November 24, 2017

Bushwhacking to Mulligan Falls

Near Ishpeming

Mulligan Falls is one of those remote, wild waterfalls that has no easy access point. There are no established trails through the overgrown banks, not even a game path. But at 40 feet in height and with multiple drops, all different from the last, the incentive is too good to pass up.

We parked at the small ATV bridge that crossed Mulligan Creek downstream from the falls. There is an option here to ford the creek but we decided against it. Though shallow at this point, Mulligan Creek is wide and has a very sandy bottom. Knowing our luck, we would have ended up stuck.

We decided to bushwhack up the south bank, roughly one mile. It was hard work. Very hard. It took us a long time but eventually, we made it through.

The first drop we encountered spanned the creek and emptied into a large, surprisingly smooth, pool. It marked the entrance to a rather small but pretty canyon. There were several smaller drops within the canyon.

The final drop was the most impressive. A tall, single drop tumbling through a narrow chute and emptying into a deep pool. This also marked the beginning of the gorge.

We carefully crossed the creek in hopes that the north bank would be a little bit easier. Slightly shorter, it was still rough terrain and required a lot of hard work weaving through the overgrowth. This side had some interesting older pines and cedars.

Will we return? Probably, but not anytime soon.

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