Friday, September 21, 2012

Superior Falls - Michigan/Wisconsin border

Montreal River
Saxon, MI

One of several beautiful falls on the Montreal River (which forms the border between Michigan and Wisconsin), and one of two that access to has been recently improved by XCel Engergy, Superior Falls is a roaring gem reached by a short semi-difficult hike.

The first time, I visited Superior Falls (and according to the Penrose directions), it was viewed from an observation area near the top of the power station, providing a stunning and distant view of the falls.
When I returned here in August 2012, we found that a path leading to the base of the falls was open, providing an amazing view of the cliffs along the Lake Superior shoreline:
From here the path turns in and follows the river, mostly a well-worn flat path. It passes a powerhouse, then becomes more narrow as it gets rocky - the first view of the falls is great:
Getting in closer requires climbing on some rocks and following a curved shoreline of very loose rock - watch your footing, but the reward will be worth it.
Up close, it is easy to see how the falls make their way down the cliff, dropping about 40 feet. A dam upstream strips them of much of their former power, at some point this river would have been a lot higher!
A big thanks to XCel Energy for keeping access to these falls open - we need more companies like them! This is a great spot to hang out for awhile, and I even managed to set my camera up on some rocks for a makeshift tripod:
My next post will feature Saxon Falls, a nearby falls also accessed courtesy of Xcel, although the hike to both sections is more memorable for other reasons. Check out a short video of Superior Falls:

Getting there: From US-2 in Ironwood, head into Wisconsin, looking for WI-122, about 12 miles away. Turn right onto this road, and follow it about four miles, crossing back into Michigan, crossing the river and looking for the sign on the left for the falls an parking lot.

Overall: Great
Hike: Moderate

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