Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wednesday Waterfall: Scott Falls

Scott Falls is only about 20 feet from the side of M-28 just west of Munising, one of the busiest roads in the Upper Peninsula. It’s so close you can actually pull up, roll down your window and snap a photo from your vehicle. Like black bears munching blue berries in the ditch and the handmade signs for pasties and smoked fish, Scott Falls is one of those precious roadside attractions that makes any trip to the U.P. memorable.

Compared to its brash, crashing cousins nearby, Scott Falls is a dainty maiden traipsing through a fairy tale landscape of thigh-high thimbleberry. The demure trickle drops about 10 feet over a sandstone lip, splashing into a shallow circular pool before running a few hundred feet into Lake Superior.

While the falls is beautiful, the best part is the cave behind it. That’s right, a real cave. Now, it’s instinctual to think “cave=creepy,” but really, this is “cave=cool.” Wade around the edge of the pool and slip behind the falls and into the sand-floored cavern with moss-covered walls. This is the kind of place where garden gnomes are born and raised. Yea, it's a U.P. gnome nursery.

Location: About 10 miles west of Munising on M-28, immediately across the highway from the MDOT Rathfoot Roadside Park.

Bonus: One more mile west is AuTrain Beach, one of Lake Superior’s warmest, and sleepiest sand beaches.

Aaron Peterson is a photographer and writer based near Marquette and Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  For more of his work visit

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