Monday, August 28, 2017

Aug 28 – Waterfalls Near Wakefield

Yesterday was a day off, for rain. Today was a bit overcast in the morning but a nice sunny day in the afternoon.

There is a waterfall website, that I reference, that recommended some very good waterfalls that were a little harder to get to. There were definitely no boardwalks or viewpoint at any of them. It meant lots of rock scrambling and carefully creeping towards the cliff edge to get a view as each one was in a deep gorge or canyon.

I also think they are some of the prettiest waterfalls we have seen on this or any trip.

First up was nearby Gabbro Falls. This one was a write-off for Jennie. To get any sort of view you had to be right on the cliff edge so she will see it for the first time from his post as well.

I thought I would try and use Google Earth view to illustrate where we went.

 Google Maps

To get the upper view you had to climb through these trees, out on a narrow point with steep drop-offs on either side.


A great view though.


And a very carefully done photosphere.


Then back to the car and down the trail to the bottom of the falls.

At the river side I couldn’t see the back up the gorge to the main falls but there was a nice ribbon falls on the opposite side, that I couldn’t see from the top.


And the photosphere from here. In the photosphere you may notice the rope going VERY steeply up the rock beside me.


I debated for a few seconds but why not… Up I go. A lot of the rocks were wet from the rain yesterday but this one was so steep that it had dried off so my footing was “fairly” secure. There were no footholds. you just leaned out on the rope to put pressure on your feet to hold their grip.


It was a very precarious perch at the top so I only took a few shots.



And an even more carefully done photosphere. There was not much room to turn around.

Then back down the rope.  It sure got my heart going, climbing and descending.

Next up, after a 1/2 hour drive, was Superior Falls at the mouth of the Montreal River at Lake Superior.

The falls are below a dam. The upper falls consist of a cascade and the a plunge over an edge into a deep canyon at a corner. Then the lower falls are beneath a huge cliff as the river makes the final turn towards the lake.

Google Maps

We took the path to the lower falls first. I am not sure why they needed a gate made out of steel girders to protect the path down. There was an ATV track that went around the gate.


From the parking lot to the river side, the path went very steeply down.


Up and around the power house, beneath the penstocks. We could hear the humming turbines.



Then upstream along the riverbank.


Some new to us flowers.


Jennie said these were called goldfish flowers. I can see why.



You can’t easily get to the real corner of the river.




There is a tall narrow point that you can just creep around and then you can at least see the high cliffs of the corner.



A slightly more face on view.



The photosphere does a better job in a situation like this.

We headed back to the mouth of the river to check out the shoreline.



Some poor butterfly lost a wing.


There were some very tall cliffs off to the east.


Then back up to the car and onto the path to the upper falls. There was a viewpoint on the cliff top over the lower falls.



There were lots of Black Eyed Susans beside the trail.


First a view of the cascade looking up towards the dam.


This photosphere show the cascade and the plunge around the corner.

There was a narrow ledge I could walk along to along the canyon after the plunge.



And the photosphere from here.

Then back to the car and the around 10 minute driver to Saxon Falls. We almost didn’t go. We were getting tired but it was still early so we went anyway. I sure am glad we glad. It was the best one of the trip.

Saxon Falls are just upstream from Superior Falls surrounded by another dam and powerhouse.

Google Maps

A lot more water going over this dam.



The trail definitely had one of the cooler entrances. A catwalk on top of the penstocks.


A little mushroom we saw beside the trail.


Our first view of the upper falls. The viewpoints were a bit scary, standing out on little points above large cliffs.


Down the trail we got a more face on view.


The river then does a sharp right and then left turn around this rocky point before going over the twin lower falls.



The photosphere from here.

The next viewpoint, I think, gave us the best view and best picture of the trip.


And the photosphere.

I had read that you could climb down the stairs on the penstocks to the river at the bottom. That seemed like pressing our luck so I just went over to get a picture. I had to climb a short ladder first. There were no signs saying not to.



A long way down.


Looking back at Jennie at that great viewpoint.


At the start of the forest trail there was a gate stopping us from continuing on the penstocks. There was no gate at this end but we walked beside them to get back.


Another mushroom we saw on the way.


And then home.

We are moving on tomorrow. These should be the last waterfalls for a while. A great way to end, though.

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