Hike-in Required
No
Open Year-round
Yes
ADA accessible
No
Guided tours
No
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Potawatomi Falls is one of five waterfalls on the Black River in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. All five of these waterfalls are within the Black River Harbor Recreation Area in the Ottawa National Forest north of Bessemer. A map of the Black River Harbor Recreation Area can be found here. The North Country Trail passes by all five waterfalls. Potawatomi Falls is the second farthest away for the mouth of the river. The parking area for Potawatomi Falls is located off the Black River Scenic Byway (CR 513) about 14 miles north of Bessemer. Look for the Potawatomi/Gorge Falls entrance sign. The parking lot for Potawatomi Falls is adjacent to the lot for Gorge Falls. A vault toilet is located near this lot.

From the parking lot it is a 600-foot hike on a wide dirt path to Potawatomi Falls. There is a set of stairs that lead to the viewing area for this waterfall. The view of the waterfall is partially obscured by a tree.  Potawatomi Falls has a 30-foot drop and the river is 130 feet wide here. Potawatomi Falls has a similar look to that of Great Conglomerate Falls which is located upstream. The water of the Black River flows over a dome of conglomerate rock here. The rock causes the water to split as it flows downstream. The split is not an even one, most of the water flows over the opposite side of the river (the eastern side) from the viewing area.

After viewing Potawatomi Falls, visitors can follow the North Country Trail downstream to Gorge Falls and then back to the parking lot to create a loop.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Pros

Easy access to waterfall.

Cons

The view of the waterfall is partially obscured by a tree.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Features

Vault toilet
Waterfalls
Family friendly

Location

Nearby Adventures

Black River Harbor Recreation Area, Michigan
Western Upper Peninsula, Michigan

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, Michigan

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