Waterfall Wednesday: Kakabika Falls

Kakabika Falls on the Ontonagon River in Michigan's UP by Tom Clark

Kakabika Falls on the Ontonagon River in Michigan’s UP by Tom Clark

The Waterfall Record says that Kakabika Falls:

…is a series of small drops that adds up to a larger total. None of the drops are really that big. The largest drop might be 10′ at most (across a distance). So if you’re really into big waterfalls, Kakabika Falls will probably not be for you.

Kakabika Falls still has many redeeming qualities for those that don’t mind smaller waterfalls. First off, the falls are pretty easy to get to, requiring a short drive off of US-2. Second, the waterfall will probably be devoid of people. When I visited, nobody else was there. So if you want peace and quiet, this might be the place for you. Third, the short hike to the falls is amazing. When I visited, it had rained the night before, giving the hike to the falls a very “rain-forest” feeling, even though it’s not a rainforest. It was humid, and there were a lot of mosquitoes, so you’ll definitely want to wear bug spray! The most dangerous animals in Michigan aren’t the bears or cougars, but instead the really annoying mosquitoes and biting flies (not that they’re dangerous).

Head over to the Waterfall Record for directions.

Tom took this photo last fall. You can see more in his North Shore Waterfall Trip album on Flickr & see more photos from him on his website or Facebook page.

More Michigan waterfalls on Michigan in Pictures!

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Wolf Making the Rounds

Wolf Making the Rounds by Bill Joyce Ziegler

Wolf Making the Rounds by Bill Joyce Ziegler

Bill got some stunning photos of one of the wolves in a pack south of Amasa in the UP. He shared this & another in the Pure UP group on Facebook. Check it out! Bill also wrote an article last year about the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s plans to take wolves off the Endangered Species List in Michigan. This happened in January 2021 but it’s worth a read: 

Michigan DNR wolf surveys indicate there is a minimum wolf population of 662 adult wolves. This is a minimum population since young of the year wolves are not surveyed.

Cody Norton, Michigan DNR Wolf Specialist said the average wolf litter is likely about four to six pups based on research in other similar states. Norton goes on to say in other studied wolf populations “up to 60 percent of the pups may die in the first six months due to disease and malnutrition.”

Norton stated, “The 2018 survey indicated there are 139 wolf packs in the U.P.” (mainland).

He went on to say the average U.P. pack was about five wolves. Norton continues, “Packs are typically comprised of a breeding pair, pups from the current year, offspring from previous litters, and occasionally other wolves that may or may not be related to the breeding pair.”

Norton said surveys indicate, “Wolf territories range in size from 5 to 291 square miles in the U.P., with an average of about 45 square miles. However, territory size has decreased over time, and the number of packs has stagnated, as the wolf population in the U.P. has increased.” Norton added “The U.P. wolf population appears to have been stable for the last eight years or so suggesting they’re likely nearing carrying capacity. This follows a long period of population growth from when we initially surveyed the first three known wolves in 1989 until 2011.”

…Regardless of how you feel about wolves, their population recovery in Michigan has been a success of a native species re-establishing itself. No matter what happens in terms of federal and state wolf management, residents of the Upper Peninsula will continue to live with wolves and will occasionally hear the howl of the wolf.

More from Woods n Water News.

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The Stuff DREAMS Are Made of

The stuff DREAMS are made of by Shelbydiamondstar Photography

The Stuff DREAMS Are Made of by ShelbyDiamondstar Photography

Shelby got an absolutely stunning shot of the aurora borealis on Saturday night on Lake Superior’s Keweenaw Peninsula. Head over to ShelbyDiamondstar Photography on Facebook for more!

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Waterfall Wednesday: Lower Tahquamenon Falls

Lower Tahquamenon by Dan Gaken

Lower Tahquamenon by Dan Gaken

GoWaterfalling explains that Lower Tahquamenon Falls is part of:

…Tahquamenon Falls State Park on MI-123. It is on the map and is easy to find, but it is a bit out of the way. There are three sections to the park: the Upper Falls, the Lower Falls, and the rivermouth campsite.

The lower falls are a series of cascades, that go around a small island, with several drops in the 10 foot range. You can rent a boat and go to the island, and walk around and see more views of the falls. There is a campground near the lower falls, and a concession stand where you can buy ice cream, drinks and souvenirs.

There is a trail between the upper and the lower falls. It is 4+ miles, with some ups and downs, mostly through woods well above the river. The river is quite calm between the two falls, and there is not much rock to see.

I know that I just featured a photo from Dan of the Upper Falls, but this one from Saturday was too good to pass up! See more in Dan’s Michigan’s Upper Peninsula gallery on Flickr!

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Sunrise at Tahquamenon

Sunrise at Tahquamenon by Dan Gaken

Sunrise at Tahquamenon by Dan Gaken

Here’s a stunning moment from Tahquamenon Falls that Dan captured this weekend.  More from Dan in his Michigan’s Upper Peninsula gallery on Flickr!

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Perseverance: New Mars Rover Lands Today

Milky Way + Mars viewed from Garden Peninsula MI by Daniel Sandin

Milky Way + Mars viewed from Garden Peninsula MI by Daniel Sandin

NASA’s Perseverance Rover will land on the surface of Mars today, Feb. 18, 2021 in a search for ancient life that will test the next generation of exploration tools:

Perseverance is the most sophisticated rover NASA has ever sent to the Red Planet, with a name that embodies NASA’s passion, and our nation’s capability, to take on and overcome challenges. It will collect carefully selected and documented rock and sediment samples for future return to Earth, search for signs of ancient microbial life, characterize the planet’s geology and climate, and pave the way for human exploration beyond the Moon.

Perseverance is also ferrying several cutting-edge technologies to the surface of Mars – including a helicopter named Ingenuity, the first aircraft to attempt powered, controlled flight on another planet.

The landing takes place just before 4 PM EST & you can watch online at NASA.

Daniel took this photo back of Mars in July of 2018 on the UP’s Garden Peninsula. See more great night photography on his Flickr & for sure check out his website – he looks like a very interesting guy!

Here’s NASA’s YouTube stream which goes live around 2 PM today.

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Return to Suicide Hill

Flying High at Suicide Hill

126 Suicide Jumps by PhotoYoop

I thought I’d bring back this photo from February of 2013 when Cory attended  the 126th annual ski jumping tournament at Suicide Bowl in Ishpeming, where skiers have been jumping annually since 1887! Suicide Hill  is run by the Ishpeming Ski Club. You can get more photos including shots from last weekend’s USA Nordic World Cup weekend on their Facebook!

Here’s a feature by Bob Garrett of Seeking Michigan about the history of Ishpeming’s Suicide Hill from a on Michigan in Pictures.

See more of Cory’s ski photos on Flickr & Be sure to follow him at PhotoYoop on Facebook too!

More skis and skiing on Michigan in Pictures.

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Waterfall Wednesday: Wagner Falls

Wagner Falls by John Bullington Photography

Wagner Falls by John Bullington Photography

GoWaterfalling shares that Wagner Falls:

is located south of Munising, on the east side of MI-94 just south of the MI-28 MI-94 junction. It has its own state park. There is small parking area and a sign. A short boardwalk leads to the falls. It is a pleasant walk and a pretty waterfall.

John shared this photo of a fresh winter snowfall in our Michigan in Pictures group on Facebook. See more from John on his Facebook page & on his website.

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Winter is beautiful at the Eben Ice Caves

Eben Ice cave in Michigan's Upper Peninsula by Tom Clark

Eben Ice cave in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula by Tom Clark

One of Michigan’s awesome winter features are the Eben Ice Caves in the Hiawatha National Forest. They explain that the Eben Ice Caves are located within the Rock River Canyon Wilderness (RRCW) which:

…includes approximately 4,700 acre (7.5 sq mile) and was designated in the Michigan Wilderness Act of 1987. During the mid- and late-winter months, many people visit RRCW to see the Eben Ice Caves.

…Although not “true” caves, they are made up of vertical walls of ice formed by water seeping through the sandstone bedrock cliff edge. As the temperature drops, these intermittent leaks create ice stalactites over the entrance to the bedrock undercuts. While ice caves are a phenomenon in the winter, the summer visitor would only see algae-covered rocks and dense foliage. The caves are within RRCW. Wilderness designation is the highest level of protection granted to federal lands.

You can read on for more & also be sure to check out the Eben Ice Caves Facebook page for tips & information on visiting.

Tom took this photo a couple of Januarys ago. Follow Tom on Facebook & at tom-clark.net. See more in his awesome U.P. Roadtrip to find ICE – 1/22/19 gallery on Flickr!

More pics from the Eben Ice Caves on Michigan in Pictures!

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Waterfall Wednesday: AuTrain Falls

AuTrain Falls U.P. Michigan by Linda Carter

AuTrain Falls U.P. Michigan by Linda Carter

Visit Chatham has a truly delightful post about the AuTrain Falls explains that they are located about 8 miles south of AuTrain, 5 miles east of Chatham, and 10 miles southwest of Munising. They say (in part – read it all if you can):

The AuTrain Falls are part of the AuTrain River. A major reason why the falls were created is because of the large power dam located about a mile south of the falls site, in close proximity to highway M-94. The Forest Lake Dam, ran by Renewable Energies Resources, is the main source of water for the falls. When water levels are high on the AuTrain Basin, an increased flow of water is released via the dam and down the river. The AuTrain River actually flows from South to North.

When more water is released via the dam, the more volume of water that flows through the falls. And especially during the spring season, the falls are a fabulous view! Even though the falls may not be as spectacular during the summer months as compared to the spring season, the falls are still wonderful to visit year-round. They are even accessible during the winter season! And you can’t say that about most Upper Peninsula falls.

Read on for more.

Linda took this at the end on September 29, 2020. See more in her Falls gallery on Flickr.

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