O-Kun-De-Kun Falls receives its name from Chief O-Kun-De-Kun, a chief of a band of Ojibway Native Americans when white settlers first entered the Ontonagon territory. The O-Kun-De-Kun Falls are two individual falls. The first or Upper Falls drops 10 feet, and the second falls drops about 20-feet. The width of the river at these two points is between 10 and 30 feet. The snow run-off or heavy rains determine the width of the river. The O-Kun-De-Kun Falls are on the Baltimore River, which has its headwaters in southern Ontonagon County. The Baltimore River itself is 36 miles long before it empties into the Middle Branch of the Ontonagon River.
The trailhead begins about 8 miles north of Bruce Crossings on US 45. Look for signs indicating a parking area for the O-Kun-De-Kun Falls. There are two different trails to the Upper Falls. You will see two trail signs next to each other that help visitors with directions. A small cross-like sign marks the North Country Trail and O Kun De Kun Falls with mileage that says 1.3. The second sign is large and shows direction and mileage to several points of interest in Ontonagon county that can be reached by way of the North Country Trail System. These include Sandstone Creek, Old Victoria Dam, Porkies, the Baltimore River Bridge, and Bob Lake Campground.
The first Trail is easy but is rather dull, yet suitable for someone who is not adventurous. The second Trail belongs to the North Country Trail and is a path through the woods. Both trails average a 1.3-mile hike. However, the North Country Trail is very rewarding as it meanders through wetland, which can be tricky and slippery if it has been raining. It then wanders through the woods. Many wildflowers grow on this section of the Trail, which you will not see on the more accessible Trail.
After reaching the Upper Falls with a ten-foot plunge, keep going. The Trail picks back up and will bring you to the Lower Falls. A suspension bridge below the falls adds to the hike. After several more miles, you will enter the Wilderness Section of the Middle Branch of the Ontonagon River if you wish to keep going. The additional hike will reward you with exciting and spectacular vistas.
Address: O Kun de Kun Falls, Bruce Crossing, MI 49912
Height: 15 Feet
Water Source: Baltimore River
Suppose you are still in the mood for more waterfall hunting, then check out Agate Falls. It is just down the road and offers beautiful calendar-worthy scenic scenes, great photo opportunities, and fun hiking trails. This is an excellent destination to add to your visit.