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Category Archives: Presque Isle River

We weren’t sure what to expect because the weather forecast was for rain and possibly snow. Since it looked like a good day to photograph waterfalls we decided to drive down to the Presque Isle River and take the loop hike that goes for several miles along the river.

We hadn’t gotten very far when we noticed storm clouds out over the lake and it looked like we were going to be hit by a rain squall. As it turned out it only sprinkled a few times. The rest of the morning we encountered a combination of clouds and sunshine which made it ideal conditions for photographing the fall color and waterfalls. We intended to spend only a few hours at this location but it was so beautiful that we spent all of the morning into the early afternoon.


We then drove down to the Little Carp River to photograph a few more waterfalls. We discovered they had changed things around. You used to be able to drive down to the river but the parking was limited and the road was bad. They now have a large parking near the main road and you need to hike down to the river on the old road.

Greenstone Falls

Greenstone Falls

After hiking around at the Little Carp River we drove over to Silver City where we were going to stay. At this point things got a little bizarre. There was an older couple at the desk asking if there were any rooms for the night and then asking what there was to do in the area. It was strange because Silver City is not exactly on your way to anyplace. We were trying to figure out how they ended up in Silver City.

Then my wife wanted to make a call but didn’t have cell service. She stopped at the desk to ask about cell service. The desk clerk ask who the carrier was. She said Verizon. In that case you need to walk out the front door, turn right, walk to the other side of the road, stand in front of the sign. You will get two bars. She forgot to mention that you had to be facing a certain way.

We then went to eat but a quilting group had taken over the restaurant so we ended up eating in the bar. They had a green tea ice cream dish on the menu. We had to laugh because until a few weeks ago we had never heard of green tea ice cream. We were in Japan when we noticed large soft serve ice cream cones along the road and the ice cream was painted green. We thought this was a little odd but it turned out it was green tea ice cream and was very good. We never expected to see it in the states and surly not in the middle of nowhere.

This past weekend we made our first fall leaf peeping trip of 2012. This year we started a week early because we have had strong winds throughout the spring and summer and they seem to be blowing good this fall. Last year heavy winds took down many of the leaves just as the trees reached their peak.

Chippewa River

Our trip took us from Menomonie, Wisconsin north to Bruce, Winter, Park Falls, Fifield, through The Lac Du Flambeau Indian Reservation and on to Ironwood, Michigan. For the most part there were only spots of color. The Fifield are had some nice color. The Reservation is clearly a couple of weeks away from peak color. This is a bog shot near Fifield.


As we neared Ironwood on Highway 51 we started seeing much more color. Gile Flowage was our first stop. The color here was outstanding and will probably reach its peak this coming weekend. Unfortunately it was very windy so there were no good reflection shots be had. We then drove on to Ironwood to check-in to our motel. We had some time before sunset, there wasn’t going to be any, so we drove out to the Black River Harbor. There was some nice color along the way but as we neared the harbor there was very little color. Just as we got out of the car it started pouring rain so we made a hasty retreat to the car and drove back to Ironwood.

Gile Flowage

The next morning it was still cloudy so we drove down to the Presque Isle river in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. The color along highway 519 was outstanding. This was some of the best color I’ve seen in some time along this road. Unfortunately as we neared Lake Superior the color diminished to the point there was almost no color. I suspect this area is several weeks from good color.

We decided to hike the loop trail from the harbor parking lot. We crossed the river and hiked up the east side. The water levels were low but it had rained quite a bit overnight so there was enough water to get some good photos. This was the first time I had hiked this section of trail. When we reached the South Boundary Road we crossed the bridge and headed back down the west side trail to the parking lot. By this time the sun had come out so it was difficult to get any good photographs.

Presque Isle River

We debated where to go next and decided to head for Copper Peak and take the ride to the top of the top of, what is billed, as the world’s largest ski jump. The ride to the top consists of a 36 story chair lift to the crest of the hill followed by an 18 story elevator ride to the “top” of the ski jump followed by a long walk to the actual top. The views from the top are amazing. You can view 2,500 square miles of the Lake Superior Basin. The view can include the Apostle Islands, Isle Royale and the Porcupine Mountains. Copper Peak is open on weekends during the fall color season. More photos from Copper Peak can be found on my website.

Copper Peak Ski Jump

This is a not to be missed adventure in the Ironwood area. Unfortunately there has not been any ski jumping for Copper Peak since 1994. At that time they started making changes to the jump to improve safety and disaster struck and most of the improvements were washed out in a violent storm. The non-profit group that runs the jump have been working to restore the facility to where it can once again offer competitive ski flying. If things work out they hope to offer jumping on plastic in the summer of 2014 and winter jumping the following winter.

Lake Superior Basin

After our exciting trip to the top of Copper Peak, my wife can’t stand heights and probably left her finger prints embedded in the railing, we headed back toward Menomonie.

Upson River

On the return trip we drove highway 77 to Mellon, Wisconsin. The color along highway 77 into Mellon was outstanding and should reach peak this next weekend. We then took Highway 13 to Park Falls. The color from Mellon to Glidden was also outstanding.