Scenic USA - Wisconsin

Pattison State Park

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Black River - Pattison State Park, Superior, Wisconsin

Photo by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA FAA Photography

   Martin Pattison was the man behind Pattison State Park, a popular getaway for Superior residents in northwestern Wisconsin. Pattison lived along the Black River for three years, where he and his men logged the Wisconsin forest. Pattison, a visionary, Big Manitou Falls - the highest in Wisconsion parlayed his share of the lumber company into a land purchase in the Vermilion Range, Minnesota. During the late 1800s, Pattison became one of the largest land holders in neighboring Minnesota, a land rich with deposits of iron ore.
   During the year of 1917, Pattison heard rumors of a project to dam the Black River, essentially putting an end to Big Manitou Falls. Recalling his love for the Black River area (Mucudewa Sebee - in the Ojibwa language), he secretly purchased the land around the falls. With his donation of the land in 1918, the Pattison State Park was born.
   Pictured here is a view of the Black River, Little Manitou Falls - Superior, Wisconsion showing an access bridge to the Big Manitou Falls. Big Manitou Falls River Trail, about three-quarters of a mile in length, not only leads to Wisconsin's tallest waterfall but offers hikers a close-up look at some of the park's most dramatic geology. The Douglas Fault runs through the park and can best be seen below Big Manitou Falls as it drops 165 feet in a thunderous roar. Here, movements in the earth's crust have forced rock masses up at a 50 degree angle. Eight miles of scenic trails follow each side of the Black River where hikers may reach Little Manitou Falls as well. If waterfall fans are anxious to see more without hiking, they may drive one mile upriver to the southern parking lot of Pattison State Park to see Little Manitou Falls.

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