Fall In Love
See Wisconsin’s finest falls.
Experience Wisconsin’s biggest waterfall and the smaller ones you’ll fall head over heels for. For easy access and startling views, start a scenic tour here.
Most of Wisconsin’s 100 waterfalls, and the most dramatic, are found up north for a good reason. There’s a higher elevation near the great Lake Superior, which got its name on account of being literally above the rest!
Some call it the Midwest’s Niagara Falls because it’s nearly as tall. But the name Manitou comes from Native Americans who heard the voice of the Great Spirit in the roaring of the falls — calling it “Gitchee Manitou.” At 165 feet high, Big Manitou Falls in Pattison State Park offers plenty to gush about.
The highest waterfall in Wisconsin and the fourth highest east of the Rocky Mountains, Big Manitou plunges down the ancient rocky slopes of the unique Black River gorge.
Accessible trails from nearby parking lots lead to viewing platforms on both sides of the gorge. For a little more adventure, take trails further down to the river. No matter the season, this is a must-stop for waterfall lovers. The 1,400-acre Pattison State Park also has a lake with a beach, a nature center, camping and scenic hiking trails.
Find it: 12 miles south of Superior on Hwy 35 in Pattison State Park.
Little Manitou Falls
Small and superb.
Like the big falls downstream, Little Manitou Falls is located in Pattison State Park, where nature lovers come for year-round experiences like camping, hiking, beach fun and more. Unlike the big falls, you can get right up close to the 30-foot-tall Little Manitou Falls by taking a 1.5 mile hike along a forest trail.
Named one of Wisconsin’s most treasured state parks, Amnicon Falls State Park is a four-season spot to picnic, camp, hike and even take a summer dip in or near some of the meandering falls. And waterfalling is the main attraction.
Here, you can easily view idyllic waterfalls and rapids along the Amnicon River from a famous, covered footbridge and nearby trails. And it’s just a short drive from Superior.
The scenic park features four named waterfalls on the Amnicon River: Upper Falls, Lower Falls, Snake Pit Falls, and Now and Then Falls
Plus, explorers can find several unnamed waterfalls and a stretch of roaring rapids. With so much, so close, within easy hiking distance, Amnicon is widely considered one of the most accessible waterfall areas in the Midwest.
Find it: 10 miles east of Superior in Amnicon Falls State Park
Upper Falls & Lower Falls
The main attractions, these falls occur where the river’s main channel rumbles over a pair of 20-foot high cascades, one after the other, with the lower ending in a sandstone canyon surrounded by pines.
Snake Pit Falls
More intimate, these falls occur where a small branch forks from the Amnicon River and flows over two narrow ledges into a narrow rocky gorge. It’s the highest waterfall in the park, but gets less flow than the Upper Falls.
Now And Then FAlls
The smallest of the falls, it’s formed as a small branch of the Amnicon River that only flows when river levels are high.
While not technically a waterfall, this rapids section of the Brule River offers a taste of the rugged north woods that travelers have experienced for hundreds of years. Travel by canoe or kayak to find it more readily than on foot.
Whether you’re exploring the wider region or doing a full blown Lake Superior Circle Tour or waterfalling tour, this is the place for waterfall lovers. Journey east in northern Wisconsin or cross the bridge and head up the North Shore of Minnesota for more.