Paul's Falls on Sante River

tall drop into a sandstone scoop

Inside the scooped out bowl of Pauls Falls
  • A shallow and rocky Sante River
  • Surprise drop on the river
  • Looking over the sharp lip
  • Inside the scooped out bowl of Pauls Falls
  • Directly across from the mossy falls
  • A steep climb back up

Finding a sizeable river that flows east from Toivola/Twin Lakes is tough - finding a waterfall along one is even harder. Paul's Falls on Sante River fulfills both of those criteria with an impressive drop down into a sandstone bowl. While much of the river is a meandering flow along a gentle rocky bed, here the water plunges over a lip of sandstone and pours down onto a steep slope of mossy rock. The river banks steepen to dangerous levels below the falls and create a descent cave on the north side.


Take A70 east from M-26 in Toivola, driving past several houses before entering the unimproved road. If your car can't handle the rough gravel, or if the road is not passable, park at the large turn off here. Head down A70 past Thirteen Mile Lake and the power lines to the (unmarked) Glone Mine Road, which is 1.8 miles outside of Toivola.

From here things began to get shady. Jog a short distance to the right on Globe Mine Road and then turn left to continue on A70. Stay on A70 for another 1.5 miles until the woods open up at the old site of the Challenge Exploration. You may find a few piles of poor rock and, depending on how clear the woods are, some old cement foundations here. Take the left fork at the old mine and, after the track passes it, take the first left. Meander along the old logging roads in a general eastern direction, staying to the south of Pine Lake, until you bump into a wide dirt road past the deep ponds.

Turn right on the dirt road and follow it for a few hundred yards before taking to left fork. Stay on the left as it slowly curves southwards and then take the first major left fork. Now heading east, stay on this one until it (again) curves south. Continue on the main track until it crosses over Sante River. Follow the river downstream to the falls.

Comments (4)

  • Mark Piotrowski Jul 18, '15 Yeah, sounds really simple Jacob!
    • Jacob Emerick Jul 19, '15 Right? It took me more than a few attempts to find it. I wouldn't recommend going back there without a GPS or a guide. There are a lot of logging roads back there, all in various states of disrepair.
    • Mark Piotrowski Nov 11, '15 Sounds more like I need to contact Lewis and Clark!
    • Eric Dec 5, '19 Some of the roads are bermed-off now, which makes navigation easier but it also means you can't take the left fork at the old mine site, not in a car anyway. When I was there this past June, after jogging right at Globe Mine Rd for about 100 yards I continued left on A70, also known as Challenge Mine Rd, for a total of about 2.2 miles, going straight at 1.7 and straight at 2.1, to where the road got too overgrown. From there it's a pleasant hike of about 1.5 miles through the woods to the falls, virtually due east. Rolling terrain, not too dense.
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