After leaving Potato River Falls, it’s only about a 15 minute drive to Saxon Harbor County Park. It’s a very quaint park, with a campground, boat slips, playground equipment, picnic areas and a beach. I Parked right next to the sign saying that all vehicles needed an Iron County Parks admittance sticker, we unloaded our picnic and headed for an open table. Lunch was quickly devoured (did I mention all the stairs and hiking we did in my last post? I did? OK) and it was decided that it was swimming time!
Along with all of the rain the area had in the past few days, they also had a nice run of warm temperatures. The water was chilly, but not enough to send the boys crawling up inside, if you know what I mean. We spent a good couple of hours at the beach. Rocks were plentiful, so Evan spent much of the time rearranging their location in the water. IE, throwing them as far as he could. Both kids felt the need to be buried up to their necks in the sand, and like any good father, I obliged.
We loaded up all of our beach gear, plus 8 or so cool flat rocks that we had found for some arts & crafts projects at home, and headed up the restrooms to change. After I got Evan out of his swim suit, I was dismayed by the amount of sand remaining on (and in) him. I was then overjoyed that there was shower! I was then perturbed that it was a buck a minute. I was then content to wash him with paper towels I soaked in the sink. (Insert thumbs up smiley here)
Our next destination was less than a mile away: Superior Falls. We also go to cross “Michigan” off the list of places the kids had never been. The Montreal River forms part of the border between Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and is the source for Superior Falls. The parking lot is on the UP side, so technically we took them to Michigan.
As part of an agreement with local governments, the utility that operates the dam and hydroelectric plant have to maintain so many cubic feet per minute of water flow over the falls and allow public viewing access. They have a nice crushed gravel parking lot and a fairly well maintained path leading up to a viewing area. There is a chain link fence there to keep people from falling into the water. It’s probably a 80′ foot drop that will really ruin your day. Luckily, we knew the way around the fence.
The trip is about a 5 minute hike along the fence. Once the fence stops, well, just take one more step and you’re around it. It’s really not that hard – or secret. Once you are past the fence, you have a lot of area to wander around and explore. It’s very steep, a fact that we had forgotten in the 7 years since Bambi and I came here last. We we hiking around in just sandals and flip flops. Oops.
The area is quite well-traveled by people getting a better look at the falls, so there is very little underbrush. All of the iron in the soil makes for the red tint to everything, including the water. The kids decided it looks like soda.
We enjoyed the falls, for while, then headed back up those steep descents. Although, this time they seemed to be steeper ascents. Odd.
We crossed the parking lot and went along a path to the Montreal River Scenic Overlook.
Finally, we had enough of the breathtaking views and headed back to the van.
In my next update: Danger! Gangsters! Mushy fish!