West Branch Sturgeon Falls #2, Michigan

First, I’ll mention you can find out more about the waterfalls on the West Branch Sturgeon River in my previous posts, including the first posted, West Branch Sturgeon Falls #3.

I’ll just mention again, though, that the area around the falls is rather confusing. Often, the West Branch Sturgeon River is in view, and yet there’s no easy way to follow the river as it winds through the forests of the Upper Peninsula. This makes it difficult to clearly identify where the falls are found, as there are numerous different falls. This post completes the set of 4 falls I saw, and there is Hogger Falls upstream, which I was unable to find.

The second falls is not the easiest to photograph, as there are trees blocking the view. If you find the falls, you’ll be standing almost directly above them. The river takes a somewhat sharp turn at this point. Finding falls #3 and #4 become more difficult, as there is no clearly defined trail to see these falls. It’s not necessarily bushwhacking either, as long as you keep your bearings…

Directions:

  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 Road, which will be on your left.
  3. Turn left onto Newberry Road 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. The 2nd falls is not necessarily easy to photograph, but it’s probably the most noticeable of the falls.

Accessibility: 5/10 (moderate)
Height: 6′
Length of Hike: 2.3 miles round-trip

West Branch Sturgeon Falls #2 in late September 2010

Where in the World is West Branch Sturgeon River Falls #2?

West Branch Sturgeon Falls #1, Michigan

First off, apparently this set of waterfalls may have slightly different names. I thought it was the set of Lower Hogger Falls, but it also could be called West Branch Sturgeon Falls. There are four of them on the West Branch Sturgeon River, and none of them are particularly tall.  During the fall, when the colors are changing, they are beautiful.

When we showed up to find Hogger Falls, which is also on the same river just upstream, we ended up finding these 4 falls instead. Just a few days earlier, it had rained considerably, which meant that the falls were flowing well. The tannins in the water provided a beautiful golden color to the water, which only adds to the scenic nature of the area. This particular waterfall might be the largest of the four falls, but it is also the most difficult to photograph, as there isn’t really a good place to stand to view the falls. That may be different if the water in the river is lower.

Directions:

  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 Road, which will be on your left.
  3. Turn left onto Newberry Road 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!

Accessibility: 9/10 (easy)
Height: 6′
Length of Hike: 2.2 miles round-trip

West Branch Sturgeon Falls #1 in October 2010

Where in the World is West Branch Sturgeon Falls #1?

 

West Branch Sturgeon Falls #4, Michigan

First, I’ll mention you can find out more about the waterfalls on the West Branch Sturgeon River in my previous post, West Branch Sturgeon Falls #3. The lower set of Hogger Falls are not mentioned that frequently, most likely because they’re rather small and other larger falls are not too distant. Even so, they’re very pretty.

Let me say, though, that I’m not sure that I would be able to find the “4th” lower falls again. The first three were found by random chance after at least following what looked like a trail. After the first three falls, though, we really started wandering. The terrain around the West Branch of the Sturgeon is not exactly even, and so after climbing up and down hills and around trees, we stumbled upon the 4th falls. I distinctly remember climbing/sliding down a steeper slope to get a better view of this falls, only to find out there was a lot of vegetation near the river, making that a more difficult task than expected. It was an adventure, to say the least.

Directions:

  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 Road, which will be on your left.
  3. Turn left onto Newberry Road 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 fourth fall upstream that was “easily” visible, though this became more difficult to see than the first three.

Accessibility: 4/10 (moderate/strenuous)
Height: 3′
Length of Hike: 2.4 miles round-trip

West Branch Sturgeon Falls #4 in October 2010

Where in the World is West Branch Sturgeon Falls #4?

West Branch Sturgeon Falls #3, Michigan

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.

Directions:

  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!

Accessibility: 8/10 (easy/moderate)
Height: 3′
Length of Hike: 2.4 miles round-trip

West Branch Sturgeon Falls #3 

Where in the World is West Branch Sturgeon Falls #3?