If you want to visit one of the most scenic waterfalls in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, add Bond Falls to your travel itinerary. Located in the western U.P. in southern Ontonagon County near Paulding, Bond Falls is a great addition to your trip if you’re headed to the Porcupine Mountains or Copper Harbor. This impressive waterfall on the middle branch of the Ontonagon River is 100 feet wide with a total drop of about 50 feet and is beautiful during any season. Stunning views and easy access make Bond Falls one of the most popular waterfalls to visit in the U.P. as well as one of the most photographed.
To get to the falls, take Bond Falls Rd. three miles from US-45 to Scenic Overlook Dr. and follow signs to the main parking lot. The base of Bond Falls is a short five-minute walk from there. Follow the paved trail to the 600-foot boardwalk to one of the six viewing locations. To get even closer to the falls, hike the trail up either side along the river and climb to the top to see a series of small cascades that lead into the main falls. You can also explore other trails that run through the woods nearby.
The boardwalk and main viewing deck are wheelchair accessible making Bond Falls an ideal destination for any visitor. Pets on a leash are also welcome. A picnic area with grills, picnic tables and vault toilets is located at the trailhead.
Free, roadside parking is also available near the Bond Falls Outpost on Bond Falls Rd., however, this access point is not wheelchair friendly. It’s located at the top of the falls and you’ll need to follow the trail and take the steps down to the base of the falls to reach the viewing deck. Near the outpost you will notice the hydroelectric dam. Although Bond Falls is a natural waterfall, the dam operated by the Upper Peninsula Power Company helps maintain the steady flow. Above the dam is the Bond Falls Flowage which is a popular spot for trout fishing.
The park hours are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, but since it is such a popular attraction it’s best to visit early in the morning to avoid crowds. The main parking lot is closed during the winter months so you will need to use the free roadside parking on Bond Falls Rd. Bond Falls is a Michigan State Park that requires a Michigan recreation passport but a self-registration station is located at the entrance if you need to purchase one.
Drive times to Bond Falls from other popular U.P. destinations:
Porcupine Mountains: 1 hour
Copper Harbor: 2 hours
Marquette: 1.5 hours
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore: 2.5 hours
Kitch-iti-kipi: 3 hours
Tahquamenon Falls: 4 hours
Mackinac Bridge: 4 hours
Agate Falls: 20 minutes (downstream 5 miles)
Ready to see the picturesque views and hear the therapeutic sounds of roaring Bond Falls?