Upper Silver Falls on Silver River

impressive set of falls dropping out of the Herman swamps

Faint reminders of spring flooding
  • The upper drops of the falls
  • Huge boulders and chutes
  • Side view of the falls
  • A rocky walk upstream
  • Dribbling upper drop
  • Dark little chute between dark rocks
  • Sharp mossy rocks
  • Closed bridge over the river
  • Full, gushing Silver River
  • Full curtain of water over the falls
  • Solid dome of water over rock
  • Angry splashing chutes
  • Multiple plunges of water off the sharp ledge
  • Faint reminders of spring flooding
  • Bare trees around Silver River
  • Clear water flowing over the rock dome
  • Splashing, foaming water
  • An interrupted chute of water
  • Clutter below the individual plunges
  • Smooth rounded rocks on the uppermost drop

The Silver River of Baraga County has plenty of impressive waterfalls along its length but the Upper Silver Falls easily reigns above the lower drops. Far up in the highlands of Curwood and Herman the main branch drops three hundred feet within a deep gorge over five separate waterfalls. The lower drop is the main attraction, a two-tiered set of plunges and cascades over bedrock and around huge boulders that alone is well worth the tough drive.

The four other drops are spaced out upstream over the next mile or two. Most of them are humble relative to the lower drop, domes and chutes surrounded by thick trees, with one that stands out. The river pours down a long set of slides down the wide, open riverbed, before pooling atop an huge, upright cylinder of rock that spans the entire river. Several small breaks in the rock allows the water to pour out in separated streams, an amazingly unique set of plunges.

While the land around the river here is still young and is occasionally logged the area does hold some interesting side destinations. Harley Falls is located a short distance downstream and there are multiple outcroppings poking up around the riverbanks that tower above the surrounding trees, offering views far to the west and north.

Directions

Take Lahti Road out of Herman as it turns into Summit. Continue as it narrows and becomes a two-track at Haikkinen Road. Turn left at a small gravel pit and follow this track for 1.6 miles to an ATV trail. If the road becomes impassable park on the side and continue on foot.

Follow the ATV trail down to the river before going left, downstream. to see the falls. A few small footpaths make it easy to crawl down the steep bank. To view the four upper drops the best route involves simply following the river upstream on either bank (or just wading up the river). There are a few tracks that provide alternate routes upstream, though the roads get pretty nasty and there is some private property on the east bank.

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