Falling for Water

Escaping the workaday world, a photographer and his friend head to Miners Falls
Miners Falls
Miners Falls
Photo by Ben Lew

With the exhilarating feeling that spring air brings, a yearning awakens for the pursuit of beautiful things. As my dear friend Amy and I headed to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore to escape the hustle and bustle of work and life, we had one mission in mind: See some waterfalls. Having been to Pictured Rocks many times in my life, I set our route to include the best waterfall in the park: Miners Falls. Nestled in the woods, this relatively short out-and-back trail leads to a sight every Michigander needs to see, regardless of the season. The maintained trail makes it super easy to navigate, and there’s an easy lookout spot at the end. For the adventurous, like my friend and I, an unimproved trail beckons. It has been well-used over the years by many like-minded spirits. 

There’s a captivating beauty in feeling the atmospheric pressure change as you get close to the waterfall. Even from a distance, you can hear the deep roar of the water as it tumbles into the river below, where it runs free and unhindered. 

As Amy and I approached the waterfall, we could feel the mist created by the falls, which only added to the refreshing sense of being surrounded by nature. The sound of the water crashing down was so loud, we had to raise our voices to talk to each other — but it also had a calming effect on us. We stood there for a while, taking in the beauty of the waterfall and the surrounding woods. The view was breathtaking, and we felt lucky to be able to witness it. 

Making our way back to the trailhead, we couldn’t help but smile and feel grateful for this experience. Moments like these make us appreciate the simple things in life, and remind us to take a step back from our busy lives and enjoy the beauty nature has to offer. 

Ben Lew owns Rochester-based Immersion Culture (a photo and film production company), and his work has taken him around the world by means of adventure travel, business development, and humanitarian efforts. When not traveling, preparing for extensive backpacking trips, or on site for productions, you can find him honing his craft at immersionculture.com.

P.S. Miners Falls is in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and is located on Miners River in the western portion of the park, in Alger County. The fast-flowing Miners River drops about 50 feet over a sandstone outcrop, creating the park’s most powerful waterfall. A small parking lot is located a half-mile off Miners Castle Road (H-11), 4 miles north of Alger County Road H-58. The walk from the parking area to the waterfall is 0.6 miles one way. This is an especially beautiful trail in the springtime, when the wildflowers are abundant. 

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