Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Aug 23 – Montreal River Falls

Yesterday at the Fort visitor’s center I had seen a display listing some of the sights in the area. One of them was Montreal River Falls. I had not heard of them in any brochure or blog that I had read. This called for some investigation.

I found out that they are a really beautiful waterfall right at the mouth of the river and cascade down right into Lake Superior. The only problem was that access was listed a moderate to difficult. From here you have to drive south about 10 miles on the highway, take a side road for 5 miles and then what was described as a narrow, rough, almost 4wd dirt road for another 5 miles. Then you have to hike for about a mile along the shore to the falls. On top of it all it had rained last night so it made me even more worried about the dirt road.

Here is the drive. As the crow flies, not far, but driving …

 Fort Wilkins State Park East Camp Ground to Montreal Falls Parking - Google Maps

It turned out that the the entire road seemed to have been recently graded. Also the first half was quite wide and only near the end did it get narrow.

Here we are just about to go down a steep hill to reach the shoreline. I am pretty sure that the small point off in the distance is right next to the falls.


The road is private but the owner allows people to drive on it to access the falls. There are even a few parking spots. We did eventually get stopped by a big, deep water hazard but it was only about 50 meters from the trailhead and there was a parking spot before it.


It didn’t look like much but I think it was about a foot deep in the middle. Too much for our car.

Here is one of the parking sports that we didn’t use.


As remote as this is, we did the guessing game again as to how many cars would be there. We both though 0 but there were 2. Going out the path we didn’t see anyone. At the falls and coming back we saw 5 other families. Back at the parking area we saw a huge family group of about 10 people heading in and there were now 9 cars.

Now there is no signage anywhere about how to get here and at the start of the dirt road there is a “Private” sign so I guess everyone just “knew” about the place. Most of the people going in had fishing rods so they were probably local.

Off we go.


The path takes you right along the edge of the shore (and I do mean right along the edge) around a bay to get to the river mouth.

We could see the falls off in the distance.

IMG_1039290- arrow


It was actually a great path with lots of interesting views and things to look at.

A stream was flowing through the roots of this giant cedar.


Some spots were not so much fun for Jennie.



Somebody was bored.


A nice little broken off point.



Another small tree clinging to the rocks.


Lots of narrow spots with a long fall.


And not so long falls.


A photosphere of another narrow spot.

Then we came out into a small meadow just before the falls.


A fuzzy little guy in the meadow.


The falls are a series of cascades down to the lake edge.

Starting at the lake and working our way up.


The photosphere.

The next level.



The photosphere.

Looking down towards the lake.


Looking up at the cascade before the river flattens out with a family fishing.


And down.


The photosphere.

I had read that there was another falls up stream. I wish I had brought the description because all I could remember was that it was after an S curve. So we started up the trail.


Looking farther up after rounding the first bend I couldn’t see another one.


We kept going for a short while.


A bit later, looking up stream and still not seeing a turn, we headed back to the shoreline.

Later I looked at google maps (no internet here and I forgot to load the offline ones) I could see that the Upper Falls were much father upstream (about 3/4 of a mile). When we got back to the car we were pretty tired so I am glad we didn’t press on much farther. Later I asked another family at the lower falls how far it was but they weren’t sure either.

montreal falls_edited-1

Back at the falls it was lunch time.



Time to head back.


But first Jennie spotted a small beach.


Lots of interesting rock flows and colours.






On the drive back we made a small side trip to get a few pictures of a Lighthouse at Bete Gris. It was abandoned for a long time but someone bought and restored it. They even found the original lens and the lighthouse is now back in operation.

I think you can arrange tours but is across a small canal.



Getting to the lighthouse we passed this great long sandy beach. About half way down is a sign that says one part is public and the rest is private (for who I don’t know).


I thought we could see the beach from the waterfall. Sure enough. The bald spot is the meadow.


I guess the mailman here has an easy route.


And home.

We are moving on tomorrow.

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