Sunday, October 7, 2012

Western Upper Peninsula Adventure -- Post 5

Yesterday was quite a day. I am in the Eagle River, WI area at an art show with my other sister, Sandy. The place we are staying at didn't have wifi, so I was not able to execute a blog update.

We were on the road early and arrived at the fair grounds a little after 7:00 am. There was snow on the ground. I must admit that although I love winter, I was not prepared for the transition. It was a VERY cold day sitting in the booth until 4:00 p.m. Then we drove to the resort that was sponsoring a Gitche Gumee Gathering last night. I'll report more about this later after I catch up with the Western U.P. adventure that I took with my sister, Diana, last weekend.

After we left Copper Peak, we continued west on US2 to Bessemer, and headed toward the Black River Parkway.

The Black River Harbor and Recreation Area is located 15 miles north of Bessemer, Michigan via County 513 - the Black River Scenic Byway. In 1904, this was a wagon road from Bessemer to Lake Superior. In 1924 Gogebic County began construction of the harbor park, later transferred to the USDA Forest Service. The park includes a vending machine kiosk, picnic area, playground, pavilion, campground and a sandy beach.

Black River Harbor is the only Great Lakes harbor located administered by the USDA Forest Service. The harbor has services for day and transient boaters, including several dock-side picnic tables. The scenic hiking trails through an old growth hemlock and hardwood forest and five waterfalls make this one of our favorite scenic stops around Lake Superior.

Here is a picture of the harbor...


There is a break wall protecting the harbor that is similar to the one being built in Grand Marais.

You can access the beach from a cool suspension bridge.


Here are a couple of pictures I took on the beach looking north toward the Porcupine Mountains.

On display at the park is the Nancy Jean.

After we had lunch, we headed to the first of five waterfalls along the parkway.

Location: Black River Scenic Byway, 16 miles north of Bessemer. Height: 30 feet; Crest: varies; Water Source: Black River; Waypoint: 46.65889N 90.04361W

This is the last of the main falls on the Black River before it enters Lake Superior. This is an interesting waterfall. Unfortunately the best views are from the east side of the river and the observation deck is on the west side of the river. The hike from the west side trail head is 1/2 mile. In my opinion the smarter thing to do is to drive down to end of the Black River Scenic Byway, cross the river and hike back up to the falls. A suspension bridge takes you across the river and a mile long, scenic, and mostly level trail, takes you back to the falls. The views are far superior. In low water you can wade across the river above the falls.

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