Eagle River Falls – A Roadside Waterfall and Two Historic Bridges in Michigan’s Keweenaw County
One of the best things about the waterfalls in Michigan’s Keweenaw County is that most of them are easily accessible. A handful of these falls are right alongside M-26 or other roads, and one of the easiest to visit is Eagle River Falls in Eagle River. You can see the falls from your car as you drive over the bridge that crosses the deep river gorge, or you can park in the small lot on the north end of the bridge and walk out onto the pedestrian bridge for a better view.
The pedestrian bridge is actually the former highway bridge, constructed in 1915 and made of steel. It is a 136 foot long and 17 foot wide Warren deck truss bridge, and was converted to pedestrian use in 1990 when the timber bridge (M-26) seen below was completed. A historical marker near the parking area provides further history of the town of Eagle River and the first bridge.
The timber bridge is a wooden arch bridge that is 152 feet long and 35 feet wide. It is 50 feet tall and has two arches: one covers 74 feet while the other covers 79 feet. On average, fewer than 900 cars pass over it each day.
Now that we’ve covered the history of bridges by the falls, let’s take another look at this stunning drop. A dam has reduced this waterfall from what it once was, but it still checks in with a drop of about 40 feet and a seasonal width of anywhere from 10 to 100 feet. Water flow here can vary a lot by season, as you can see in the three dated photos above. This is definitely a spot you want to check out in the spring or after a heavy rain if at all possible.
Directions: The parking area is near the intersection of M-26 and 4th St., just after crossing the river on your way north or just before crossing it on your way south.