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With so many unexpected adventures right here in Wisconsin, this series helps you discover great places to visit throughout the state.

Spring is the perfect time to visit the rushing waterfalls in Marinette County

Wisconsin wouldn’t be Wisconsin without supper clubs and great camping spots. But what you might not think of as essential in Wisconsin is rushing waterfalls and whitewater rafting. Well, we’ve got all of that in one place — Marinette County.

Marinette County is in northeastern Wisconsin right on the border of the Upper Peninsula and it's home to 15 waterfalls. Some you can get to by car, others you'll have to hike to see, but they all offer something unique. Spring is the best season to visit the waterfalls because of the rain and snow melt.

Jennifer Short is the economic development and tourism director for Marinette County. She says there's an easy way to see all the falls.

"They are quite spread out. Some are grouped closer to each other than others, but to help visitors with that experience, we have our waterfalls grouped into tours. So ... if you have just a short amount of time you could do just one tour or a couple of them, whatever suits your time period the best," Short explains.

Short says if you only have a little time in Marinette County, Dave's Falls is a must-see.

Dave's Falls is a waterfall in Marinette County.
Ben Jones
Boldland Creative
Dave's Falls in Marinette County.

"It's just a quick drive in right off the highway and one of our most stunning waterfalls. [There are] several different viewing options, there's some picnicking areas there, so if you just need to pull off, stretch your legs, grab a bite to eat, sit and enjoy the sounds of the water rushing and a little bit of a breeze blowing. Dave's Falls is just the perfect go-to if you just have time for one," Short says.

Short also suggest visiting Twelve Foot Falls or Horseshoe Falls if you're looking for something more secluded.

The falls aren't the only thing to see in Marinette County. There are also over 200 miles of ATV and UTV trails that connect with neighboring counties and even reach the Upper Peninsula. If a little adventure is what you're seeking you can also go whitewater rafting.

Amanda Weibel, that communications officer for Travel Wisconsin says, "I think it's going to surprise a lot of listeners that Marinette County has some of the best whitewater rafting in the entire Midwest. I think it's kind of a hidden secret about the area."

Family whitewater rafting in Marinette County
Travel Wisconsin
Family whitewater rafting in Marinette County

Both the Menominee River and Peshtigo River produce Class 3 rapids. Both Rivers offer different experiences and are suitable for both novice and skilled rafters. If you're looking for a guided tour of the rapids, Weibel suggests using Kosir's Whitewater Rafting.

Marinette County is also home to some beautiful campgrounds and other great places to stay.

"You can find anything from very remote campsites that you need to access by boat to modern campgrounds with all the amenities you'll want to stay comfortable. The Marinette County Park campgrounds are a great way to stick close to the waterfalls," Weibel says.

Another camping option is Governor Thompson State Park where you can find a vast network of hiking trails to explore. If you're looking for someplace indoors, Weibels says the Hilltop Resort in Crivitz is a good option.

"There's an on-site sports bar and supper club, which is a great option," Weibel says. "And then they also have a community fire pit so if you want to wind down your evening roasting s'mores and spending some more time outside, you can enjoy time around the fire and then head into your comfy accommodations inside."

Marinette County is home to several supper clubs that Weibels says are great places to check out after a day of hiking the falls. She recommends Renee's Dining Room or Richards of Dunbar, which is near the ATV trail network. In southern Marinette County, Weibel recommends checking out the signature appetizers at Embers 1871.


Becky is WUWM's executive producer of Lake Effect.
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