Visiting Alger County’s Laughing Whitefish Falls

Visiting Alger County’s Laughing Whitefish Falls

She’s the Snow White of U.P. waterfalls.

According to some, Laughing Whitefish Falls State Park boasts the fairest rapids of them all.

If you want to know where these roaring rapids got their name, you might want to head out on to Lake Superior to see for yourself.

“That’s an interesting story, if you are sailing or on the water at Lake Superior and look toward the shore, the mouth of the Laughing Whitefish River it looks like a laughing whitefish,” Department of Natural Resources Park Supervisor Doug Barry said.

The scientific explanation is a little more concrete.  It credits the formation to an abrupt limestone ridge of the Laughing Whitefish River.  The bank’s shape draws out the cascade into an unusual fan-shaped wall of water, which to some, looks like the mouth of a fish.

Standing at 100 feet tall, the falls cascade through white pine and hemlock, located within the Escanaba River State Forest.

Most of those who have seen its natural beauty in motion, remember it well.

“Oh, there is a whole family history on this.  I was here when this road was a 2-track, and there was a ladder instead of 154 steps,” Cadillac resident Bill Kelso sid.

“I find that every time I come out here they look different. I was here a few weeks ago and it was lots and lots of water.  Last year the water fell a bit differently than it is doing now just because it is hitting the stones and it wearing them away or something,” Barry said.

“I said when I retire I am coming in the spring when there is water, I had to come back and see how it had changed,” Kelso said

Nature lovers can also see plenty of wildlife and learn about the protected habitat found in the surrounding area that makes up Laughing Whitefish Falls State Park.

Hiking is a must for those who want to see the action close up.  A 10 to 15 minute trek through a beech-maple wood forest will bring the falls to just an arm’s reach away.