Manido Falls – Presque Isle River, Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park
In a previous post we took a look at the stunning Manabezho Falls in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. Just above that 25-foot drop on the Presque Isle River sits Manido Falls, a wide waterfall that drops about 15 feet in total. Like Manabezho, Manido is named for an Ojibway spirit, one that means “spirit” or “ghost.” The waterflow here can vary greatly by season which means that sometimes the river here is more than 100 feet wide and roaring and other times it is just 50 feet wide and each drop is clearly defined.
Downed trees here show just how powerful the Presque Isle River can be, and while at low levels there is a chance to walk around and explore, at high levels it is best to use caution and not get too close. An observation deck near the top of the falls offers a great view of the river, including Nawadha Falls upstream near the ranger station:
In our visits we have found that spring and early summer are the best times to see the falls with high water levels, while the entire area is stunning in the fall and water levels are lower with a chance to explore on the rocks around the falls. Below are some pictures of the falls in high water as well as a glimpse at how big some of the potholes formed by the roaring water can get.
Below is a video from one of our visits, which also shows the river upstream to Nawadha Falls and the potholes below the falls.
Directions: From M-28 north of Wakefield, head north on CR-519 and follow it about 18 miles, crossing South Boundary Rd. and entering the park. Follow sings to the parking lot for the falls and hiking trails, off to the right past the day-hike lot (campground is off to the left). Trail begins on the east end of the parking lot and is well-signed and easy to follow. When the path splits, take a right to head down to Manido Falls.
Be prepared for: bugs, stairs and some steep hiking spots. Use caution near the water if you go beyond the trail.