Quick Stop at Falls River Falls

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On the way to Appleton the group makes a quick stop at L'Anse to find the upper drop of Falls River Falls. Oh, and there's a train! published on by

The falls beyond the older railroad bridge

Katie, Emily and I were headed down to a weekend wedding in Appleton, WI. It was a long drive and I convinced them that we should stop by a few waterfalls on the way, using Logan's puppy bladder as leverage. We left Houghton early Thursday afternoon and stopped at Falls River Falls, right in the city limits of L'Anse.

Our first trip here had started down by the marina, a fun walk up past the lower and middle falls. I had learned later that there were more drops upstream of US-41. Before exploring the new area we took Emily downstream to the wooden bench, the excellent vantage point to see the impressive middle falls. When we headed back upstream I continued alone, leaving the two girls at the car, promising a quick walk up to the upper drops.

Wooden rail trestle stretching over the river

Wooden rail trestle stretching over the river

The well-defined trail that led from the marina all the way up to US-41 breaks up into several paths. One path leads up the bank into town, possibly to the nearby school. Another path leads up to our parking spot, right off of US-41. The third, smaller one, leads down to the river, under the railroad trestle. This was the path I took, jumping from rock to rock with Logan when the path stopped at the water.

Going under the first trestle wasn't bad, but the bridge for US-41 had drains that leaked yellow-orange sludge onto the footings and nearby rocks. I was wearing sandals so I just decided to scoop up Logan and wade through the shallow river. The water wasn't any deeper than my knees, just dampening the lower parts of my shorts.

There was one more railroad trestle, a much older one wooden one. As I peered ahead, planning our watery route up, a train started passing over the first trestle. It was loud and exciting, spooking Logan a bit. I pushed ahead, keeping to the shallow water, eventually finding some flat, dry rocks to take photos from. This upper drop was very pretty, more of a direct plunge than the lower falls, thick trees hemming both sides. Here I found a path on the bank, leading up to the highway, letting us keep dry on our way back to the car.

Bright sun over the upper falls

Bright sun over the upper falls

Train passing overhead

Train passing overhead

The girls were worried by the train, not sure if we were on the bridge or down on the river when it showed up. When they saw us again they calmed down and we headed out on the long drive to Appleton. Even though we had spent too much time here and couldn't afford a second stop at Canyon River Falls I was happy that we got at least one stop in. Plus, now I knew about the easy path down to the upper falls.

Trip Photos

  • Wooden rail trestle stretching over the river
  • Train passing overhead
  • The falls beyond the older railroad bridge
  • Bright sun over the upper falls

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