On my trip to the western Upper Peninsula last weekend to enjoy the fall colors, I decided to take a detour to see Hogger Falls. Once finding what seemed to be the right area to head to the falls, we started on our journey. Well, I’m not sure that we ever found our original goal, Hogger Falls. The trail turnoff that supposedly led to the falls wasn’t very apparent. I did find a side trail early on that didn’t seem to lead to anything except a really random tree that had been clearly cut down into a weird shape.
I felt that we had walked too far to see Hogger Falls, but I had read that there were three smaller falls further down the trail. The book that I was using suggested that you drive down the road that follows the West Branch Sturgeon River, but the road was blocked by a gate. Which was probably a good thing, since the road was very uneven and full of water from recent rains. We found the trail that led to the lower falls. None of the falls are particularly large, but they were pretty nonetheless. The third falls that we saw upstream was only about 3 feet tall. Since there was a considerable rainfall in the past few weeks, there was likely more water than normal.
1) We took MI-38 west out of Baraga and headed for a ways on M-38.
2) After traveling west on M-38, you will come to Newberry Rd., which will be on your left.
3) Turn left onto Newberry Rd. and head 3 miles south on the dirt road.
4) After about 3 miles, you’ll come to a “road” on your left. If you go any further, you’ll end up at the West Branch Sturgeon River, where the bridge is out. If you turn around and head north, I guess it’s the first “road” on your right.
5) We had to stop at that road because it was blocked by a gate, and I’m not necessarily sure I would head down that road anyway.
6) From the gate, start hiking east down the road. Keep going until it appear that the road “ends”. It seemed to be blocked by a pile of dirt and trees, though there was a trail that wrapped around to the right.
7) Follow that trail to the right, which heads to the river. Depending on where you end up, you’ll likely see a waterfall. The first waterfall we saw was not easily visible. I then headed back west following the river very closely. This is the third fall we saw along the river. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are numerous more that just can’t be seen very easily. You’re often considerably high above the river!
Where in the World is West Branch Sturgeon River Falls #3?: map