Stager Falls on Stager Lake Outflow Creek

seasonal flow draining small swamps

Jagged rocks in the woods
  • Jagged rocks in the woods
  • Narrow crack in the rock

North of Mulligan Creek's entrance into Mulligan Plains there are rumors of another waterfall, sitting where Stag Lake flows down the steep cliffs and to form a roaring springtime scene. This is doubtful. Stag Lake is small with a tiny watershed, and the overflow that does come out of it barely trickles down through rock cracks into a large swampy beaver pool. Even if the site does get flooded with snow melt the drop would not be tall, maybe a ten foot plunge at the most, much less than the other drops lining the eastern Mulligan Cliffs.

Directions

Mulligan Plains is a winding but not terribly difficult area to reach just east of the Silver Lake Basin. From Ishpeming head north on County Road 573, turning off of US-41 near the ski museum, and taking the paved road through the town (bearing left at the fork near the cemetery), around the winding Deer Lake, and keeping on the left fork at the multiple forks that lead up to the south shore of Dead River Storage Basin. 15 miles from US-41 there will be a bridge over the Dead River and a two-track leading left - take this off the main road.

Follow this winding road over Mulligan Creek for 1.1 miles before turning right at a wide sandy track that sneaks up, hidden by the thick pines. This track heads along the west side of Mulligan Plains. Keep on it for about 3 miles until there is a small parking pull of on the left side big enough for four vehicles or so. The road kinda continues, fording the Mulligan through a deep, sandy area that will probably swallow most vehicles. Park on the pull off.

Cross here, either by fording the deep sandy creek or walking across the bridge. Follow the two-track up and away from Mulligan Creek. About .8 miles from the parking spot a swampy area will open up on the left through the woods. Bear west here, cutting a line to the cliffs, then follow the cliffs to the right to find the outflow.

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