We started off with low expectations, knowing that Haypress Falls was not a very impressive waterfall. For us, it was a side stop on the way to a much larger destination. Although our expectations of the falls was accurate, we did find something special that made the visit worth it.
Tucked between two swamps, Haypress Falls is made up of multiple small chutes. On our visit at the end of August, the water was barely a trickle. We would have even called it a waterfall. But the views surrounding the area were beautiful, and we enjoyed climbing over the massive rock mounds that surrounded and were part of the falls.
The Peshekee River was the real star of this area. The river is 31 miles long and is a tributary of Lake Michigamme. It is wild, stunning, and peaceful. It is a river that begged to be explored more, something we plan on doing in the future.
Another aspect of this area that we loved was the rich history. The Peshekee Grade provided us with some fantastic river views, but the most impressive thing was how it came to be.
After a little curiosity and a lot of research, we discovered that this road was once more than a road. In the late 1890s, a man from Detroit decided to build a railroad through this area. A shorter and more direct route than the railroad that already existed. Due to steep grades and unforgiving country, they failed. The Peshekee Grade was part of that attempt.
There is a highly recommended book, The Railroad That Never Ran; The Iron Range and Huron Bay Railroad by Robert D. Dodson that goes into much more depth about the railway. I’ve ordered a copy of the book and am very much looking forward to reading it.
In addition to the railroad, in 1985 and 1987, the DNR flew in moose and released them into the area. Bonus! The perfect area for a moose sighting. Unfortunately, we did not see a moose this trip, but that’s just another reason to return.
The best adventures take you some place you never expect. While we started off with Haypress Falls, the Peshekee River gave us so much more. We are looking forward to spending more time exploring this area and learning about it’s rich history.