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Black River National Scenic By-Way Waterfalls

Black River National Forest Scenic Byway

Known for its wilderness of old growth pine, hemlock, & hardwood trees, the Ottawa National Forest is home to one of the most breathtaking rivers in North America. The Black River rushes along part of the North Country Trail, the longest hiking path in America’s National Trails System, and features five majestic waterfalls that cascade into Lake Superior’s Black River Harbor recreation area.

Guides & Maps Find Your North Waterfall Guide

  1. Great Conglomerate – This waterfall is the first of the five and is named for the large piece of conglomerate rock that divides the two segments. The trail is about 3/4 mile and includes stairs and observation platform.
  2. Potawatomi Falls – Upstream from Gorge Falls and is reached by the same parking lot. The trail is approximately 1/8 miles long with some stairs and observation platform.
  3. Gorge Falls – Named for its deep, narrow gorge above and below the falls, this waterfall is next to Potawatomi Falls and is accessed through the same parking lot. Trail is Approximately 1/8 miles long with a fair amount of stairs and observation platform.
  4. Sandstone Falls – The smallest of the waterfalls, this waterfall drops off rock slabs giving it a unique appearance. The trail is approximately 1/4 mile.
  5. Rainbow Falls – The final waterfall on the Black River before it enters Lake Superior. An impressive waterfall that can be viewed on either side. Access the trail from Black River Road. The trail is approximately 1/2 mile with stairs and an observation platform. Or park at Black River Harbor, walk across the suspension bridge to the trailhead. Approximately 3/4 mile with stairs. This hike is a little more strenuous and cation is needed when standing near the waterfall as rock are slippery when wet and no barrier.

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