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Category Archives: Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

My photo of Overlooked Falls was published in the June Issue of Backpacker Magazine.

After hiking the Union Mine Trail in the Porcupine Mountains we drove through the park on the South Boundary Road to the Presque Isle River. Our intent was to walk the loop trail along the river. Unfortunately the fall colors were not that great so we decided to walk along the boardwalk to check out the waterfalls. Normally on a visit to the River we stop for some photos of the bowls from the suspension bridge. This is the iconic shot that everyone takes. Unfortunately this year there was so much water in the river that the bowls were covered in water. This is a shot from an earlier visit.


We walked across the bridge to the island and down to the mouth of the Presque Isle River.


The water was still low enough that we could walk along the east side of the river following to the North Country Trail.


We then headed back to the suspension bridge and hike along the boardwalk to Manabezho Falls.


After a few photos we continued on to Manido Falls before returning to the car.


Photos of waterfalls on the Little Carp River in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. The first two are of Overlooked falls.





While processing some of my photos of the Little Carp River in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, I decided to try some colorful abstracts which brought out the fall color reflections in the river.





While reading Phil Stagg’s book Waterfalls of Michigan I noticed there were quite a few waterfalls along the Union Mine Trail in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. I had been on the trail before but had not noticed any interesting waterfalls. As it turns out the best time to find the waterfalls is in the spring when there is good water flow. Fortunately there had been a lot of rain in the U.P. this fall and there was good water flow so we were optimistic of finding some nice waterfalls. We weren’t disappointed. They aren’t the biggest waterfalls but there are a lot of them.







After visiting Lake of the Clouds we drove down to Union Bay. This is one of my favorite Lake Superior photography location that diminished in quality with the rise in water levels. A number of years ago it was possible to walk along a wide beach at Union Bay. Now there is only a narrow beach and it is not possible to walk the entire length because the water is right up to the rocks. In fact there appears to be considerable erosion along the beach. If the water keeps rising the road could be in jeopardy.

Several Years Ago

Several Years Ago



I ended up spending my time taking photos of rocks, leaves and trees along the waters edge.




After hiking to O Kun de Kun Falls we drove over to Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. While in the park we happened to find a new waterfall book called Waterfalls of Michigan by Phil Stagg. It turned out that he is in the process of writing four books under the same title but covering different parts of Michigan. At this point he has finished a book covering the Western U.P. and a second book covering the Eastern U.P. If you are interested in water falling in the U.P. you will want to purchase his books.


After a visit to the visitors center we drove up to the Lake of the Clouds. The colors were not at their peak yet but is was still a beautiful site. We could see the Copper Peak Ski jump from the viewing area.


It was late in the day and photographers were already lining up to capture this photo.


Late one day we drove over to the Little Carp River to photograph the waterfalls. I was a little disappointed that there was not more water in the river but we had found all of the rivers in the UP to have very little water in them.

Overlooked Falls

Overlooked Falls

Greenstone Falls

Greenstone Falls

The leaves were very good but mostly yellows. This is a shot of the road leading down to the river. You used to be able to drive down to the river but the road has been closed and a much larger parking lot built close to South Boundary Road. The old parking area was small and rough.


The area can be a bit wet during the summer and the Park Services has build little bridges over the wet areas.


There a couple of cabins several miles down the river. Visitors can rent them and have a wilderness experience in the Porcupine Mountains.


The surf was up as we made an early morning drive past Union Bay. I was surprised there were any leafs remaining on the trees after two days of strong winds. This is a place we used to spend quite a bit of time doing evening photography but the high water in the lake has eliminated most of the beach.




In the fall I like to photograph the leaves as they float down the rivers and streams. These were taken during a stop at the Little Carp River in the Porcupine Wilderness State Park. There were lots of yellow but very few reds this year.