Sunday, November 18, 2012

Great Conglomerate Falls- Black River Scenic Byway, MI (1 of 5)

Black River
north of Bessemer, MI

Today begins a five part series featuring the stunning waterfalls of the Black River Scenic Byway north of Bessemer, Mich. These falls are all of substantial enough flow and height to be considered among the best in the state, and the fact that all five are within a three-mile stretch of county road in Northern Michigan makes the whole experience even better!
Starting from the southern end, the Great Conglomerate Falls are located where the Black River splits around a rock outcropping that effectively splits the river in two, with water flowing around both sides before rejoining on the trip downstream. The 3/4 mile trail is wide and well-worn, and brings this view at the top of a viewing platform:
At higher flow, it is entirely possible the river could even flow over the top of this outcropping of conglomerate rock for which it is named. Here's a closer view of the left side:
And a view of the right side:
All of the trails along the river connect, so it is possible to hike from here all the way to the rivermouth, but plan on that taking most of a day. Tune in tomorrow for the next falls in this five part installment.

Getting there: From US-2 in Bessemer, head north on CR-513 for almost 15 miles and look for the National Forest Service sign on the right for the parking lot for Great Conglomerate Falls, all parking lots will be on the right, and about a half mile between each.

Overall: Good
Hike: Easy

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