Scenic USA - Michigan

Black River Scenic Byway

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Potawatomi Falls Trailhead - Black River Scenic Byway, Michigan

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

   Michigan's Upper Peninsula, cut off from the Lower Peninsula by Lake Huron Black River Suspension Bridge - Black River Scenic Byway, Michigan and Lake Michigan, is covered in huge swaths of undeveloped land, national forests and dense wilderness lands. Even though it features a national seashore, a dozen state parks and a long list of waterfalls, this section of the country is often overlooked by sightseers and vactioners. Connected to Wisconsin along the shores of Lake Superior, Gorge Falls - Black River Scenic Byway, Michigan this entire region is carved up by fast flowing rivers and streams which head northward to America's largest Great Lake.
   Near the Wisconsin state line, Michigan's County Road 513 doubles as a National Forest Scenic Byway, creating a few more reasons to visit the Upper Peninsula. Joining the byway ranks in 1992, the 15 mile scenic highway begins in Bessemer, traces the Black River and ends with views of Lake Superior. Here, the Ottawa National Forest is thick with old growth pine, hemlock and hardwood trees. It's the hardwoods that seldom disappoint when autumn turns on its colorful canopy. Spaced out in succession along the route are five hiking trails Black River at the Potawatomi Falls Overlook - Black River Scenic Byway, Michigan that lead to Black River cascades and waterfalls. The byway includes stops at the Great Conglomerate, Potawatomi, Gorge, Sandstone, and Rainbow waterfalls. The trails here range from easy to strenuous, as the terrain quickly drops into the Black River Valley. Backcountry hikers may join the North Country Scenic Trail here, a 4600 mile trail that begins in New York State and ends in North Dakota. Although it's a short scenic drive, the Black River Scenic Byway is packed with spectacular water features, lush forestland and grand views of Lake Superior from Black River Harbor.

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