Rocking Chair Falls on Rocking Chair Outflow Creek

seeping outflow from Rocking Chair Lakes

Hidden drop in the rocks
  • Hidden drop in the rocks
  • View from the Rocking Chair Lakes
  • Dropping moss and rocks around the falls
  • Nearby bluff
  • Lake above the falls

The tall cliffs that surround narrow Mulligan Plains hold back a number of wonderful things. Inaccessible groves of old growth, forgotten cabins, and pristine lakes are all perched hundreds of feet above the remote valley. Two of these lakes, the Rocking Chairs, sit close to the edge of the cliffs and seep down through a series of cracks and plunges. If you catch them during the right time of year, this waterfall is truly impressive.

Directions

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 1.5 miles until there is a driveway on the right side. Park near the driveway, staying out of the way of any other vehicles.

Head past the gate on the driveway and follow the main route for less than a half mile before turning left down the overgrown track. If you see a cabin, you've gone too far. Follow the overgrown track past three huge, stagnant puddles, each more difficult to get around, until you reach Mulligan Creek. Cross on the downstream beaver dam. As soon as you get across look for a footpath leading to the right - it may be blazed, as plenty of campers and fishermen frequent the Rocking Chair Lakes.

Don't go up to the lakes quite yet, though. Follow the footpath for a short distance until it crosses a tiny, muddy stream. This is the outflow from Rocking Chair Lakes. Turn and follow the little stream up until you reach the cliffs. The waterfall is located up there. It is possible, but not the best ida, to climb all the way up the cliffs here and reach the overgrown northern end of the lakes, and you'll see all the drops on the way.

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