Mulligan Falls on Mulligan Creek

long series of chutes and plunges along a wild, remote creek

Mulligan Falls
  • Mulligan Falls
  • Calm beaver pool along the creek
  • Woods near Mulligan Creek
  • Tiny chute emptying into a deep pool
  • Fall colors around the rapids
  • Second set of falls
  • Stacked narrow chutes
  • Large, rocky upstream pool
  • Bright yellow paths
  • Shaky bridge over Mulligan Creek
  • Overfull gushing chute
  • Drowned Mulligan Falls

Mulligan Creek flows down from some highland swamps to the north end of Mulligan Plains over a long chain of small drops nestled in a dramatic, overgrown canyon. There are at least three sets here, each one containing multiple chutes and plunges and ending in a deep pool, surrounded by hard rock outcroppings. Tall cedars and pines surround the falls and create an incredibly scenic area.


Mulligan Plains is a remote yet not terribly difficult area to reach. From Ishpeming head north on County Road 573, turning off of US-41 near the ski museum, and taking the paved road through the town (bearing left at the fork near the cemetery), around the winding Deer Lake, and keeping on the left fork at the multiple forks that lead up to the south shore of Dead River Storage Basin. 15 miles from US-41 there will be a bridge over the Dead River and a two-track leading left - take this off the main road.

Follow this winding road over Mulligan Creek for 1.1 miles before turning right at a wide sandy track that sneaks up, hidden by the thick pines. This track heads along the west side of Mulligan Plains. Keep on it for about 3 miles until there is a small parking pull of on the left side big enough for four vehicles or so. The road kinda continues, fording the Mulligan through a deep, sandy area that will probably swallow most vehicles. Park on the pull off.

There are two paths. The easier path involves crossing the creek here over the wobbly ATV bridge and following the track for .4 miles before it starts to veer right away from Mulligan Creek. Cut off the track and follow the north bank for another .4 miles to view the falls, passing by a small hunting camp on the way. A tougher route that avoids the cabin would just stick to the south bank by the parking area, pushing through the thick undergrowth along the creek for about .7 miles.

Once you reach the falls the north bank is easier to follow. Head upstream along the creek for about a quarter mile, past the two pools, to view all the falls. Smaller rapids continue upstream for a long ways, all the way to Upper Mulligan Falls.

Comments (3)

  • Charles Brainerd Jul 30, '17 Did Volker fish the Mulligan?
    • Jacob P Emerick Aug 3, '17 Not sure if he did, but given his wanderings I'm sure he was familiar with the area.
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  • Tracie May 21, '18 This is private propertyAdd to this discussion
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