Deer Lake Dam Falls on Carp River

dam overflow spilling over a natural waterfall

Looking up at the overflow of the dam
  • Blue water of Deer Lake
  • Small island on the blue waters
  • First half of the cement dam
  • Eastern half of the dam all gated up
  • Larger dam and small distant falls
  • Looking up at the overflow of the dam
  • Close view of the lower drops
  • Looking back down on the dam
  • Access road for the dam

More impressive than most 'dam' waterfalls, Deer Lake Dam Falls is a small cascade over dark volcanic rocks just below the smooth overflow chute of the dam. Probably the remains of the natural waterfall, a cement wall is now built on top of the solid rocks and spills down on the old drop. This waterfall is hard to reach and is one of the larger drops on the upper reaches of Carp River.


Follow County Road 573 (Deer Lake Road) north from US-41 in Ishpeming. After 4.3 winding miles park at the boat launch on the right side of the road. Head east along the shoreline, following any hints of a path that you can find, keeping the shoreline in sight. A tough 1.5 mile hike will bring you to the dam. The falls are off the far side, just below the gated cement wall.

There is a road that leads to the dam but it passes through private property. The route from the boat launch may also be on private property - if there are signs or you are concerned, you can try hiking in from the Al Quaal trails on the north side of Ishpeming.

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