Wisconsin’s Interstate Park Hiking — Dalles, Potholes, and an Old Mine

As I continue working towards my goal of visiting every Wisconsin State Park, I sometimes wonder what rhyme or reason there is to the order in which I go. Turns out, there is no order. BUT if there had been an order, a logical one would be in order of date of establishment. If I had done that, Interstate State Park or Interstate Park, would have been first on my list.

Located directly across the St. Croix River from Minnesota’s Interstate Park, Wisconsin’s Interstate Park became Wisconsin’s first state park in 1900. (It was Minnesota’s second state park.)

As this park is a 4 1/2 hour drive from my home, we camped in the park and made a long weekend of the trip. The camping was…well, I’ll cover that in a different post. The hiking, though, that part of the trip was wonderful. Scenic and full of both natural and human history.

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Porcupine Mountains Hiking – Overlooked Falls and Greenstone Falls – A Small Hike to Small Falls

I’ve been talking about waterfalls in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan a lot lately. It makes sense when covering a nature focused trip where 300+ waterfalls call this peninsula home. Narrowing it down, you can see an abundance of waterfalls in one park alone, the Porcupine Mountains. So far I’ve covered two hikes full of falls in the park: the Presque Isle River Waterfalls and the Union Mine Trail. If you want to see a bunch of falls in a short hike, then these two trails are for you.

The hike I’m covering today is the last of the waterfalls I saw on this trip. These falls fall (ha!) somewhere between the two other groups. They are larger than the Union Mine falls, and smaller than the Presque Isle falls. They are less visited than the Presque Isle Falls, and more visited than the Union Mine Falls. They hit a sweet spot of size and seclusion.

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Porcupine Mountains Hiking – Union Mine Trail – Mining History and Waterfalls

If you like waterfalls, then a trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula might be the trip for you. An area rich with waterfalls, it is home to more than 300 falls across the region. The Porcupine Mountains contain some 50+ of those.

Last time I covered the three largest falls in the park, the Presque Isle River Falls, which drop 15-25 feet in a short distance before dumping into Lake Superior. While these falls are the most impressive in the park, they are also the most photographed and the most visited. If you’re looking for something a little more private, then the waterfalls along the Union Mine Trail might be a better option.

Do you happen to also like history? More specifically, the mining history that helped build the region? If so, then this trail is really for you. (History and waterfalls in one!)

Where are we? The Union Mine Trail, technically the Union Mine Interpretive Trail, can be found on the eastern side of the park, just south of the intersection of the two main roads, South Boundary Road and Highway 107. The area is circled in red on the map.

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Presque Isle River Waterfalls – Porcupine Mountains – Three Falls in One Hike

Last time I began to recap our adventure in Michigan’s Porcupine Mountains. This weeklong adventure was full of hiking, camping, and appreciation of nature’s beauty in Michigan’s largest state park. In case you missed it, check out the recap of a must do trail and must see scenic overlook, Lake of the Clouds and the Escarpment Trail.

Part of that appreciation for nature’s beauty I mentioned came in the form of waterfall viewing. This area has an abundance of waterfalls. In fact, the entire upper peninsula is rich with waterfalls, clocking in at 300+ falls of all sizes across the region, with the largest being the beautiful Tahquamenon Falls in the northeastern part of the peninsula. The Porcupine Mountains themselves have 50+ falls of all sizes. Today we will focus on three of them, including the largest one in the park, Manabezho Falls

Where in the world are we? This post focuses on the Presque Isle River Waterfalls, which are near the Presque Isle Campground on the western side of the park. (At the end of County Rd. 519)

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Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Hiking, Mosquito Falls, Michican’s Upper Peninsula

I spend a lot of my time hiking in Wisconsin but sometimes I leave it and hike elsewhere. (Not all that often, though.) It’s fast becoming a tradition in my newly formed family (est. 2019) to take a week long trip each summer for a week of hiking and camping mixed with leisure and indoor sleeping. This year the trip was to the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and Munising in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (UP).

The Pictured Rocks is one of only three national lakeshores in the US. One is in Wisconsin, and two are in Michigan. The Pictured Rocks are named for their, well, pictured rocks. These sandstone formations stretch for 15 miles on Lake Superior and range from 50 to 200 feet high. (Enjoy the teaser photo below.) Aside from the lakeshore, the rest of the park offers numerous waterfalls, sand dunes, and other scenic natural formations.

In this post, I’m focusing on one of the hikes we did, the Mosquito Falls Trail.

This hike began in the park’s Chapel Basin area, which contains the trailhead for several hikes, including two with waterfalls and one longer loop that is the only hike allowing the cliffs to be seen by land. The park’s website says this, but I will confirm it, this area fills up fast. Get there early so you aren’t forced to wait for someone to leave or park illegally (as many were opting to do.)

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