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Exploring the Underrated Sable Falls Near Pictured Rocks

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Sable Falls could just be the most underrated waterfall in the Upper Peninsula. Tahquamenon Falls gets all the glory, but Sable Falls is just as worthy of your time.

Some of that could be attributed to guide books warning people that the road to the falls is unpaved and bumpy. And while that used to be the case, now H-58 is fully paved from Munising to Grand Marais and Sable Falls is easily accessible by anything with two or more wheels! (Or one wheel, I guess, if you’re a hard-core unicyclist.)

Part of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, this spot is also one of the trailheads for the Grand Sable Dunes, so if your heart desired you could spend quite a bit of time here: At Sable Falls, hiking the trails, playing around on the beach…etc.

And because this area is a key point of interest, there are a few picnic tables scattered about a large grassy area and modern restrooms that sit just off the parking lot. The grassy area would be a good spot for kids (or over-caffeinated adults) to burn off some restless energy.

Just past the restrooms, you’ll find a sign that directs you to ether the Grand Sable (French for “big sand”) Dunes or Sable Falls. Make a right toward the falls and you’ll arrive at a few hundred wooden stairs just waiting to carry you down to your destination.

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Stepping down the stairs to the falls on a recent visit, my wife and I had the place to ourselves. The parking lot was empty when we arrived and as we approached the trailhead I could hear the Sable Creek crashing over three tiers of rock. The forest smelled like it does after heavy rain.

This was our first time to Sable Falls but I’d seen some absolutely beautiful pictures of the place, and it did not disappoint. We hung out at the bottom of the stairs for a while, gazed into the watery mist, then hiked back up and had a picnic lunch on one of the aforementioned picnic tables.

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To see more photos of Sable Falls, click here to access my Facebook page and then and then browse to the “Sable Falls” photo album. (You’ll need to “like” the page if you haven’t already)

Bottom line: Do you like cool waterfalls? Want to have a picnic? Need a bathroom break? This is a great stop for any or all of the above.

How to get there? Just south of Grand Marais on H-58, turn at the Sable Falls signs (It’s clearly marked) and follow the signs into a large parking lot. It’s only a mile or two in after you turn off H-58.

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