We left Wakefield, and Eddy Campground, for the Black River. It was not a long bike ride and the roads were all paved for easy riding. We had reservations for a hostel at The Black River Lodge. This lodge is fabulous. There are standard rooms, but we chose the hostel hoping others would be staying there, too. But, Ken and I were the only ones in the hostel area. Then again, that was kind of nice. We had a great kitchen to use, a shower, and bunk beds. The lodge was full, so we had plenty of other people to talk with.
The lodge is owned and run by Justin and Brittany, along with their 2 young boys and their great dane, Copper. Upon arrival they said to make ourselves at home, and that is exactly what we did. There is a large pool and hot tub, 2 living areas, one with a pool table and fooz ball, along with outdoor areas for bonfires and picnics. The family puts a lot of love and work into the lodge and they do a great job. Justin built a blazing fire one night, and we enjoyed just hanging out and talking. We also relaxed in the hot tub, and were able to cook fresh vegetables in the kitchen.
Ken and I finally stopped long enough to just be tourists. We headed out on our bikes, pack free, to go sight seeing! The area is home to Copper Peaks, the only ski flying facility in the Western Hemisphere. The hill saw a total of 12 ski flying competitions from 1970 to 1994. Although it was expanded in 1980, the hill could not keep up with current technology, as flyers went further and further off the jump, so it closed down. Today, they open the area to allow people to climb the jump and see the phenomenal views from the top. The jump is 1782 feet above sea level and 1180 feet above Lake Superior. It provides the tallest structure in the midwest with 360 degrees, and over 40 miles, of panoramic views. Then, to imagine someone skiing down a 35 degree, 469 foot long, cantilevered ramp and flying off the end of it?! Nerves of steel!! No words, no pictures, can ever describe the thrill and beauty of it all. You just have to come see this for yourselves!!
From Copper Peak, we continued on to see 3 of the 5, Black River falls. We were able to leave the bikes at a trailhead parking lot and hike/run in to see the falls. Our first one was Conglomerate Falls, then Potawatomi Falls, and last Gorge Falls. The Black River water is actually black. Tannin, from hemlock trees, leaches into the water, and the black rock base, all add to give the water a deep, dark, reddish brown look. Hiking in was wonderful!! It was so freeing to be on our feet and running a trail. We could hear the falls roaring through the woods, long before we even laid eyes on them. Each one special in their own uniqueness, I can’t really say I had a favorite. They were all majestically beautiful, each one holding firmly to their rank that makes the Black River a must see. One of our best experiences was stopping and talking with Fran. Fran is 85 years old and is still getting out and hiking. She was so grateful that her 2 daughters encourage her to join them in their activities. It pushes her and helps to maintain her fitness. Her advice was to always keep moving. I will listen to that advice, Fran. Just Keep Going!
The ‘Tour Da Yoop, Eh’ route goes into Ironwood. So, Ken and I loaded the bikes back up after a 3 night stay at the lodge, and rode off to Ironwood.
Justin, Brittany & Family of Black River Lodge
Nope, Not A Deer…It’s Copper The Great Dane!
Someone Needs To Bring This Home Back To Life!
Just A Nice View From The Road
Copper Peak From A Distance
Info On Copper Peak
Looking Down From The Starting Gate
View of Lake Superior From The Top
Big Powderhorn Ski Area
We Walked Down…No Skiing Today!
I Don’t Know About Skiing But He’s My Number 1
Conglomerate Falls On The Black River
View Of The Black River
Can’t Resist An Adventurous Trail!
Potawatomi Falls (Reminds Of A Wooly Mammoth or Mr. Snuffleupagus)
Potawatomi Falls Video
Gorge Falls Video
85 Year Old Fran Hiking In Sandals!