Friday, November 28, 2008

Adit Falls

A mini waterfall of mine water
I'm back from downstate -- so here's a waterfall! (Makes sense in my head.) This is (in my mind) the real Copper Falls (not this silliness). And it's a good name too -- this stream appears magically out of the hillside, where the old Copper Falls adit drains the mine. This waterfall is just a little way downstream, before the stream winds its way through a giant field of stamp sand left from the old mill.

That's all for now -- snowshoes tomorrow!


jpemeric said...

Cool! There's way too many conflicting images/descriptions of Copper Falls out there - this one is definitely a nice one, though. How far upstream have you ventured on Owl Creek, anyways?

DC said...

Hey Jake -- glad to see you here, I didn't realize you were reading my blog. :)

Copper Falls, I think, is in the same category as the Gratiot River Upper Falls and Crestview: a tale invented by locals to tell to tourists and make them run around like idiots in the woods. The photos linked in this post are what I found when I followed some consensus directions I'd arranged. They are barely even rapids, although they might look OK in the spring melt. (And now the road there is private, so you have to find a back way in too.)

I think I've covered a large portion of Owl Creek, missing only a bit between Great Sand Bay and the Copper Falls area. There isn't much on it.

BTW, I see that you've got a waterfall project going too -- have you seen my summer of waterfalls? I can point you towards some of the more obscure ones if you're interested. You should definitely go see Adit (Copper) Falls if you haven't -- just be careful, because both Mike and I had similar problems...

jpemeric said...

Hey Dave,

I've actually used your photo gallery on my own 'project' - you were very thorough for the Keweenaw Area, while other waterfall sites/explorers often skip the harder ones. There was only three or four additional ones that I had to depend solely on topo maps for. I definitely agree with you about some of the falls up here being little more then rapids, too :P

The only part of Copper Falls I've really ventured on was south of Brockway. I'll have to wait until spring to see the stamp sand and other falls, though it sounds like that would be a good time to visit it anyways... Keeping an eye out for the adit, of course.

DC said...

Glad my waterfall gallery was useful. But now I have to ask -- which ones did I miss? I know Douglass Houghton falls aren't on there, because of the private land problem. Besides that, I don't know which ones in the Keweenaw I missed -- I know I missed a lot outside of the Keweenaw (I'd love to spend more time in the Porkies, for example).

jpemeric said...

As far as I know, there are only seven north of the Portage that I didn't see in your gallery. Some of them are so-so, but I have to admit that they all dwarf Gardener's Creek :D

- Gooseneck Creek Falls in Dollar Bay
- Unnamed drop at Hungarian, downstream of the largest lower drop
- Trap Rock River Falls on Township Road
- Queen Anne's Falls on Fulton Creek
- Upper Gratiot River Falls
- Lower Gratiot River Falls
- Upper Montreal Falls (there's another one about 1/2 mile upstream from the main upper drop)

I've heard that there's one on Muggun Creek as well as Swedetown, but I haven't been to them (and don't plan to, honestly). Other then that, I kinda suspect that Owl, Slaughterhouse and Jacob's creeks might have further falls on them (Owl for sure).

If you're looking to venture outside of the Keweenaw, I'd also recommend searching out Slate River and Silver River some more. There's at least six named drops on Slate River (and many more truly amazing ones) and a string of amazing waterfalls at Middle Silver Falls. Both of them are more then dangerous at this time of year, though.

Question about Copper Falls - did you take Pine Street out of Eagle Harbor? I remember wandering in some ridiculously thick brush in late July north of Brockway Mt Drive/Eagle Harbor Rd along Owl Creek - hoping there's an easier way.

DC said...

Hmm, I may have to check these out when spring hits again!

I've never heard of Gooseneck or Queen Anne's falls. I swear I had photos from Gratiot River on my gallery, but apparently I don't. Kyle and I went out there probably 5 times that summer, until we literally put on boots and waded up the river until we found the lower falls. I eventually found where I think the upper falls are supposed to be, but they don't even qualify as rapids in my book. Did you manage to find something better?

As for the others -- well, I guess I have errands in the spring. :)

DC said...

Oops, I should have said -- can you tell me where Queen Anne's falls are in particular? I'm sure I can find the rest, but those I can't even figure out where they might be.

Also, I don't really think Owl Creek has anything more -- at least not anything that is bigger than Gardener's Creek falls. :P

DC said...

Wow... one more question I forgot to answer. Yeah, you take Pine street out of Eagle Harbor -- past the cemetery, past the wellhead area, and keep going straight until the road comes to a T. Then get out and walk to the right to get to the stamp sand field. I believe that going left will take you on a shortcut to the Eagle Harbor Shortcut road, but I'm not sure where it comes out.

jpemeric said...

Huh - I thought I posted a reply last night, but apparently I forgot to hit Publish. Anyways, Queen Anne's Falls is just southwest of Copper City. Park at Bumbletown and Mohawk and walk down Mohawk past the license plate gate and the dump behind it. It forks a few times past the dump - I think I took the one that looked the most traveled. Continue roughly straight south on this for about a half mile until you reach a large triangle-shaped clearing with pine trees on the northeast side (you can see it on a sat photo). There's a rough 4-wheeler track on the southwest tip, take this to the creek and falls. You may find it easier just to cut west to the creek and follow that to the falls. They're surprising large and were flowing good last weekend, despite the ice and snow.

I'm launching a site with pictures and directions to some waterfalls soon (hopefully tomorrow). Would you be interested in checking out the beta for validity and such? There's not many people that have been to as many waterfalls as you have, and I'm not sure if I found the actual falls/best route for many of them.

Also, thanks for the directions! I'm already looking forward to hiking from the stamp sands to Owl Lake in the spring.

DC said...

Jake -- cool! I'd love to look through your site. I remember that a lot of the directions I got were vague at best, so a site with definitive directions would be excellent.

Thanks for the directions -- I'll be sure to check out Queen Anne's Falls soon (if it doesn't freeze).

Hiking from the sands to Owl Lake is doable, but the adit falls aren't actually on Owl Creek -- they're on the mysterious stream that flows out of the adit, goes through the sands, and then joins Owl Creek after a way. I've followed Owl Creek up from the lake to the joining of the streams, and from Owl Lake down past the Eagle Harbor shortcut road for a while -- so I've missed the part from there, past the sands, to the streams meeting. There could me something there, but the stream has such low volume that I can't imagine that any drops along there will be any good.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave ...

You're a wonderful photographer. I lived in Copper City as a kid and we used to hike from Copper City, through the fields to Queen Annie Falls. It's been so long ago now, I'm 48 now. One day I'd like to go back and try and find it again, retracing footsteps of the past. It's a nice thought, maybe I would just get lost, lol.

DC said...

@terasinas: sorry to take so long to reply. I can't imagine what things looked like 48 years ago -- probably much more clear-cut. I'm a huge mining history fan, so it would have been amazing to see some of the old mines in action still...