Wagner Falls

Munising, Michigan, USA

Static Google Map of Wagner Falls

About Wagner Falls


Hiking Distance: 0.3 miles round trip
Suggested Time: 20 minutes

Date first visited: 2015-09-29
Date last visited: 2015-09-29

Waterfall Latitude: 46.38794
Waterfall Longitude: -86.64704

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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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.

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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Tagged with: munising, pictured rocks, national lakeshore, alger county, marquette, michigan, waterfall, lake superior, upper peninsula, up, great lakes, scenic site

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