A favorite activity for people who live in Chicago is bar hopping. Sometimes it is referred to as a bar crawl. It consists of having a drink or two in a bar and then leaving for another bar for a few drinks followed by another bar and so on. Waterfall hopping is an activity that follows the same routine.
This is popular in Wisconsin too except in many places in this state you will need to drive from bar to bar as they are not as close together as they are in Chicago. For this you will need a designated driver or you could do a different kind of hop.
On my way home from the great northwoods earlier this summer from Isle Royale and canoeing some Wisconsin rivers, I hopped home. I did not bar hop though as I had an eight hour drive to accomplish. I hopped waterfalls.
Marinette County is sometimes referred to as the waterfall capital of Wisconsin if not the Midwest. There are double digit waterfalls found in this far northern county on the border of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Waterfall hopping after canoeing northern Wisconsin Rivers
On my way up to Isle Royale I saw a few signs for waterfalls and made a mental note to check these places out. While canoeing northern Wisconsin Rivers with the Mad Paddler, I was told about all the nice waterfalls I could visit on the way home.
After canoeing the Pine River, we were done by noon, so I had plenty of time to visit a waterfall or two on my way home. My initial plan was to visit just 12 Foot Falls and then drive home, but a waterfall hop broke out instead.
Waterfall hopping in Marinette County
As soon as I headed south from Iron Mountain, Michigan, I immediately came across a sign for Long Slide Falls County Park. I turned right and less than a half mile away was another sign to Smalley Falls. I got out and walked about a ¼ of a mile to Smalley Falls. This was more of a cascade than an actual falls, but it was nice, and a good first waterfall drink. I felt loose, content, and happy after the first waterfall.
I then proceeded down the road to Long Slide Falls. There was a sign here for $3.00 admission for the day, but the price of admission was good for all Marinette County Parks. I quickly found the falls, which was a little grander than Smalley with two drops. I returned to the car doing a little waterfall dance because I was starting to loose my inhibitions.
12 Foot Falls County Park
I proceeded down U.S. 141 until I came to a sign for 12 Foot Falls. I turned right and drove, and drove, and drove. 12 Foot Falls County Park was about ten miles off the road, but it was worth it. For those who would like to stop hopping and stay awhile, 12 Foot Falls County Park offers great tent camping. Perhaps a good idea if you are a lightweight and already drunk on waterfalls.
As a bonus to 12 Foot Falls, there is also an 8 Foot Falls just off to the right when you park in the parking lot. I first stumbled over to 8 Foot Falls and took in yet another pretty waterfall. I then made my way over to 12 Foot Falls and enjoyed it awhile before I headed back south. After so many waterfalls in a short amount of time, I could hardly walk back to the car. My vision was blurred and every woman that was in the park was the most beautiful I had ever seen.
I could barely drive, but I had to make one final stop at Horseshoe Falls. After driving another five miles down Marinette County dirt roads, I checked off waterfall number five for the day.
By this time the woods were spinning. I felt nauseous, and I was experiencing double-vision. I was completely drunk on the beauty of water and rocks mixed with gravity.
Fourteen waterfalls in Marinette County
Next time you are in Marinette County, be sure to drink in a waterfall or two, but make sure you avoid getting cited for DUIW (Driving under the influence of Waterfalls). I visited only five falls on my way home because I feel moderation is key, but if you really want to party, there are more than 10 waterfalls to be found in Marinette County. Check out this post for a more comprehensive look at the county’s waterfalls or this site on waterfalls in the Midwest.
If you would like a more structured approach to checking out the waterfalls, get a map at the Ranger Station in Pembine. The map shows all 14 waterfalls.
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