COLOR REPORT: 10/11/17
Fall color report for 10/11/17
The colors are 90% to Peak with some areas past peak. You can still find some vibrant trees with their orange, reds and yellows. Rain is in the forecast for this weekend causing the leaves to start dropping off the trees. So now may be the last chance to get some beautiful views.
Seeking majestic vistas? Explore the Western U.P. and come away with a whole new perceptive of “nature at its best.” There are many areas that allow you to enjoy a panoramic view of glorious fall foliage and clear blue water. Fall is the perfect time to explore back roads on a bike, paddle a quiet lake, hike a densely forested trail, climb a rugged mountain or just plain change your perspective on what the world has to offer.
Tour Highlights: Cisco Chain of Lakes, Bond Falls, Porkies and Presque Isle falls
This tour takes you to some of the most spectacular scenery this country has to offer. You Start in Wakefield on Hwy 2 heading east. As you travel this road you are driving through the heart of the Ottawa Ntl Forest.
There are several side roads you can travel. Maps are available at the Forest Service offices. At the intersection of Hwy 2 & 45 turn north.
In Paulding you will see the signs for Bond Falls. This is a good spot for a stop. After Bond Falls you can continue on this road to Hwy M28 the second portion of this road is a good gravel road. Or return to 45 and continue north.
If you continue you will intersect M28 go west and stop at Agate Falls if you like. At the intersection of M28 & 45 go north to Ontonagon, a good stop for lunch and shopping. Here take M64 along the shore of Lake Superior to the West all the way to “Lake of The Clouds” on Hwy M-l07.
Next take South Boundary road south. Along the way stop at the Visitors Center. Summit Peak is a great lookout for colors. At the end of South Boundary Road is Cty Rd 519. Go north for 1 mile and get out of the car and walk to the waterfalls. There is a boardwalk along the river to the shore of Lake Superior.
Return to Wakefield on 519 to Hwy M28 & turn right and you will find yourself back where you began. This tour is a full day so take plenty of film.
This is a simple trip, however the views are anything but simple. The Black River Scenic Byway is a protected road way by the Federal Government. It includes several waterfalls, Copper Peak ski flying hill and a walking suspension bridge over the river. This route while short is a good route to spend most of your time out of the car.
To begin you turn to the north off US-2 at the entrance to Big Powderhorn Mountain. The entrance is marked by the big skier. Follow the road to the main lodge of the ski resort. There the road turns to the right, follow it over the railroad tracks to a T intersection, here you turn left on to Black River Road. This will take you out to the waterfalls. Each of the waterfalls have paths leading to them. Potawatomi is barrier free (from the Gorge Parking Lot) with bath room facilities. Gorge and Rainbow have steps and observation decks, while Great Conglomerate and Sandstone falls have natural settings. At the harbor there is also a bathroom and picnic area. Black River Harbor also includes a campground, cabins and shopping. Enjoy this trip short in distance long on scenery.
Tour Highlights: Little Girls Point, Lake Superior, Gogebic County Forest, Superior Falls and Saxon Harbor
This tour takes in a little of everything our area has to offer. You begin in Ironwood at the intersection of US and Lake Rd, the Holiday Gas Station is there. Take Lake road north. You will travel about 15 miles. At this point you will enter the Gogebic County forest and begin to go downhill. Half way down this hill is a spring with good drinking water.
As you continue on Lake Rd (513) you will come to Little Girls Point. This park is a great place to get out and stretch your legs. Take some time to walk the beach and listen to the waves of the Big Lake. This stretch of land is rich in history. It was the site of Indian villages and resting points for the Jesuit Missionaries, most notably Father Jacques Marquette, as they traveled from St. Ignace to Madeline Island in 1669.
As you continue west you will come to Superior Falls and the mouth of the Montreal River. This is an other good spot to get out and explore. As you cross the Montreal River you will enter Wisconsin. Shortly after this you will see the signs for Saxon Harbor, a must see. This place is part of the Old Flambeau Trail serving the Chippewa from LaPointe to Lac du Flambeau. As you Return to the main road you will intersect with Hwy 2 turn left and it will bring you back to Ironwood.
You can start this tour from either end of the lake. As you drive around the lake take the time to stop in at one of the restaurants for lunch or dinner as your view is over the lake. Lake Gogebic is the Upper Peninsula’s largest lake. 18 miles long and 3 miles wide, the driving distance around the lake is a little over 38 miles. Again take your time and enjoy the colors.
From Hwy 2 east of Marenisco take Hwy M64 north. After a few miles you will be on the south end of Lake Gogebic. About a mile further you will see hiking signs. This trail leads to a scenic overlook of the lake. As you continue up the west shore there are two restaurants; The Gogebic Lodge and the Fishtales Resort both have great food with dining rooms that overlook the lake.
The west shore also features the parks. Gogebic County park is the furthest south, the State Park is in the middle and Ontonagon County park is on the north end. M64 will intersect with M28, go east this will take you into Bergland. Here you will find gas and supplies. About one mile east of Bergland is East Shore Road, turn right and follow the road until it comes to M64 on the south end of the lake. Turn left and you will return to Hwy 2.