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Category Archives: O Kun de Kun Falls

It was a beautiful fall day when we reached O Kun de Kun Falls. We had only hiked to this falls once before. On that occasion we found a bunch of Michigan Tech students camping out at the falls. We had tried to get to the falls in the spring but there was just too much snow so we gave up. We hadn’t gone very far when we encountered several hikers returning from the falls. They were covered in mud and indicated that the trail was very muddy. We had our hiking boots on but decided to walk back to the car and put our Muck Boots on. Turned out to be a great decision because the trail was ankle deep in mud in some places and it was really slippery.

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Other than the mud it was a beautiful hike with the fall colors nearing their peak.

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When we reached the falls we found that there was not a lot of water going over the falls. This was very surprising because most of the waterfalls we visited had excellent water flows for the fall season. It was also the wrong time of day to photograph the waterfall because the sun was right in back of the falls.

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After visiting Fred Smith’s Concrete Park we headed on to Ironwood where we normally find some nice fall color. We were too late. Normally this is the first place we visit because the leaves turn early but our western trip delayed our visit. The next morning we headed toward Munising, Michigan. Our first stop was going to be O-Kun-de-Kun-Falls where we planned on hiking over to the falls. There were storm clouds in the sky as we drove toward O-Kun-de-Kun Falls. When there were breaks in the clouds the light on the fall foliage was spectacular.

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When we arrived at the trailhead for we found the trail under water so we decided not to make the hike. The fall colors at the trailhead were beautiful.

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We then continued on to Canyon Falls which was going to be our next stop.

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Last weekend we drove from Menomonie, Wisconsin through Northern Wisconsin to Copper Harbor, Michigan.

Chippewa River

The trip took us through Cornell where I took this photo of the Chippewa River from a small park at the edge of town.

Lac du Flambeau

We then drove up through Phillips, Park Falls, Lac Du Flambeau and on to Hurley. The leaves were spotty through Phillips. The leaf report said they were at peak in Phillips and north of Phillips but I think it will be later this week when they reach peak. This shot was taken outside of Woodruff.

Gile Flowage

They were near their peak around Hurley with some nice shots at the Gile Flowage. In some places the leaves were down from the strong winds.

O Kun de Kun Falls

We then drove from Ironwood to Bruce Crossing the trees were spotty with one hill at peak and the next hill green. We stopped to hike into O-Kun-de-Kun-Falls on ┬áthe Baltimore River north of Bruce Crossing. We have driven past this waterfall many times but have never stopped. As it turned out it probably wasn’t the day to stop. It was bright sunshine with the sun directly in back of the falls. In addition, a large group of students from Michigan Tech were camping at the waterfall. Late in the day we drove on Houghton highway 26. The trees were outstanding and at peak.

Sandstone Patterns

On the second day of the trip we drove around the Keweenaw the leaves were ok but will likely peak next weekend. Leaves on the Brockway Mountain drive will probably peak a week later. We typically drive the eastern shore of the Keweenaw on the way up. This photo was taken on a small pullout northeast of Gay. The sandstone rocks in this area are outstanding.

Lac La Belle

When we reached the small town of Lac La Belle we drove over to the public docks where this photo was taken. As you can see it will be at least next weekend before the leaves are at peak.

The drive along highway 41 into Copper Harbor was nice but I think it will be next weekend before the leaves are at their peak. We returned along highway 26 on the west coast. This area doesn’t have many trees that change color.

Sunburst

Returning to Houghton we then headed south on highway 26 where the color was excellent. The only issue was that some of the tops of the trees were bear because of the high winds earlier in the week. On the way up I noted that the trees in the Twin Lakes Campground look promising so we stopped on the way back. I wanted to take the traditional photo looking up through the trees but the space between the trees didn’t work so I took this shot of the sunburst through one of the trees.

The then headed over toward Ontonagon on highway 38 then on to the Porcupine Mountains on 64. It looked like the trees in this area wouldn’t peak for another week. When we reached the park we took south boundary road through the park. There was some good color but the peak will likely be closer to next weekend. We didn’t stop much because we wanted to make it to Copper Peak before the chairlift closed.

Copper Peak View

We made it with a little time to spare. The leaves were good but not as good as last year. The strong winds from last Thursday and Friday took down quite a few leaves. You can see that some of the trees have lost their leaves. The shadow in the photo is the ski jump. The good news from Copper Peak is that the international agency that governs ski flying has examined the jump. They noted the changes that need to be made to bring the jump up to international standards and work is progressing. Hopefully in the next few years they will have ski flying again at Copper Peak.

I know it is a bummer but we expect 40 mph winds later in the week. I’m not sure what this will due to the leaves.