Wisconsin Waterfalls

March 10, 2023

waterfalls in Wisconsin

The state of Wisconsin is home to a number of gorgeous waterfalls. Whether you’re looking for a day trip or a weekend getaway, there’s something for everyone!

The 165-foot-tall Big Manitou Falls is one of the highest waterfalls in Wisconsin, cascading from the Black River. It’s found in Pattison State Park, which also features a nature center and hiking trails.

Big Manitou Falls

The 165-foot Big Manitou Falls in Pattison State Park is Wisconsin's tallest waterfall and the fourth highest east of the Rocky Mountains. It is a popular destination for water activities, including paddle boating on Interfalls Lake and fishing on the Black River.

The park's 1,400 acres also include a lake with a beach, nature programs and guided hikes, camping, scenic hiking trails, and abundant wildlife. It is located about three hours from both Superior, Wisconsin, and Duluth, Minnesota.

In 1917, a lumberman named Martin Pattison learned about a plan to build a power dam on the Black River that would have destroyed Big Manitou Falls. To prevent this, Pattison secretly purchased 660 acres along the river and donated it to the state in 1918.

With his act, the waterfall that had attracted people for thousands of years was preserved and now attracts visitors from all over the world. As a testament to his generosity, Big Manitou Falls was dedicated as the state's sixth state park in 1920.

Upson Falls

Located in the northwoods region of Wisconsin known as Iron County, Upson Falls is one of the most stunning and dramatic waterfalls in the state. This 50-foot wide falls cascades down mossy rocks and is a sight that is truly unique.

Upson Falls is situated close to the small town of Upson and can be accessed by visiting the Upson Falls Campground. The area's climate is described as humid continental, which merely implies that it has a snowy winter and a warm summer.

The trail to the falls begins at the parking lot, by the white pavilion and follows along the river's edge. There is also an observation deck that provides a further view of the falls.

Houghton Falls

Houghton Falls protects a picturesque pre-Cambrian sandstone gorge along the Lake Superior shore. It is a popular stop for hikers and birdwatchers.

This 76-acre preserve includes several trails that meander through forests, creeks and wetlands. It is also home to Houghton Falls, a waterfall that cascades into an old millpond and a scenic glen.

The area was once owned by the town of Bayfield but it is now a State Natural Area. It is an excellent destination for nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers, as well as a great spot for a picnic.

The falls flow seasonally, but the dells area and sandstone gorge are still worth visiting any time of year. The spring and after a good rain are the best times to visit this low-flow falls, but even if there isn’t water you can enjoy the view of the sandstone cliffs.

Long Slide Falls

Long Slide Falls is one of the most picturesque waterfalls in northeastern Wisconsin. Its 50-foot scenic slide cascades among rugged rock formations and can be viewed from many vantage points.

Located a few miles north of Pembine, Long Slide Falls is the highest waterfall in the Lake Michigan Watershed. It’s a must-visit attraction for those who love hiking and exploring.

It’s also one of the best places to see waterfalls in spring, when the water is at its most gushing. It also has different views for each season, with winter providing a 'frozen in time' feel and spring offering powerful gushes.

Visiting this spectacular waterfall is easy, as it’s just a short drive from Pembine. Park at the paved parking area and then take a short walk to the falls.


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