August 18, 2009
We left Hancock, Michigan, early this morning, heading for home. After a few stops (which were mentioned in Wednesday’s blog), we arrived a little past noon at the Porcupine Mountains State Park.
We hiked up the lookout tower at Summit Peak, but it was too overcast for much of a view. After lunch in the car, we drove to Presque Isle on the west side of the Park.
Ever since I was able to pick up a trail map at Summit Peak, I had been studying it, trying to determine if we could really do both sides of the river around the falls at Presque Isle. I pretty much memorized the small map with its several trails; good thing, too, because a couple different people we met on the trail had questions about it.
After a quick potty stop, we headed off along the trail. We crossed the swinging bridge and started off heading north on the East River Trail, which is reported to be 1.2 miles. I don’t quite know how they figure mileage on a trail like this. Are they accounting for the vertical climbs over stairways of irregular, but all natural roots? And then there is the mountain goat in me who, with camera in hand, can’t stay on the trail anyway, but has to hang over every cliff and clamber down every slope that might end with a photo-op.
The views on the east side, though more challenging to get to, were better than on the west. You were able to get right down to the river and because it was challenging, there were fewer people. At the end of the East Trail, you cross the Presque Isle River on the South Boundary Road and dive back into the woods on the West River Trail.
This trail had its trials also, namely one outrageous hill that I cannot believe they would expect anybody else to climb, except for crazies like me. And poor Himey who was just along for the ride.
I don’t know if I can adequately describe the falls – well, I know I can’t. But I wish there was a distinguishing feature about each that I could document to make picture-labeling easier. From south to north, they are named Nawadaha Falls, Manido Falls, Manabezho Falls and the one closest to the opening to Lake Superior is Unnamed Falls, according to the Gazetteer. And it isn’t even marked on the State Park map. It drops probably ten feet and is really interesting so I think it should have a name. Maybe I should write to the Michigan Parks Department about it, they could have a contest to pick the name.
It was all very spectacular. I really should come here more. We drive to Black River Harbor and its waterfalls at least every couple years. The Porkies is only like – I have no idea how much further up the road. As the crows flies, only ten miles. In a car, on a road, much further, but still not a crazy distance.
Oh, yes, and I took some 325 pictures on this entire three day trip to the UP. It makes it too easy to go nuts when you have a digital camera!