The Keweenaw Land Trust acquired the uppermost Hungarian Falls in 2013 after a brief but very successful community fundraising campaign to keep this special place open to the public forever, rather than potentially lose it to a private buyer. The KLT's 10-acre Hungarian Falls Nature Area includes the uppermost falls, historic dam, pond, and some woodland trails that cross onto the property. Visitors are treated to an awesome spectacle year-round during their stay here in this rugged gorge. The uppermost falls are located upon the Keweenaw Fault, a billion-year-old geological feature that helped shape the Keweenaw and now stands strong against the erosive forces of Dover Creek. Cascading over the tough conglomerates and basalts for about 30 feet, the creek then flows through a short gorge formed out of the softer Jacobsville sandstone layers below.
Downstream of the dam and pond lie 3 more waterfalls, all lying on Michigan Department of Natural Resources land and open to the public. A small cascade lies directly above one of the most picturesque falls in the entire Keweenaw. This drop, sometimes referred to as "The Bluffs," drops straight down roughly 25 feet into a small pool below. Layers of sandstone and collapsed boulders create a steep gorge around the falls, perfectly framing the falling water as it slowly erodes the rock face. Hemlocks and white pine ring the gorge and shade it from summer sun and winter winds.
Last but not least, the lowermost Hungarian Falls are truly a sight to behold. Dropping over 100 feet into the gorge below, the lowermost falls are only visible in their entirety from the base of the valley, a tricky proposition given the lack of trails to the bottom! However, most visitors are more than happy to stand at the top of the falls and glimpse them from above. The views down the valley and over Torch Lake are stunning in all seasons. Families should take care to keep their children and pets from hiking too close to the steep drop-off.
Directions: Along M-26 west of Lake Linden in Tamarack City, turn north onto 6th Street. Take the left fork (Golf Course Road) and drive up the hill 0.5 miles to an access road on your left marked by a closed gate. Park along the shoulder and hike in along this access for 0.2 miles. Turn right at the fork to access the KLT's Hungarian Falls Nature Area, or turn left to visit the lower falls. All 4 waterfalls can be visited in 45 minutes to an hour and are worth the trip! Trails can often be eroded or steep, be sure to watch your footing as you traverse the gorge. In winter, this stretch of Golf Course Road is not plowed. Either park at the bottom of the hill and hike up, or drive in from the northern end of Golf Course Road (off of US-41) and park at the end of the plow line and hike south to the falls.