August 27, 2013
Waterfalls in the Porcupine Mountains
Porcupine Mountains Wilderness Area is rich with waterfalls. Some small, some large. Unfortunately, we only had the opportunity to see five of them, but we did select three of the most impressive ones within the park to view.
Manabezho Falls is the largest of the three waterfalls on Presque Isle River. It is approximately 25 feet in height and is very easy to access. There is an overlook at the top of the falls but we couldn’t really see it without going “off trail” to the bottom of the falls. One of my favourite aspects of this waterfall was the steadily flow of water but not enough to cover the entire rock surface. It created a segmented stream of water and made the falls more appealing.
Manabezho Falls on Google Maps
To get to Manabezho Falls from the east (Ontonagon), you can take South Boundary Road west through the Porcupine Mountains to Presque Isle Road. Turn right on Presque Isle Road and continue for about 0.9 miles. When the road turns left to go to the campground, you’ll go straight instead to a parking lot. There is a trail here that is about 0.1 miles away from Manabezho Falls.
Just upstream from Manabezho Falls (you can follow the trail along the river) is Manido Falls. Manido Falls stretches across the entire river and is very scenic. It is the smallest fall on the Presque Isle River at 15 feet in height. It has a crest of 50 to 150 feet depending on the water flow. I personally loved the tier effect from the multiple levels. Like Manabezho, this falls may lose some of the picturesque quality that I loved about it when the river is at a higher level.
Manido Falls on Google Maps
To get to Manido Falls, just follow the trail from Manabezho, up river. It is a short distance and the trail is easy to travel.
Nawadaha Falls is the upper most falls on the Presque Isle River. It is about 15 feet in height and is a very low, wide waterfall. I wasn’t very impressed with it, especially compared with the other two falls on the river. It might more impressive if viewed in the spring time when the water is higher.
Nawadaha Falls on Google Maps
To access Nawadaha Falls, you’ll continue to follow the path from Manido up river. The nice trail disappears and you’re forced to travel on a rugged trail with a lot of steep ups and downs. It isn’t too difficult but enough to offer a bit of a challenge. Mostly a slightly steep climb and multiple tree roots jutting out from the ground.
Overlooked Falls and Greenstone Falls
Overlooked Falls is on the Little Carp River. There isn’t much to it. It’s about 5 feet tall and is the most easily accessed waterfall on the river. It is a few hundred feet from the parking area of Little Carp River Trail. It may not be impressive but the area that surrounds it gives it an enchanted forest kind of feeling.
Greenstone Falls is merely a half mile away from Overlooked Falls. It is a small, scenic waterfall also on the Little Carp River. It’s about twenty feet wide and less than ten feet tall. We could barely see it when we were there due to the low water. The Greenstone cabin is just a bit farther down Little Carp River Trail, if you wanted to check that out as well while in the area. The half mile hike from the trailhead to Greenstone Falls isn’t too challenging.
Greenstone Falls on Google Maps
Nonesuch Falls is found on the little Iron River in the abandoned mining town of Nonesuch. At most, the waterfall reaches ten feet in height. While we were visiting, there wasn’t much water and the rock surface shown through the water. It isn’t a very exciting falls but the area around it is pretty neat.
Nonesuch Falls on Google Maps
Waterfalls we didn’t see
Here are some of the waterfalls that might be worth checking out that we missed on this trip.
Shining Cloud Falls is a 20 foot tall waterfall and is one of the largest and wildest back-country waterfalls. I was sad that we missed this one but it’s a real challenge to see. It is about 8.5 miles away from Lake of the Clouds on the Big Carp River Trail (the trailhead begins at Lake of the Clouds). There are a couple other ways to access it, the shortest begin to take Pinkerton Trail to the mouth of the Little Carp River and then switching to the Lake Superior Trail to the mouth of Big Carp River and then following the Big Carp River Trail upstream to the falls for about 5 miles. It is a very scenic waterfall and has a lot to offer.
Shining Cloud Falls on Google Maps
Traders Falls is a s mall, less than five foot tall waterfall. It is on the Little Carp River, about 2 miles from a road.
Trader Falls on Google Maps
Explorers Falls is another small waterfall on the Little Carp River. It is downstream of Trappers Falls. It is over 3 miles away from the nearest trailhead.
Explorers Falls on Google Maps
Trappers Falls is the largest of the falls on Little Carp River. It’s about 15 feet in height. It is located about three miles away from the nearest trailhead on Little Carp River Trail.
Trappers Falls on Google Maps