Thursday, August 6 was our 33rd wedding anniversary. We like to celebrate our anniversaries by going either hiking or kayaking, and this year was no different. We chose to go for a hike on the North Country Trail south of Ontonagon, Michigan.
The hike we chose was O-kun-de-kun Falls and the Baltimore River Bridge. When we arrived at the trailhead, we saw trail workers hauling aggregate from the parking lot down the trail. As is seen in the above photo, the trail is level stone between treated lumber.
A little ways down the trail, we encountered the four college students who were spending their summer improving the path. They were doing a fabulous job. They had only been there three days, and they were making good time! It is interesting to see how a trail like this is constructed.
The trail ahead revealed why they were working to improve it. We were glad that we chose to use our trekking poles. With the path being designated as part of the North Country Trail, the traffic is increasing on it.
Even still, there were spots that the ferns were covering the planks. It definitely made the hike more of an adventure! It was about this point that something got between my right hand and my trekking pole and stung the base of my right thumb. It REALLY hurt, but I wanted to keep going. This trail was way too cool to stop!
Further along, the planks gave way to roots and rocks. There was a clay base, and the mud had caused people to take alternate routes, causing damage to the surrounding vegetation. The improved trail will really have a positive impact on this heavily travelled section.
When we came to the side of the falls, we could see ahead to the Baltimore River Bridge. The span is a pedestrian only path, and is part of the North Country Trail.
On the side of the bridge is an army surplus ammo box that contains a log book. If you hike to this point, look for our August 6, 2015 entry!
Looking back from the base of the bridge, O-kun-de-kun Falls can be fully appreciated. The waterfalls are named for an Ojibway chief. The daring can brave the slippery rocks and venture behind the cascade. The clay riverbed that gives some of the area’s rivers a chocolate milk appearance can be seen here. O-kun-de-kun is one of the wilder falls in the U.P., and was well worth the effort to get there.
When we completed the hike, we drove to Bond Falls, a Michigan State Park.
Bond Falls is incredible! It’s part of the Ontonagon River, and the trail below the falls is handicap accessible. We were impressed at the amount of water cascading across this rocky face.
We climbed the stairs along the side of the river, only to find more falls!
They even look pretty in black and white!
Looks like a good spot for a 33rd anniversary ‘couple-ie’. 🙂
Before heading back to Ontonagon, we stopped at Agate Falls.
The easy trail to this set of falls descends from a roadside park. Actual river access is more difficult.
High above the falls, an old train trestle crosses the river. It is amazing the work that went into this old structure.
All in all, we ended up hiking to 3 falls for our 33rd anniversary! It was a perfect way to spend our day together. 🙂