Ocqueoc Falls is a Hidden Treasure: You Can’t Beat this Northern MI Waterfall Swimming Hole

ocqueoc falls waterfalls in lower michigan

The Only Place in Lower MI Where You Can Swim in a Waterfall

Swimming in a waterfall might seem like something you can only do in the tropics, but Michigan’s Lower Peninsula offers up one place you can have this incredible experience: Ocqueoc Falls.

Ocqueoc Falls

Millersburg, MI 49759

  • Facilities: Vault toilets. Bring hand sanitizer.

  • Stroller Friendly? Yes, access to the falls is wheelchair and stroller accessible.

  • Time of Year Accessible: Open year round.

  • Trail Difficulty: Moderate, with some hills.

OCQUEOC FALLS INFO

A Waterfall River You Can Play In

While Ocqueoc Falls is very small when it comes to waterfalls, it does offer water pouring over a limestone ledge into an inviting pool of water, just asking you to jump in.

ocqueoc falls swimming hole michigan

You can slide into the waist-deep water (on adults) and just enjoy the brisk water or cross the river, climb up, and jump off of the upper ledge of the fall.

Ocqueoc Falls

Hiking upstream from the waterfall to the old bridge is another fun way to enjoy this lower Michigan waterfall – just remember to bring water shoes or water sandals.

Ocqueoc Falls

You can even bring leashed dogs.

Ocqueoc Falls 4 1

Best Time to Visit Ocqueoc Falls

The best time to visit Ocqueoc Falls depends on your reason for visiting.

For Swimming:

If you want the place to yourself while you swim, you’re going to need to get up early.

Our first visit was on a Friday afternoon and it was crowded.

Ocqueoc Falls (5)

We took a few photos and decided to return the next morning – and had the falls to ourselves for a bit.

The trade-off? Cool morning temps plus cold waterfall water provided a brisk wakeup call that morning.

Ocqueoc Falls

For hiking or mountain biking:

Summer and fall are wonderful times to hike the trails at the falls. The fall colors are usually brilliant in early October. If it happens to be fish spawning season, you can see the salmon actually swim upstream, too.

Winter Sports:

Groomed trails make cross-country skiing a joy during the snowy months.

Ocqueoc Falls 4

How Did the Falls Get Here?

The Ocqueoc River in Michigan’s Presque Isle County runs over pre-glacial limestone bedrock as it flows to Lake Huron.

Throughout the years, the river has cut through the limestone, creating the 5-foot drop at Ocqueoc Falls, among other interesting natural features.

Limestone dissolves more readily than most types of rocks, making it great for forming not only waterfalls, but also cool things like sinkholes, caves, and disappearing streams that go underground and reappear some distance later.

What to Bring to Ocqueoc Falls

  • A state park annual or daily vehicle pass is required
  • Water shoes
  • goggles
  • towels
  • sunscreen
  • picnic/beverages
  • hand sanitizer
  • life jackets

Waterfalls in lower michigan

Who Should Visit Ocqueoc Falls?

Everyone!

The first universally accessible waterfall in the U.S. – so that people using wheelchairs will be able to fully experience the waterfall, too.

Ocqueoc Falls

There are three different ways to get down to the river. There’s a ramped pathway leading to the river, small steps, or larger steps for people to choose from.

Ocqueoc Falls

Facilities at Ocqueoc Falls

Visitors will enjoy accessible picnic tables and grills at the falls overlook.

Ocqueoc Falls grills and picnic tables

Hiking & Mountain Bike at Ocqueoc Falls

If you’re up for more than just swimming, the Bicentennial Pathway trailhead is right by the falls.

Park in the lot for the falls (pay the parking fee) and then follow the map below to start your hike or mountain bike ride. We recommend doing the outer ridge section first and then returning along the river. Choose your own trail length by adding on more loops if you’d like.

The loop nearest the falls is the most scenic.

Ocqueoc Falls Bicentennial Pathway Trail Map

If you’re mountain biking, expect an easy-to-intermediate level ride over a hard-packed trail through hardwoods and pines.

The trail is a mix of singletrack and two-tracks.Ocqueoc Falls hiking

Where to Stay When Visiting Ocqueoc Falls

Ocqueoc Falls is located in Presque Isle County, on Ocqueoc Falls Road, near Millersburg.

The Ocqueoc Falls State Forest Campground is just across the road.

The rustic, wooded campground offers no reservations – 15 tent/small trailer sites available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Vault toilets and potable water from a well-hand pump are available.

The campground is known for good steelhead and trout fishing.

Nearby Hotels, Motels, Inns & Resorts

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How to Get to Ocqueoc Falls

The falls are located in Presque Isle County, just 12 miles west of Rogers City via M-68.

Most GPS systems will let you type in “Ocqueoc Falls” and lead you there.

Ocqueoc Falls

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