Today’s main attraction is a 2-for-1 waterfall experience at the Menominee River State Recreation Area (also called Piers Gorge) from the Norway, Michigan side. The river separates Wisconsin and Michigan‘s Upper Peninsula, and while you can access from the Wisconsin side it is much more difficult with obstructed views. Enough with the words – let’s start hiking!
Piers Gorge (1st Pier)
From the trail head, there are several river access points labeled as “piers”. First Pier is a large rapids section nicknamed Terminal Surfer by the whitewater crowd.
The river is very wide here and narrows sharply as you move upstream through the canyon. Clouds are looking very moody at this point.
Trails here have some elevation change finally! Path is a mix between exposed rock, dirt, and tree roots.
Piers Gorge (2nd Pier)
Second Pier is possibly the most exciting part of the whole area. The first falls is nicknamed 2 Sisters due to the large “vee” in the middle dividing the water into two identical drops.
Back on the trail heading towards the next pier, you get a distant view of the main attraction – a huge violent falls & rapids area called Mishicot Falls (I have also seen it written as Misicot Falls). This is the first sight from the trail but they get better as you go along.
Today was the final whitewater rafting run this season for this outfitter. I was fortunate enough to watch them go downriver twice – see for yourself in the video below!
Closer to Third Pier views open up a bit. You can really see how large this falls is spreading across the river.
Here’s another wider angle to include the foliage colors. I would go back again just to visit this specific spot.
Piers Gorge (3rd Pier, Mishicot/Misicot Falls)
Third Pier is 1/2 mile from the main trail head. From here you can get a closer view of Mishicot Falls.
The sound of water moving at ground level is deafening and you can feel the crash of the falls in your chest!
Looking downstream of the falls back towards 2 Sisters give a different perspective – can you imagine seeing this from a raft/kayak?
Upstream views are much more peaceful but the current is still moving very fast.
From here you could hike to the Fourth Pier also called Sand Portage Falls but I believe it’s another 3/4 mile each way. I was running out of daylight and had to call it quits. Will definitely be back and plan to check views on the Wisconsin side next time!
Here’s a short compilation of views from Piers Gorge. Enjoy!
Not a very difficult hike but it does involve some elevation change and uneven surfaces / exposed roots as tripping hazard. Completely 100% worth it for the views, don’t miss this one!Lat = 45.7585068 , Long = -87.9536667 -- Show at Google Maps