Chapel Falls – Easy Hike. Pretty Falls.
The Chapel Falls trail is an easy 1.4 mile hike that leads to a gorgeous waterfall with a sixty foot drop. Since it’s not right off a paved road, there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself with some elbowroom both on the trail and at the falls, even in the busy summer season at Pictured Rocks.
One of the unique things about Chapel Falls is that you can walk over, around and behind it for multiple excellent views. Sound cool, right? Lets talk about how to get there.
How to Get to Chapel Falls
If you’re not familiar with the Pictured Rocks area, there’s a “main road” called H-58 that runs through the entire Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, connecting Munising to Grand Marais. About fifteen miles east of Munising (just past the tiny town of Melstrand), you’ll see a sign directing you to the “Mosquito / Chapel area.” Turn there, onto Chapel Road.
The road is gravel, but when I was there it was in great condition. Some construction work was being done on the parking area on my last visit, so we had to hike in about a third of a mile or so to get to the trailhead. I’m guessing the parking area is probably complete now, so you’ll be able to drive all the way to the trailhead. It’s about five miles in from H-58.
The Chapel Trail
The trail itself is a pleasant walk through the woods. There were no challenging uphill or downhill sections, and before I knew it my son and I were at the falls. We weren’t exactly speed hiking, though, so it took us about forty-five minutes to get there.
The trail to Chapel Falls is part of a larger (roughly ten mile) loop that takes you past some of the more scenic areas of Pictured Rocks. On this particular day we just wanted to do a short hike, so we hiked to the falls and then straight back. We saw one deer, many cool trees and plants, and about a gazillion chipmunks. All in all, it was a great little hike to a great waterfall!
Chapel Falls really is a beautiful waterfall. It seems to be unique in the fact that, as I’d mentioned above, you can skirt around it for views from a few different angles. We were on a bit of a time crunch so we couldn’t linger, but I’m looking forward to getting back here soon so I can spend some time taking photos from different angles and probably hiking the whole loop.
Bottom line: The hike to Chapel Falls is an easy 1.4 mile walk through the woods, and the falls, like most of the falls in Pictured Rocks, are worth seeing.