easy to do given how many vehicles there are and how fast they're moving. Anyways, this drive took us 5-10 minutes.

For directions on getting to Munising, see the Munising Falls page. For reference, the town of Munising was about 100 miles (2 hours) west of Paradise, Michigan, and 44 miles (under 1 hour) east of Marquette, Michigan.

Marquette was 146 miles (under 3 hours drive) east of Ironwood, 168 miles (over 3 hours drive) northwest of Mackinaw City, 392 miles (over 6.5 hours drive) northeast of Minneapolis, Minnesota, 382 miles (over 6 hours drive) north of Chicago, Illinois (via Green Bay, Wisconsin), and 455 miles (7 hours drive) northwest of Detroit, Michigan.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES




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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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RELATED PAGES



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