Copper Country Waterfalls: Many accessible to public; some are challenge to get to
COPPER COUNTRY — The western Upper Peninsula is geographically diverse, and among its features are a large number waterfalls, which for some people are a vacation destination or just something interesting to visit close by.
Amanda Oppe, social media and marketing manager for the Keweenaw Convention and Vistors Bureau, said the falls in the Copper Country have quite a variety.
“There’s a lot that are just in the spring,” she said.
Oppe said the waterfalls the KCVB lists on its Adventure Guide webpage are ones that are accessible to the public.
Some of the falls the agency lists on its website are somewhat difficult to get to, but others require little effort.
“There are several that are right off the road,” she said.
One of those close to the road is the Eagle River falls next to M-26 at Fourth Street in Eagle River in Keweenaw County. Although the water flows during most of the warm months, like most waterfalls, the Eagle River waterfall is most dramatic in the spring as a result of snow melt.
Also near Eagle River is Jacob’s Falls, which is located approximately three miles northeast of Eagle River on the south side of M-26 and is visible from the road.
This small falls has a total drop of about 40 feet. The main section near the road falls about 20 feet over rough stone. Trails run up the side of the steep rock into the woods upstream.
Hungarian Falls near Hubbell in Houghton County requires some effort to get to, but Oppe said it’s worth the hike.
“That’s a good one,” she said. “You get to see several falls.”
Care should be taken when getting to parts of the Hungarian Falls, Oppe said.
“That can be a little treacherous,” she said.
To get to Hungarian Falls, which is owned by the Keweenaw Land Trust, take Golf Course Road and drive up the hill one half mile to an access road on your left marked by a closed gate. Park along the shoulder and hike in along this access for two-tenths of a mile. Turn right at the fork to access the Hungarian Falls Nature Area, or turn left to visit the lower falls.
Oppe said the falls at the mouth of the Montreal River near Bete Grise in Keweenaw County are popular, but it also requires effort to reach.
“That’s a really good one to hike to,” she said. “It’s really pretty there, as well.”
From Hancock drive north on US-41 to Phoenix, then drive 10.4 miles to the Lac La Belle Road. Turn right and drive 4.7 miles to the bottom of the steep hill in Lac La Belle. Turn left and continue about 2 miles to Smith Fishery Road and turn left. Follow this road approximately 5 miles to the end. The road is private, but visitors are welcome. At the end you will see a stone pillared fence, turn left. There are the four or five parking spaces 200 yards ahead. The road is marked “Private”, but access is available to the small parking area near the Smith Fisheries. The hike to the mouth of the Montreal River is a winding mile-long shoreline trail with many wind falls.
Haven Falls at Haven Park is close to Lac La Belle Road in Keweenaw County, Oppe said. Take the Lac La Belle Road south off of US-41, approximately one mile east of Delaware. Follow this road approximately 4.5 miles to the fork at the bottom of the hill. Turn right and Haven Park is about a half mile on the right. The falls are at the back of the roadside park and can be seen from the car.
Manganese Falls in Copper Harbor in Keweenaw County is also close to the road, Oppe said. Turn south immediately past the Copper Harbor Community Building on the Lake Manganese Road and go approximately seven-tenths of a mile. Falls are on the left about 100 feet from the road.
Manganese Falls is just a short walk on a trail along the top of a deep gorge to a viewing area at the trails end. The water drops at least 45 feet from the top of the rocky gorge to the bottom past sheer moss-covered walls.
Oppe said it’s important for visitors to waterfalls be careful because the footing near some of them can be less than ideal.
Although there may be hundreds of waterfalls in the Copper Country, Oppe said not all are accessible to the public, and the falls listed here are the ones they recommend to visitors who stop by the KCVB office on U.S. 41 near Calumet.
“We try to recommend the best for visitors we’re talking to,” she said.