Piers Gorge


September 1, 2009

State: Michigan/Wisconsin

Location: Dickinson County, 3 miles south west of Norway Michigan.

Height: 20' over 4 drops

Crest: 80'

Water Source: Menominee River

Waypoint: 45.7578N 87.9491W

Summary: A 3 mile out and back hike takes you past a number of rapids and small falls on the wide Menominee River.

Piers Gorge is a scenic gorge carved out by the Menominee River. It is named for natural rocky "piers" that the river tumbles over, resulting in four sets of rapids, some of which could be classified as low falls. The biggest of the drops is about 8' high and is named Mishicot Falls.

A well maintained trail on the Michigan side of the river takes you past the four piers. The first pier is a short distance from the parking area and is nothing more than a turblent section of whitewater, but the rock outcroppings are interesting. The bedrock here has been tilted 90 degrees, and the seams of the rock are aligned with the flow of the water.

A quarter mile down the trail brings you to the much more scenic second pier. It is a small falls with a drop of a few feet. Just beyond this is Mishicot Falls. The Menominee River spills over an 8' high ledge and then runs through a long section of white water. There is a nice overlook high above the falls, and you can also get down close to the water if you wish.

The last pier is a full mile past Mishicot Falls. This one is named Sand Portage Falls. Here the river flows around two large chunks of rock, creating two islands. Unfortunately you cannot get a really good view from the Michigan side. I do not know if access if possible from the Wisconsin side.

A high rocky bluff is visible upstream of Sand Portage Falls, but the trail does not lead there.

Piers Gorge is located at the end of Piers Gorge Road, west of US 8 just north of the Michigan/Wisconsin border. There is a large shaded parking area at the trail head.

Nearby Falls

Wisconsin's Long Slide Falls and Smalley Falls are 5 miles to the south. Lasalle Falls is 20 miles to the northwest. Michigan's small Fumee Falls is a couple miles to the north. Eighteen Foot Falls, Daves Falls and others are all within 30 miles to the south.

Photo Gallery


The First Pier

The Second Pier

Mishicot Falls (3rd Pier)

The Fourth Pier

Sand Portage Falls (4th Pier)

Second Pier

Mishicot Falls

Looking down the 4th Pier

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Last Modified: Saturday, 05-Jan-2013 17:21:47 MST.

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