Breakwater Falls

The Pine River running through Florence County has plenty of waterfalls and today I would be visiting several.  Next stop is Breakwater Falls which sit below the Pine River Flowage & WE Energies hydroelectric dam.  Access can be found from both north & south shores but as you will see it’s likely better viewing from the north.

From The South

I started on the south shore at the WE Energies power plant located about 1/4 mile below the dam itself.  Access to the otherwise private property is granted for canoe portage and hiking.

Be advised it’s all uphill on a fairly boring gravel/dirt maintenance road.  Best part?  It’s all downhill on the return trip.

The dam itself looks fairly unremarkable, save for the geyser of water shooting from an overflow pipe.  Still though – green energy is always nice to see.

Here’s a view downstream from the south side.  Not much to see but pleasant.  You could hike down the overgrown and steep cliffs but that didn’t look much fun to me.  I decided instead to take a drive.

From The North

After a short trip down forest roads (and I must say that is a relative term – forest road speeds aren’t very quick), I reached the north parking area.  Not much to see – one or two small campsites and a bulletin info board.

Views above the dam are quite serene.  Bright blue skies and wispy sparse clouds painted quite the ideal summer afternoon.

Below the dam there is a small path mowed into the grass leading through the dense brush.  In this photo it would be immediately to my left.  You could follow the fence line too but it didn’t appeal to me on this day.

Downstream views are better here but still no falls view in immediate sight.  Notice that big warning sign?  That’s where they begin.

Some scrambling down rocks and through brush finally leads to what I consider the “main” falls.  Definitely more substantial than I imagined and worth the difficulty to see!

From here the falls drop several more times but are difficult to see.  I opted against bumbling through the overgrown brush any further – onward to the next location!



Here’s a short video of the falls and my journey to get there.  Enjoy!


As mentioned above there are two access methods: north and south shores of the river.  Screenshot of the map showing both paths.

South access is longer and linear in elevation gain as it leads directly up the power plant service road.  Distance is just shy of 3/4 miles round trip.

North access is shorter but has more elevation change.  While it has greater potential to view the falls it also has 100% more chance to get injured if you aren’t careful.  Take your time and be safe!

Lat = 45.8294983 , Long = -88.2524796 -- Show at Google Maps

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