Location: Marquette County, Michigan
Compared to its neighbors, Little Garlic Falls is an unimpressive, small waterfall that, by itself, isn’t worth the effort to reach. However, pair it with a hike along sandstone riverbeds and through pine tree forests and it becomes a waterfall worth visiting at least once.
There are 2 options for reaching Little Garlic Falls.
The first is taking the North Country Trail through the Elliot Donnelley Wilderness Area. A scenic 7.8 mile round trip hike that follows along the Little Garlic River.
The second option is driving up Little Garlic Road and parking where the trail splits from the NCT. This is 2.5 miles round trip.
The trail can be challenging in places but is very pretty, especially in the late spring/early summer. When we were hiking, the trail was lined in many places with lady slippers.
Before reaching the falls, there is a dispersed campsite. With a nice view of the Little Garlic River and just downstream from the falls, this would be an excellent backpacking spot.
Little Garlic Falls is a short walk upstream from the campsite. The falls drops 4 to 5 feet into a deep pool that would be perfect for a dip in hot summers.
From Marquette, take Country Road 550 north towards Big Bay. Roughly 12 miles is the Elliot Donnelley Wilderness Area trailhead. You can take the NCT here or continue up the road for the shorter hike.