Ripley Falls on Ripley Creek

seasonal creek cascading down Michigan Tech's ski hill

Sideways at the gushing spring falls
  • Waterfall over the mossy rocks
  • Fall colors over the Portage
  • Looking downstream over the leaf strewn creek
  • Slight trickle over the damp rocks
  • Ripley schoolhouse
  • An overflowing set of lower drops
  • Angry foaming waters over black rocks
  • Long white set of cascades
  • Ripley Falls in the spring
  • Sideways at the gushing spring falls
  • Rounded drops above the main falls
  • Looking down at Michigan Tech

A seasonal waterfall cascades down the side of Mont Ripley ski hill to form Ripley Falls. The largest drop is about halfway up the hill, a sudden plunge down an exposed rock face. Most of the other drops are smaller cascades over huge boulders. While the parking area and first part of the hike is in a residential area of Hancock, hiking up the hill along the small creek is wooded and fairly quiet. Some access roads and the cropped grass of the ski hill surrounding the creek's cut make for an easy and scenic hike down.

Directions

Park at the old Ripley School (now an apartment building) on 2nd street just east of Mont Ripley's entrance. Head to the pine-covered hill on the north side of the parking lot and hunt around for a trail. There are a few footpaths that led up this hill and along the creek. Try to stick far above the creek until you pass the house with a bench in the backyard to avoid trespassing.

The first waterfall shows up just past this house, so cut down to the creek here and follow the creek upstream. There are a few railroad grades near the top with some small rapids upstream. The ski hill has some access roads on west side of the creek for an easy walk back.

Comments (2)

  • Scott Jun 20, '20 Looks like Mont Ripley pushed a bunch of trees, roots, and debris onto the trail farther up the hill. And the 2018 Father's Day Flood made a mess of the falls - there's a big wash-out next to the falls, treee and debris all over. It started raining, so we did not attempt to climb to the more upper falls.Add to this discussion
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  • Elizabeth Jul 7, '20 We found the trail up a steep embankment to the left of a mint green house across from the fire hall and followed it until we found the path blocked with a lot of tree debris. We backtracked and saw a steep path down to the creek bed, ending up across the creek from the bench mentioned in the post. We crossed the creek to the east embankment and continued a somewhat treacherous climb uphill to multiple falls. There is a lot of rock and tree debris in the area from the 2018 Father’s Day flood. Add to this discussion
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