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 (9)

  • John Kachelmeyer May 22, '18 Definitely one of my favorite waterfalls of all time. Iā€™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.
    • Kim Jun 18, '20 Thanks guys for the information. I was unfamiliar with the area and was able to figure out were I was going. I ended up taking my Rendezvous up Sporely Lake Road. It wasn't identified as such but I headed north about a .5 miles and took the first two track road to the right (East). I drove as far as I could about 1.5 miles. Parked my vehicle just before the decent down into the ravine. The road would be passable with an atv or a small 4wd. But it's a very easy walk to the falls. About .5 miles. I saw one upper falls.... then continued to then see the main falls. I didn't go further downstream. It was brutal hot today and I had to be careful. Anyways, I have seen over a 12 Marquette Waterfalls this spring and I was quite impress with this one. :-)
    • Jacob P Emerick Jun 20, '20 Kim, so glad you were able to find these! Definitely agree on the impressiveness... There's a lot of great falls in Marquette, and this one is a hidden gem.
    • Kathryn Campbell Sep 7, '20 Lived in the area nearly 20 years and didn't know this spectacular falls was only a few miles from us. Someone who found it before us left cans and a dirty diaper behind. I think we can all agree that we hate that sort of thing. It's what makes property owners post keep-out signs. Anyway, I posted a video on YouTube. Still pictures cannot do this falls justice.
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  • Rhonda Sep 7, '20 We found these falls today after patiently searching and re-reading directions for 2 hrs šŸ˜‚ So I thought I'd post a helpful hint. You're looking for Sporley Lake Road on the north side of M-94. The road is NOT signed but GPS will say it's Sporley Lake Road. (There's a signed Sporley Lake Road on the south side of M-94, but that's not the correct road!) As you turn onto the unsigned road you'll see a SEASONAL ROAD sign and below it, a sign saying "ATTENTION - Not Sporley Lake Road - No Outlet - Turn Around Here"...we drove in. We parked at the first fork to the right and as we exited our vehicle, were met by a lady in a truck who stopped, said she owns the property, and lets people enter to see the Falls! She gave us directions from that fork and we walked from there. Followed the fork to the right, veering left up a short, washed-out hill and then continued following the road until it led us to the river (maybe 2 miles from where we parked). Go downstream a short walk and you'll hear the Falls. They were well worth the 2 hr search!! Thank you to the owner for sharing this piece of nature šŸ˜ŠAdd to this discussion
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