Frohling Falls on West Branch Chocolay River

tall chute carved deep in smooth black rock

Next to the giant bulge of rock
  • Thick pine woods
  • Upper drops
  • Long, narrow drop in the rock
  • Next to the giant bulge of rock
  • Looking up the massive waterfall
  • Deep pool under the falls

In the deep woods north of the Sands of Marquette is a surprisingly tall waterfall on a branch of Chocolay River. Frohling Falls sits on an otherwise calm and sandy river that winds slowly through a lush forest before suddenly pouring down a series of deeply carved chutes to create a beautiful scene. Reaching this waterfall is difficult, with limited access on the south side and a few two-tracks to the north.


Turn east onto M-94 from County Road 553, near the Sawyer airport, and drive for 5.5 miles. Park on the side of the road and head north into the woods. Follow what two tracks you can find, overgrown or not, until you find the river. Follow the river downstream to the falls.

Please note: there may be easier access if you find your way to the north side of the river, either along Sporley Lake Road or one of the logging access roads to the east.

Comments (5)

  • John Kachelmeyer May 22, '18 Definitely one of my favorite waterfalls of all time. I’m very glad I took the effort to find it, though it is certainly not easy to get to and requires a fair amount of bushwhacking. I approached from the south, which is short but there basically no trails. On the north side of the Falls there are atv tracks visible, but the approach appears much longer and may be posted private. These Falls are listed as private in the Penrose guide, though there are certainly no signs posted on the southern approach. Of course, that book is now 30 years old. In any case, 10/10 I would recommend this stunning waterfall!
    • Aaron Strouse Aug 22, '18 When you say southern approach, are you following the creek upstream form Sporley Lake Rd. I would like to find these this weekend. 8-24-18Thank you,Aaron
    • Jacob P Emerick Aug 25, '18 Sporley Lake Road would definitely work. When I visited I parked right on the side of 94, but Sporley Lake (or Engmann) would let you park a bit off the highway.
    • Relative Paucity Aug 26, '18 Access from Sporley Lake Road (the north access) is exclusively marked No Trespassing, but no one seems to care; ATVs are using the private drive nearly every time I've been here, sadly. Logging access road at 46.352643, -87.334918 allows easy walk; there's been extensive logging since John did this in May of this year. Just follow the logging roads north (mostly) and east (when you have to) until you hit the river. Small trail starting at 46.352461, -87.339887 leads to second set of falls as well as small chute, and then creekside trail can be followed (or creek can be walked in; this is the better trip) downstream from there, which also allows access to the chute above Frohling Falls. Check out @relative_paucity on Instagram for pictures from today, or to contact me with any questions. Many thanks to our host, Mr Emerick, without whom I'd never have found these (and many other) excellent falls in the first place.
    • Aaron Strouse Aug 29, '18 Found them, talked to two very nice locals. They took me down to them on a UTV.
    Add to this discussion
    • Basic HTML tags allowed (a, b, i, pre). Comments may be removed if they are deemed inappropriate.

    • or
  • Add a comment
    • Basic HTML tags allowed (a, b, i, pre). Comments may be removed if they are deemed inappropriate.

    • or

Activity Stream

  • Blogged about hiking | Weekend at Wet Beaver.
  • Pushed some code at jacobemerick/alpha-sstk-docs.
  • Read The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides.
  • Blogged about hiking | Moody Point Trail.
  • Read The Outsider by Stephen King.
View more activities…