Presque Isle

Presque Isle - Porkies Presque Isle River Scenic Site

DNR:  The Presque Isle is the largest river in the Porcupine Mountains. It's name, which is French for "almost an island," was given to it by early fur traders who noticed that the small peninsula of land near the river's mouth becomes an island during high water.  Wild and scenic, the Presque Isle spills over numerous waterfalls and cascades on its journey to Lake Superior. Boardwalks and viewing platforms provide breathtaking view of Michigan's most spectacular rivers.


Date of my visits:  September, 2011

Presque Isle trail sign

The trails are well marked and combine boardwalks, foot paths (both easy and challenging), shows where larger trails intersect (Lake Superior Trail and East and West River Trails) – and lots of stairs!  Also shows the relative location of the Presque Isle Rustic Campground. (Click image for large version)

It's also part of the North Country National Scenic Trail which runs from New York to North Dakota!

This shows where I started my hike from the Picnic Area.  See that page for more scenic shots. I headed straight for the suspension bridge.

Presque Isle - suspension bridge

From here, you can view where the river flows into Lake Superior and in the other direction, waterfalls and whirlpools. 


This was my favorite view from the bridge

DNR sign: The finely terraced rock over which the river flows is called the Nonesuch Shale. It is composed of sand and clay particles that were deposited in a shallow lake that covered this area almost a billion years ago.  The round potholes in the riverbed form where an eddy current continually swirls pebbles and sand grains in a circular path. Over time, the scouring action of these materials wear away the softer shale, forming the large smooth-sided potholes that you see.

Want to hear the sounds that go with these sights?  Check out my YouTube video:


YouTube Link for full screen version

Presque Isle - underneath suspension bridge

And you can even walk around underneath it to view the bridge from below.

Presque Isle - stairs collage

Did I mention stairs?  You'll find all kinds here!

Bench & Signs at Presque Isle

But there is ample opportunity to rest and soak in the beauty – and decide which path to take next: Manabezho Falls or Manido Falls?

And don't forget to notice the trees!  Silent they may be, but they've got lots of stories to tell…

DNR sign:  Ancient Forests

Some of the trees rooted alongside the tumbling waters of the Presque Isle River are nearly four centuries old.  As seedlings they were here to greet Ojibwa natives taking fish in nets crafted of nettle fiber.  As vigorous young saplings they quietly witnessed the arrival of the first European explorers.  At 250 years their leafy canopy shaded landlookers and prospectors searchingt the wilderness for copper and silver.  Today, as part of Porcupine Wilderness State Park, these monarchs belong to the largest remaining old-growth hardwood and hemlock forest in the Midwest.  Sugar maple, yellow birch and eastern hemlock predominate in these ancient forests.

Presque River meets Lake Superior

Walking along the trail to the left of the bridge, you come to where the Presque River meets Lake Superior

Lake Superior - Presque Isle

Around the bend you can dip your toes into Lake Superior

Presque Isle - Lake Superior

I was amazed and thrilled at the crystal clear, gorgeous water here

Presque Isle - tiny waterfalls

Continuing on around the other side, the tiny waterfalls are easily accessible, too.

Presque Isle - viewing platform

There are many ways to enjoy and view the scenery here.  Whether from viewing platforms through binoculars or up close and personal, this is a "bucket list" destination for sure!


All Michigan Miles Presque Isle pages:
  General Info  ♦  Hike  ♦  Rustic Campground

And here are more pictures of Presque Isle that I posted to Facebook (they're public so you don't need a Facebook account to view them):  Presque Isle Hike – Facebook

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I'd love to hear your own experiences about places I've been - and what you think are "must-sees" - and I really value any suggestions and feedback from readers, so please let me have your 2 cents in Comments below: