Hodenpyl Falls - Mesick Michigan


waterfallTo visit this unnamed waterfall you have to drive into the heart of the Manistee National Forest. You are going to take a couple of gravel roads and then a gorgeous walk to the falls that cascades into the Manistee River. You can picnic or camp on a bluff overlooking the falls and the river. It is important to note that the trail to the falls is a bit rough and quite steep in places so dress appropriately, especially if you go in winter.

After following the first directions below you will be at the Hodenpyl Dam. You could cross the river at this spot on a very cool suspension foot bridge and get to the North Country Trail. The dam creates the Hodenpyl Pond and the falls are downstream a couple of miles from here. Now you make the decision to walk along the trails or drive further into the forest as described in the second directions.

 Directions First directions: Get onto Route 37. This is an excellent paved two lane that intersects 10 in Baldwin. Head out of Baldwin and make for Mesick about 30 miles north. A few miles south of Mesick you want to take NO 26 RD and head west. This is gravel so go easy as it can be a bit rough. Stay on the road and follow it around as it curves to the right. There are other roads branching off but if you stay on this you will get to the dam and parking area. Now you park and walk or take the second part of the drive.

Second directions: From the dam turn left onto the two track “snake trail” that heads into the forest, go slow. This two track will branch often and every time it does you want to keep to the right. Keep going and branching right and after a while you will see a metal gate on your right. The last time I was there it was painted brown. This is the first gate you will have come to. Park in any of the rough parking spots, there are 4 or 5 and walk around the gate. Go back to your car and get your camera. Walk around the gate. Go back to your car and get your picnic basket. Walk around the gate. The trail starts here and in a few moments you will hear only the birds and the wind in the trees. 600 – 700 yards down the trail you will arrive at river and the falls.