Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Fall Color in Iron County Wisconsin and Upper Michigan

Every weekend during the fall my husband and I go leaf-peeping.  We chase the fall colors across the state, starting at the top and ending in southern Wisconsin.  This was the first weekend of our fall foliage hunt, and since the colors are just starting to turn around us, we had to drive all the way up to the tippy top of Wisconsin and a little into Michigan to see some WOW color.

This is the route we took.  We drove 3 and a half hours to Mellon Wisconsin and started our day in Copper Falls State Park.  From there we hopped onto Highway 77 and hit two waterfalls:  Upson Falls and Gile Falls.  We spent the night in Ironwood, Michigan, then went hit three more waterfalls before driving home:  Interstate Falls,  Superior Falls, and Potato River Falls.  

Copper Falls State Park

We had been to Copper Falls State Park way back in 2016.  You can read all about that visit HERE.  It was summer time during our first visit, so I was curious how different the park would look in the fall.  I didn't think the park had a lot of color because there are not a lot of deciduous trees, mostly pine.  Nevertheless, there were spots of pretty color here and there.

We took the famous "Doughboy trail where you can see two waterfalls:  Copper Falls and Brownstone Falls.  The waterfall views on this trail are truly spectacular.

The paths are easy and well-maintained making it accessible for everyone.  Some parts of the trail are even wheelchair accessible, although there are a lot of steps on other parts of the trail.

There are so many beautiful, photogenic bridges on this trail!

Of course, I had to stop and take a picture on every single bridge!

The viewing decks to see the falls are fabulous!

The red/brown color of the rock makes these waterfalls so much more interesting.

I should mention it was a misty day, but it never rained hard enough to spoil our fun.  It mostly lightly rained in the morning and the afternoon was just cloudy.

Upson Falls

Our next stop was Upson Falls.  This little waterfall is a hidden gem located in the town of Upson.  Below is pictured the lower Upson Falls, but if you follow the river upstream just a bit, you will discover the upper falls which are a true beauty.

There was no formal trail to get to the upper falls, but it is such a short hike, we managed.  The woods and mossy rocks were just exquisite!

And here is upper Upson Falls.  Gorgeous, isn't it?

Corrigan's Lookout

Some very friendly locals we met at Copper Falls State park directed us to an overlook where they said we would see fabulous fall color.  They were absolutely right! It was magnificent and only a short 1/4 walk through a forest to get to the overlook too.

Giles Falls

Our last waterfall of the day was so tricky to find.  Even with directions I had to stop and ask a local and we still barely found it.  Everyone said "Look for the row of boulders" but the boulders all had tall weeds growing in front so they were obscured from view.  And, there were also "No trespassing" signs posted, so we didn't know what to think of that.  Why would they advertise a waterfall if you weren't allowed to see it?  Well, we disobeyed the signs because we saw other cars parked in the lot, and we followed a very short path to the falls.  These falls were very lovely I just wish they were more accessible to the public.

After checking into our hotel and freshening up, we had dinner at "El Tarasco".  The atmosphere left much to be desired, but the food was fabulous.  It is a very popular place for the locals as everyone seemed to know each other....if locals eat at a restaurant, it's usually a good one.  We ordered "Fajitas Texas" for two and it was INCREDIBLE.  People from another table had to come over and ask what we were eating because it looked so appealing.  It's loaded with large shrimp, delicious veggies, tender sliced beef, plus chicken.  YUM! We ate our fill at the restaurant and still had leftovers for two more meals.

Interstate Falls

The next morning we had breakfast at the hotel then drove five minutes to "Interstate Falls".  This is such a pretty trail and a popular place for the locals.  There were so many benches to just sit and enjoy the solitude of the woods.

The path is short and easy.

See the house in the upper center of the photo?  Those are very lucky homeowners as they have a great view of the falls.

Superior Falls

Superior Falls was my favorite waterfall of our trip.  I just loved the tall rock formations surrounding it and how it spills into Lake Superior

The photo above shows Lake Superior in the background.  The falls would be behind and to my left of this photo.  The water falls over the cliff then into a pool and short river before going into the lake.

On the way to our next and last waterfall we spotted a pair of swans!  This was the second time on this trip we saw swans. 

Potato River Falls

Everyone said that if you're in the area not to miss Potato River Falls, and I would agree.  It was definitely one of my favs.  There are two trails to two different lookouts:  the Upper Potato River Falls and the Lower Potato River Falls.  Both are short trails, but involve a lot of steps.

Upper Potato River Falls

Lower Potato River Falls

The Lower Potato River Falls is definitely the more spectacular of the two waterfalls.

I hope you enjoyed my fall leaf peeping journey.  I'll be back next week with another adventure.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

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