Surprisingly, there are TONS of amazing waterfalls in northern Wisconsin. I put together, and recently completed a tour of as many waterfalls as I could possibly see within 3 days.
Here’s the route:
Tip: Even though your phone GPS should work for you most the way…we kept losing service and were very happy that we had all the directions hand written as well.
Here are the details:
Milwaukee -> Big Manitou Falls | Travel time 5h 45m
We left Milwaukee around 7 am. Big Manitou falls is located within Pattison State Park in Superior, WI. It is the largest waterfall in Wisconsin, at 165 feet! You park across the street from the waterfall, and there are trails leading to the left, and right. I suggest you go down both, to all of the lookout points. There is also a swimming area here that you can hangout at.
Big Manitou Falls -> Duluth, MN | Travel Time 30m
We drove up to Duluth, MN just to get supplies (firewood, food, etc) for camping later that night. Naturally, we ended up exploring a bit.
Duluth, MN -> Amnicon Falls, WI | Travel Time 30m
By the time we got to Amnicon Falls, it was about 6 pm. That is where we camped for the night, so we quickly set up our tent, and went to explore the waterfalls – all 9 of them. We camped at site 21, it wasn’t very secluded. The best-looking (secluded sites) were 16, 17, 22, and 36.
There are a lot more waterfalls here not pictured…I’ll leave you some surprise.
The next morning we woke up and left the site by 8 am. It’s a good idea to leave that early to ensure you have enough time to see all the waterfalls ahead.
Amnicon Falls -> Morgan Falls (St. Peter’s Dome Natural St. Area) | Travel Time 1h 15m
We got to Morgan Falls around 9:30 am and were the only people there. The trail splits at a point where you can head to Morgan Falls or St. Peter’s Dome. We only made it to the waterfall because it started down-pouring. The waterfall was SO gorgeous! WEAR BUGSPRAY.
Morgan Falls -> Copper Falls State Park | Travel Time 30m
If you don’t hand write the directions to/from Morgan Falls, you’ll probably regret it. I couldn’t get my phone to work at all…and there are gravel roads in every direction for awhile. Just go out the way you came in.
Copper Falls State Park is pretty big, it has 2 waterfalls (Copper Falls and Brownstone Falls) and a cool observation tower. There is food/drinks for sale here too. There are trails going in a loop around the falls, it will take about 45 minutes and I suggest you explore the whole thing.
Copper Falls -> Potato River Falls | Travel Time 26m
Here there are 3 trail heads. We took the one called “Lower Falls” and walked our way up through the trails to get to the Upper Falls.
Potato River Falls -> Superior Falls | Travel Time 20m
Since Superior Falls is so close to Lake Superior, we stopped at the lake for the gorgeous view!
You actually have to enter Michigan to get to Superior Falls, but it’s just down the road from the lake.
Superior Falls -> Saxon Falls | Travel Time 10m
Saxon falls was made up of a dam, with a small waterfall coming from it. There are boardwalks on top of water pipes that lead you to the main falls. The hike in will take you about 10 minutes. So beautiful!
Saxon Falls -> Peterson/Interstate Falls, MI | Travel Time 23m
We camped that night in Upper MI. If you don’t plan to go up there for any reason, I would skip this waterfall. It’s the smallest of all the ones we saw, and just happened to be right on the way to our destination.
Peterson Falls, MI -> Bond Falls, MI | Travel Time 1h 20m
It seems that us Milwaukee folks rarely make it up to the north border of our state, let alone enter Upper Michigan. I’m not sure why, because it is the most stunning part of our state. The beauty only intensifies once you enter Michigan.
We camped at Bond Falls, and arrived around 7 pm. It was a long, exhausting day in the sun. If you are going to skip waterfalls to save yourself some energy, I would skip Superior Falls, and Peterson Falls, as mentioned before. The campsites at Bond Falls are around the outside of a lake. There are the “east” and “west” sites…The west sites are much more community like, yet are big and still pretty secluded. The east sites are where it’s at. Your site is right on the shore of the lake, and very secluded. We camped at East 21/22, and it was paradise.
We got up in the morning, made breakfast over the fire, and headed to check out Bond Falls (which is right down the road). Since the campsites are free here, they make you pay $9 (per group) to enter the falls.
After this we headed back down into Wisconsin for our final stop.
Bond Falls, MI -> Long Slide Falls, WI | Travel Time 2h
Long Slide Falls may have been my favorite of all the falls. The dark rocks and bright green moss are so breathtaking. It’s also massive, and super hard to capture its size in pictures. Plus, we were the only people there. You’re supposed to pay $3 to see this one. We paid, but there’s no one there collecting it.
On the way out, we noticed a sign for Smalley Falls. Of course we had to check it out. These falls were a miniature version of Long Slide, and were very mystical looking with the fog.
Long Slide Falls/Smalley Falls -> Milwaukee | Travel Time 3h 15m
There you have it friends, the ultimate Wisconsin waterfall roadtrip!
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