UP of Michigan has some amazing hikes that should not be skipped if you are a nature lover. Some are easily accessible from the city, whereas some will take a bit more finesse too get to. In this piece we will talk about a favorite hike that is a bit outside of Marquette and is also one of the longer hikes at your disposal. This hike? Little Garlic River Falls

UP of Michigan – Little Garlic River Falls Hike Overview

  • Getting There
  • Trail Head
  • Length/Difficulty
  • Seasonality
  • Everything Else
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Getting to Little Garlic Falls

Getting to Little Garlic Falls is very easy. Leaving from Marquette you will take Little Presque Ave until you make it too Hawley st which then turns into BIG BAY Road. For those who live in the area or familiarize themselves with this road know that this is the main road that connects you to the majority of hikes in the area. Follow Big Bay Road for about 10 miles until you arrive at the roadside Elliott Donnelley Wilderness area. You have arrived

Alternatively, you could opt for the shorter, 2 MILE Version of the Little Garlic River falls hike. Find the Little Garlic dirt road and follow it in until you have arrived at the North County Trail Crossing parking lot.

Trail Head to Little Garlic Falls

Thankfully, the Trail head to Little Garlic Falls is well marked and impossible to miss. The trailhead starts right at the parking lot with a mileage marker and sign with the history of the area. Although you are far out there in the country, the signage is well presented. No getting lost or confused here!


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Little Garlic Falls is about 8 miles round trip and is a moderately challenging hike. The hardest part about the hike is distance. If you aren’t well suited for distance hiking this is going to be a strenuous hike. The 8 mile trip takes about 3 hours with chances for photos and water breaks. If you’re a slower hiker or take more frequent water stops, add another 30 minutes to 1 hour.

The terrain of the hike varies but nothing dramatic. The majority of the hike is pretty straightforward and flat with lots of low incline switchbacks and above river, ridge line hiking. There are numerous sections where you are engulfed by a canopy of trees and branches, as well as a handful of stream crossings and adjacent river walking.

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UP of Michigan Seasonality

May – October is the best time to enjoy this trail. The spring months are welcoming with mild climate and will vary with wetness depending on snow pack. Summer is best with nice lush greens but can get hot and buggy. Fall is spectacular with colors but the trail might be very muddy and swampy with rains.

Everything Else – Crowds, Fishing, Camping, Etc

The trail doesn’t gather large crowds because most folks opt for Sugarloaf, Wetmore Landing, or Hogback. Fishing is popular on this trail so be ready with your permit. Looking to camp? You can camp in this section and there are some great spots near the falls! CELL Service is almost non existent in this area (verizon users) once you hit the trail. Shaky signal on highway 550 and in the parking lot.

UP of Michigan and More

ALBINO Deer Spotting

Little Garlic Falls is definitely a worthwhile hike for those who love stretching their distance out in nature. Most of the hikes in Marquette are short and sweet so this is a great one for someone who wants to embrace nature for a while longer.

Are you looking for something more than this hike? Here are some of my favorite pieces I’ve done about hiking in Marquette:

Marquette Hiking

Dead River Falls Marquette’s Best waterfall Hike

Hogback Hiking One of the best views in all of Marquettte

Is there anything else that I didn’t mention about Little Garlic Falls? If there is someone that could benefit from this please share with them! Thanks for reading and hopefully see you out there!

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