Quick Wintery Stop in Copper City

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With only a few coordinates left to collect Jacob and Logan head up to Copper City for a quick tromp through the Keweenaw snow. published on by

Copper City across the open meadow

There were still a few waterfalls in the Keweenaw that I needed to collect coordinates for. Namely, I needed to hunt down the location of Fenners Falls and Queen Anne's Falls. Both of these were relatively large drops that were nestled deep enough in the woods to keep their exact position a bit hard to find from a map. I drove up M-28 from Houghton with Logan, both of us excited for a little romp in the deep Michigan snow.

The snow plows had left a small shoulder on the roads up by Eagle River, forcing me to crunch into the snow as I parked. My tires were still on the road, technically, but I didn't fret too much. Fenner's Falls would be a quick stop. I left Logan in the car for this one and charged into the forest's deep snow.

Reaching the side of the waterfall would be close to impossible this time of year. The narrow path down is hard enough to follow in the summer - covered in snow and ice would ensure a hard fall to the rocks of Eagle River below. When I reached the top of the deep gorge I looked around, verified that I was above the waterfall, and saved the spot to my GPS. I'd use this as a reference and make a mental note to push it a few yards east to account for the river.

Tall pines along the gorge walls

Tall pines along the gorge walls

We pulled away from the shoulder and turned about in Eagle River. The rest of our stops were back south in the Copper City area and there was no need to drive further up in the Keweenaw. Remembering from last fall's adventure I turned down Allouez Street and parked near the utility meters on 4th. The open field south of town was white and barren, welcoming me with cold arms to the snowy hike ahead.

A barren land of snow

A barren land of snow

There had been a few snowmobiles along the track back towards the falls, probably looking for an alternate route down to the Trap Rock River Valley. Or maybe it was the owner of the land zipping back to their hunting blind that sits near the falls. Either way the packed snow made for an easy walk, with only one of every five or six steps breaking through and stopping my gait.

Reaching the meadow above the falls was easy. Getting to the top of the frozen waterfall was not. The snow was a bit crunchy on top from recent warm days and every time I broke through my shins bruised against that layer. And I broke through with every step. By the time I reached the top of Queen Anne's Falls they were crying in protest. I quickly saved the coordinate and retraced my footsteps.

Logan lets loose

Logan lets loose

Logan, on the other hand, loved the hard crust. He soared across the landscape in a blur of black and tan. I let him get his crazy out during the walk back, taking my time to let him run. We had one more stop today, one quick stop, and this was the last time he'd be let out of the car until we returned to Houghton.

Even in Katie's SUV it was scary driving down the snowy slope of Valley Road out of Copper City. The relatively steep downhill combined with a few sharp corners forced me to drive cautiously on the empty road. Reaching the bottom didn't make it terribly easier, either. The roads along the Trap Rock River were very windy and not well plowed. When I reached our next destination at the humble Trap Rock River Dam I wasted little time, fiddling with my camera and GPS without leaving the car, before impatiently continuing the drive back to Lake Linden and cleared highways to home.

Trip Photos

  • Snowy river far below
  • Tall pines along the gorge walls
  • Copper City across the open meadow
  • A barren land of snow
  • Logan lets loose
  • A bit of water flowing above the dam

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