Thursday, December 6, 2012

Canyon Falls - Baraga County, Mich.

Sturgeon River
south of L'Anse, Mich.

One of the most beautiful hiking treks in the U.P. takes visitors along a canyon and one of the most beautiful stretches of river and falls in the state. The main drop of Canyon Falls is an often-visited stop reached from a roadside park off the highway. A longer trip following a trail past that point leads to two more sets of falls that most visitors don't get to see.
The trail leading from the parking is an easy, wide one that goes through the woods for a quarter mile then meets the river for the remainder of the around one mile journey. Here the river makes its big plunge, and Canyon Falls can be seen and experienced in all of its glory.
Hopping the fence to get pictures like this puts you on a flat rock, but watch for sharp drops. Occasional trips here will find people jumping off the cliff and into the river. For further adventure, follow the trail that begins past these falls, up and around following the river on top of a high canyon wall. The next major drop, of between five and ten feet is a half-mile to 3/4-mile past the main falls.
Shortly after this drop, the Upper Falls are reached, where the canyon ends and the whole area opens up. These falls are a gradual slide of around 20-feet and while not tall, the contrast between this drop and the first makes for a wonderful all-around waterfall experience.
Getting there: the roadside park is off of US-41, south of L'Anse in Baraga County. Signs for the trail are self explanatory and the trail starts in the southwest corner of the parking lot.

Overall: Great
Hike: Moderate

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