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.
M-68 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.
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.
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.
You can even bring leashed dogs.
Best Time to Visit Ocqueoc Falls
The best time to visit Ocqueoc Falls depends on your reason for visiting.
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.
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.
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.
Groomed trails make cross-country skiing a joy during the snowy months.
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 otherinteresting 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
Who Should Visit Ocqueoc Falls?
The first universally accessible waterfall in the U.S. – so that people using wheelchairs will be able to fully experience the waterfall, too.
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.
Facilities at Ocqueoc Falls
Visitors will enjoy accessible picnic tables and grills at the falls overlook.
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.
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.
Where to Stay When Visiting Ocqueoc Falls
Ocqueoc Falls is located in Presque Isle County, on Ocqueoc Falls Road, near Millersburg.