Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Smalley Falls - Pembine, Wisconsin

Pemebonwon River
Pembine, Wisconsin

Much like Long Slide Falls, Smalley Falls is located near the Michigan/Wisconsin border and is incredibly easy to get to. Unlike Long Slide Falls, there is no great vantage point to photograph the entire falls, leaving at best some clear views of the main 10-foot drop. There are no railings here, so staying near the trail and using caution is advised. My second visit here was in June 2013, in a light rain.
The falls may not be impressive in size, but they make up for that thanks to their location. There is a small day use fee that goes to the county. The trail has a few steep/rough spots, but is less than a quarter mile in length. From the bank, choose one of several vantage points to view parts of the falls.

Getting there: From Hwy 141 north of Pembine and south of Niagara, turn onto Morgan Park Road. A quarter mile down the road, take the well-marked drive on the right for Smalley Falls. Long Slide Falls have their own parking area another quarter mile down Morgan Park Rd.

Overall: Good
Hike: Easy to Moderate

Monday, July 29, 2013

Long Slide Falls - Pembine, Wisconsin

Pemebonwon River
Pembine, Wisconsin

Long Slide Falls are one of the best waterfalls Wisconsin has to offer, and very near to several other falls. Just across the border from Michigan, Long Slide Falls and Smalley Falls are located on the same road and accessible for only a small day use fee. The "long slide" is about 50 feet and gradual, the river cutting through rocks while surrounded by thick forest on both sides. The hiking trail is very short, but requires some caution near the river in wet conditions. We visited during a light rain, which helped pictures turn out good but made for some tricking going on our descent down.

Getting there: From Hwy 141 north of Pembine and south of Niagara, look for and turn on Morgan Park Rd. About a half mile down the road, the drive on the right is well-marked and leads to the path for Long Slide Falls (you will have passed the drive for Smalley Falls on the way).

Overall: Good
Hike: Easy to Moderate

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Fumee Falls - Iron Mountain, Mich.

Fumee Creek
Iron Mountain, MI

Fumee Falls is so easy to visit that it should never be missed. Located in a roadside park off of US-2, these falls may not be the biggest (and at times may not have much flow), but the setting is peaceful and a great place for a quick stretch or a picnic.
From the parking lot it is easy to hear the sound of falling water, and a short walk leads to this view of the falls and a footbridge:
Up close, the falls are spectacular more in setting than power, and this is a very seasonal falls - don't expect much water flow in dry summer months.
There is a path and some stairs that lead to an upper set of falls, also be sure to check out informational plaques and heed their warnings about staying on the trail to prevent erosion (they have had problems here in the past).
The parking lot also features a Michigan historical marker that tells of the Menominee Iron Range and its impact on the local area throughout history:
Here is a short video of Fumee Falls from June 2013:

Getting there: the Fumee Falls rest area is on US-2 between Iron Mountain and Norway, and it's pretty hard to miss.

Overall: Okay to Good (Seasonal)
Hike: Very Easy