Friday, January 3, 2014

Schweitzer Falls - Palmer, Mich.

Schweitzer Creek
Palmer, Mich.

The Schweitzer Creek Falls near Palmer are not far away from Warner Falls, and while the drop here may not be as steep the setting is great and this makes for a quick side trip while in the area. It requires some trail-blazing hiking through the woods to get to the falls, but when we visited in November of 2006 we had little trouble making it in and out. It was wet and there had been significant recent rainfall, which seems to have helped the flow of these falls. The drop here is about 10 feet, and there were many angles for photographs. I later learned that there is an upper falls as well, and this summer I hope to make it back to the area to check that out.

Getting there: We followed the directions in the Penrose book, which starts by taking M-35 south of Palmer to its intersection with CR-565. Take a right onto 565, stay on 565 when it splits CR-476. After about three miles total the road will cross the creek, watch for a road (possibly driveway) off to the right. We parked here and headed through the woods to the creek, about five minutes. Use appropriate caution on wet banks and wet rocks.

Overall: Good
Hike: Moderate

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Eagle River Falls - Eagle River, Mich.

Eagle River
Eagle River, Mich.

When it comes to Michigan waterfalls that are so easy to visit they shouldn't be missed, Eagle River Falls has to be one of the top five. Locate just off M-26 in the Keweenaw Peninsula village of Eagle River, these falls drop 40 feet, then the shallow river rolls under several bridges before reaching Lake Superior (about 2 blocks away). There are dam remnants at the top of these falls, and spring is likely the best time to view them. Water levels the past five or six times I have been there (photo above is 2011) aren't what they used to be, sometimes only the far right ribbon is flowing. Here is a picture from a trip to the falls in 2000:
The bridge these falls are viewed from has some history of its own, and a Michigan historical marker that is two-sided highlights the history of the bridge and the village of Eagle River.

Another attraction in Eagle River is its lighthouse, which is now a private residence but can be viewed from the opposite side of the river on East Main St. (about a block from the falls). This is a great and quick stop on the way to Copper Harbor, and like most other towns in the Keweenaw Eagle River is full of history.

Getting there: The parking area for the falls is located on the east side of M-26, at 4th Street.

Overall: Good
Hike: Easy