Porcupine Mountains - Family Adventure | Part III
Have you been following our Vacation through the Porcupine Mountains & Copper Country? If you'd like to see our night at the beach and all the waterfall chasing we've done you can read more at Part I & Part II.
We headed out of the Porcupine Mountains and up along the Keweenaw Peninsula towards Copper Harbor. We took our good ole' time climbing around and enjoying the restful rhythm of the water at a few waterfalls along the way. Our first falls of the day was Bonanza, it was a short walk with a steep but easy climb down. This falls was peaceful and fun to take Cole across the rocks, he had fun crossing back and forth over the flowing water and watching it rush by and down the next set of falls.
While on our way to our next stop in Eagle River, we attempted to find some off in the backwoods waterfalls and it didn't work out quite so well. We felt like we were in that movie "The Hills Have Eye's," and finally I was lucky enough to talk Troy into turning around after about an hour of driving down dirt roads in the middle of who knows where along the edge of the scariest bluff I ever want to be on. We finally made it to Eagle River to check out the Eagle River Falls waterfalls, eat a delicious lunch at Fitzgerald's attached to the Eagle River Inn, and enjoy some country store ice cream on the iron bridge. I even made a new chipmunk friend that was clearly not threatened by me even a little.
We quickly jumped out of the car snapped a photo of Jacob's Falls and ran back to the car. There's a great little gem there called the Jampot ran by some local Monks, if you like baked goods, it's a must see.
We finally made it up to the Brockway Mountain Scenic Drive were you can pull off and see some spectacular views down the mountain of pine trees, golden grass, and flowers. All the way down to Lake Superior and out across the waters. One overlook you could see Copper Harbor below, it reminded me of one of the old mining towns I had seen as a kid in the hills of Colorado.
After forcing ourselves to leave the Mountain Top and venturing down the drive back down to the Lakeshore. Our next stop was Fort Wilkins, an early Army post set up to protect the local Miners in the late 1800s.
The sun started setting and it was a race to Hunter's Point, a spot Troy insisted we had to make it too before the evening was over. Apparently, it's a must see spot. We ran through the rough root and rubble covered trail to get to what was the least breathtaking spot our entire journey. I had to laugh after being initially annoyed. My foot some blisters and my knee was giving me heck after all the hiking we had been doing, plus I'm old and I was tired and cranky. But Cole enjoyed tossing rocks in the waters and we watched the sun set behind the rocks on the point across from us where I caught a sweet silhouette of a couple watching the setting sun as well. We then had to race the last of daylight left to get back to the car before it was pitch black. We also found a dog that we thought was a wolf at first. It was quite a little adventure of it's own. But we all enjoyed the day and it was a lot of fun.
We woke the next morning to dash out the door of our lodging, which was the cutest mid century motel the King Copper Motel. We spent the morning navigating two track roads to even more waterfalls and the great Estivant Pines. Heading back to town at lunchtime Cole got his picture on the giant rocking chair and we had a great lunch at Zik's. It was finally the time to start heading back down the peninsula, but first we had to make a stop at the Delaware Copper Mine, where we got to explore the mine shafts on a tour guided by Cole himself. How cute is he in that hard hat?
After a tiring walk up the 100 steps back to the surface around the ruins and through the rock piles we set out to search for the ghost town of Mandan, where the Mandan and Medora mines operated in the mid 1800s. What you see in the pictures below is all that's there and it was hard enough to find the road leading to them.
Once back in Houghton, we enjoyed a movie night and pizza in our hotel. Our last day in the Upper Peninsula we found and played for hours at the Shoots & Ladders Park on the river, checked out the Quincy Mine, then took a scenic drive along the river to the Calumet Waterworks Park where we spent several hours scouring the beach for agates and digging mounds in the sand while playing TMNT. It's sad to say this was the end of our trip and all that was left was driving back home.
If your interested in some of the Lake Superior Falls here is a great guide with directions and photos. And if your interested in reading more of our waterfall chasing or playing at the beach you can find that in Part I & Part II.
Let me know if your a waterfall chaser as well, and the biggest falls you've seen. If the biggest one isn't your favorite, which is your favorite falls? Comment below!