Difficulty II-III
Length Miles
Gauge N/A
Flow Range
Reach Info Last Updated 04/01/2019 10:04 pm

River Description

Extremely scenic play run. It's hard to believe you are in the Midwest when you are in the canyon.
Put-in is down a steep set of 138 stairs.

At the put-in, you will look upstream at Saxon Falls. Depending upon the flow, you will see one, two, or three 'fingers' of falls dropping over a massive rocky precipice.

Note: Saxon Falls first known descent took place on April 23rd, 2007 by Tao Berman, Josh Bechtel and Eric Boomer.

After taking out at Hwy.122, boaters may find it interesting to look at the rapids and falls downstream, including the final plunge, Superior Falls. Tao Berman made the first known descent of this falls (aptly for an episode of "Stunt Junkies"), dropping into the river above the falls out of a helicopter "to prove it could be done" (and because Tao and his crew can).


AW members may click here for Part 2 of an article from the AW Journal, way back in 1981!
(AW members may also click here for Part 1 of the article).

In addition to this reach, the article also describes the following:
Upper Presque Isle,
Lower Presque Isle,
Middle Black,
Lower Black,
Upper Silver,
Lower Silver,
Falls, and
and Wisconsin's
Lower Brunsweiler, and
Montreal, W.Fk..

Rapid Descriptions

Saxon Falls

Class - N/A Mile - -0.2

This is upstream of the listed put-in. Once you descend the long steep staircase to the river, you can look upstream to see this awesome falls. However, you will not be seing it from this perspective. (Photo is from a high angle on the opposite shore.)

USGS site

Class - N/A Mile - 0
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

USGS lists a site with drainage area 264 square miles.

Superior Falls

Class - Mile - 3.5
Rapid Thumbnail Missing

This lies downstream of the listed take-out (after Hwy.122). There is a dam and a stretch of rapids and falls leading down to the final plunge, which is dewatered much of the year by the hydro facility at this site.


default user thumbnail
Paul Lange
10 months ago

Paddled this river May 4, 2019 at 720 cfs per the recorded phone line, three fingers of Saxon Falls visible. Awesome run. Lots of great surf. Maybe a little boney in the ledgy section near the end. Very scenic. Highly recommended if in the Upper Peninsula. River is medium width, all boat scout able at this level. If you need a play fix, this is the run. Easy shuttle. Most of the harder rapids are wherever you see the tall cliff walls. Fun fact: Wisconsin is on river left, Michigan is on river right.

default user thumbnail
John Wilson
14 years ago

I ran this river twice with only one finger of the falls above the put in(around 200cfs). Very boney for someone who is 200lbs and above. My son at a soaking wet 145lbs had no problems.I have been told ideal is around 400cfs. Absolutly one of the best runs. Bring your camera. You will not believe you are on the Wisconsin-Michigan border. 200ft plus cliffs and Bald eagles. The put-in is very unique. 138 metal steps to the river around the chain link fence.

No Gage

Gage Descriptions

Call Northern States Power recorded hotline at 715-893-2213 for discharge information. Minimum for fun is around 500-700cfs. Good is 1400-1700cfs.

Alternatively, looking upstream at the put-in at Saxon Falls (an impressive sight), the falls is split by rocky prominences at the brink. If you see only one 'falls' with water, it is very low; two 'falls' is low-moderate; three 'falls' (adding a narrow center sheer falls) is a good level.

Directions Description

We have no additional detail on this route. Use the map below to calculate how to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.

No Accident Reports






Matt Muir


Revision #Revision DateAuthorComment
1195067 05/27/09 Rob
1195537 06/23/09 Rob
1195538 06/23/09 Rob
1196684 11/22/09 Rob Fix/remove broken links.
1201727 01/01/13 Rob Embed videos, remove dead link
1204495 04/08/15 Rob remove broken YouTube links
1211625 04/01/19 Rob updated image position
1192095 02/06/09 n/a n/a