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

ocqueoc falls michigan waterfall

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 free experience: Ocqueoc Falls MI.

Before you grab your suit and jump in the car, there are a few things you need to know.

ocqueoc falls michigan swimming hole

Here’s the scoop on swimming in Michigan’s waterfall:

How do you pronounce Ocqueoc?

This is a tricky one. You pronounce it AH-key-ock. (Were you close?)

Are Ocqueoc Falls Accessible?

Yes, access to the falls is wheelchair and stroller accessible.

How many waterfalls are there in Lower Michigan?

Just one! While the Upper Peninsula is loaded with waterfalls, Ocqueoc Falls are the only falls in lower Michigan that you can visit.

Ocqueoc Falls At a Glance

Ocqueoc Falls MI
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.

Ocqueoc Falls Michigan: Waterfalls in lower michigan
Ocqueoc Falls Michigan

Trail Difficulty: Moderate, with some hills.

Camping: Yes, Rustic camping in State Forest.

Interesting Facts About the Falls

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

Ocqueoc Falls Michigan

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

ocqueoc falls michigan waterfall

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.

The Place of the Crooked River

The name Ocqueoc means “sacred” in the language of the Anishinabe, Native Americans who were the first people to live on this land. The area around Ocqueoc was used as a sacred meeting place.

Take a moment to learn what this place has meant to people throughout history.

Things to Do at Ocqueoc Falls MI

Yes, you can swim in this Presque Isle County waterfall – and you can fish, camp, hike, bike and more!

Ocqueoc Falls Michigan things to do

Play in the River & Waterfall

Ocqueoc Falls might be small as far as waterfalls are concerned but its allure is big.

Ocqueoc Falls

Water cascading over limestone ledges invites visitors to jump in and cool off, for starters.

Ocqueoc Falls Swimming

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.

The Best Time to Swim at Ocqueoc Falls

June, July, August and September offer reasonable swimming water temps – most of the time.

Ocqueoc Falls Swimming (1)

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.

Ocqueoc Falls

The trade-off?

Cool temps plus cold waterfall water provided a brisk wakeup call that morning.

Bike or Hike the Ocqueoc Falls Bicentennial Pathway

If you’re up for another type of adventure, the Ocqueoc Falls Bicentennial Pathway is here for you.

With four loops of 3 to 6 miles, it’s great for hiking and mountain biking.

Ocqueoc Falls Bicentennial Pathway

Get a glimpse of an old mill, fish at the State Forest Campground or enjoy the views from the short, scenic first pathway.

Ocqueoc Falls Bicentennial Pathway


What to Bring?

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

What facilities are available?

Enjoy accessible picnic tables and grills at the falls overlook when you visit.

A terraced rock wall doubles as seating for waterfall watchers.

ocqueoc falls seating area

Restrooms are vault toilets.

Who Should Visit Ocqueoc Falls?

Everyone! These are the first universally accessible waterfall in the U.S. – so that people using wheelchairs are able to fully experience the waterfall, too.

Ocqueoc Falls MI

How do wheelchair users access the water?

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.

splashing around in ocqueoc falls michigan

Where to Stay When Visiting Ocqueoc Falls

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

Ocqueoc Falls State Forest Campground

The rustic, wooded campground doesn’t take reservations – the 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.


Backpacking (dispersed camping) is allowed along the Ocqueoc Falls Bicentennial Pathway, as long as you are one mile away from Ocqueoc Falls state forest campground.

Backpacking is free of charge.

Michigan Backpacking photo from Michigan DNR

Backpacking Registration Card

Vacation Rentals Near Ocqueoc Falls Michigan

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How to Get to Ocqueoc Falls

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

It’s 12 miles west of Rogers City via M-68 and 40 miles from Rockport State Park (Alpena).

map of Ocqueoc Falls MI

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

About The Author

1 thought on “Ocqueoc Falls MI is a Hidden Treasure: You Can’t Beat this Up North Waterfall Swimming Hole”

  1. I live 5 miles from here. Please tell people if the parking lot is full and you park on the shoulder get all the way OFF THE ROAD. The bridge just to the west of the entrance is narrow and the road is a legal truck route. I have nearly taken off a few doors or come quite close to hitting a car rolling east in a log truck. And pick your trash please. Enjoy the falls enjoy the area just respect it. From the south I75 north to m-68 head east to s. Ocqueoc rd north a few miles right on Ocqueoc falls rd.

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