The Lower Montreal Falls is the termination of the Montreal River as it enters Lake Superior. People view the Montreal Falls as they are fishing or boating in Lake Superior near Lac La Belle. You can view the Montreal Falls in the far distance from Beta Gris or, on one point, as you travel by car from Lac La Belle to Gay. But nothing treats the eye and ear like a close-up experience of this falls.
Just getting to the Montreal Falls is a destination experience, not one that you happen to drive by and see it. The 1-mile hike alone is worth the trip as the hiking trail edges the rugged shoreline of Lake Superior. While the hiking trail itself is level, it is not handicapped accessible. Several areas on the trail require walking over fallen tree limbs or wet slippery ground. Thus, caution is needed. Young children will need guidance at several locations, which edge along the rocky shoreline that they do not fall into the water.
But along the hike will be many excellent views of Lake Superior. Wildflowers are everywhere along the path. When the hike ends, you emerge into a small open glen filled with wildflowers; some are rare. But the most exciting is the immediate Montreal Falls, cascading over black rocks. Lush trees line the riverbanks. The Falls' immediate vicinity demands exploring, walking up and down the paths near the Falls. Many people like to wade in the waters of the falls or just sit on a rocky ledge and let their feet dangle into the cold water. Some people are willing to take a quick dip into the river waters as they intermingle with those of Lake Superior.
You can see great views of Lake Superior, Bear Bluff, and Mount Bohemia while exploring Montreal Falls. The Upper Falls is a good place for fishing. A fire ring and camping for tents are accessible during the summer. However, black flies and mosquitoes might deter the faith-hearted from camping in this area. There are no toilet facilities at this site.
From Lac La Belle, turn onto Smith's Fisheries Rd. and go 5.3 miles. You will pass by the parking for Bear Bluff but keep going as the road ends near a berm and some cabins. The trail starts along the lakeshore. The hiking trail is about a mile, and there can be fallen trees on the path.
Address: Smith Fisheries Rd., Lac La Belle, MI
Height: 10 Feet
Water Source: Montreal River
On the Smith Fisheries Road, you may also want to visit Bear Bluff, which presents a remarkable view of Lake Superior and the Keweenaw Peninsula. While this is a short hike, the hike itself is strenuous. However, there are other great scenic spots near the Montreal Falls and Bear Bluff.
The Beta Gris shoreline has a superior sandy beach for swimming and is a favorite for many locals.