Spray Falls – Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Spray Falls is one of the most stunning waterfalls in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Spray Creek plunges 70 feet over a cliff into Lake Superior, creating amazing views. While this may be one of the county’s most powerful and beautiful falls, it is also one of the more difficult ones to view. It is best viewed from the water on a Pictured Rocks Boat Cruise trip or from a kayak, but is also possible to get to it by hiking a few miles.
The view from the water shows how wide the waterfall is at its crest, which is harder to see from the Lakeshore Trail hiking lookout. Depending on water flow the creek can be 10-20 feet wide before it drops over the cliff. Pictured Rocks Boat Cruises offers an extended trip each day that makes it out to Spray Falls before turning back, find out more by checking out the “Spray Falls Cruise” option at http://www.picturedrocks.com/fares-schedule/. Uncle Ducky Outdoors offers a paddling trip that goes to the falls, head to http://www.paddlingmichigan.com/plan-a-trip/sea-kayaking/ and check out the “Paddle and Hike” option.
If you want to see this waterfall from the hiking trail, there are two different options. Spray Falls is about two miles away from Chapel Beach, and Chapel Beach is reached after a three mile hike from the Chapel/Mosquito Area parking lot (20 miles northeast of Munising). The most direct option is to park at the Little Beaver Lake parking area (22 miles northeast of Munising) and hike 2.5 miles to the falls. That trip involves taking the trail around Little Beaver Lake and to Lake Superior (about 1.5 miles) then heading west until you reach the sign for the overlook for Spray Falls (about another mile).
At the overlook, you are still about 1/4 mile away from the falls, so you can continue on and get the view from directly above if you want to. The trail along the lakeshore features steep drops, so use caution and always watch where you are going. Some pictures from the hike are shown below, and you can also check out our Photo Gallery Friday: Hiking to Spray Falls post for more.
Spray Falls is best viewed in the spring or after heavy rain. Water flow can be minimal in the summer months, but in the spring snowmelt runoff this is an incredible sight to take in. The 1856 shipwreck “Superior” lies at the base of the falls in 20 feet of water.