Big Iron Dam Falls on Yellow Dog River

small cement dam holding back Lake Independence

Small drop over the wet concrete
  • Looking out over Lake Independence
  • Small drop over the wet concrete

A tiny and historic cement dam holds back the artificially enlarged Lake Independence outside of Big Bay. Originally meant to increase the size of the lake for lumber coming down off the Yellow Dog Plains and Peshekee, the cement dam is only a few feet tall and is easily accessible. Technically this portion of the Yellow Dog is called Big Iron River, even though it is less than a mile in length for this new name.

Directions

Stay on County Road 550 through the town of Big Bay past the church and Thunder Bay Inn until the road curves left into Balke Avenue on the north side of town. Take the first right after the curve (Schenk/Dam/KCB Road) and stick to the paved road past the turn to Bay Cliff. Stay on Dam Road for 2.5 miles and take the right fork for another .7 miles. There is a small turnaround right after the road becomes dirt that is within sight of the dam and Lake. Park here and walk over to the dam.

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