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.
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:
Michigan'sUpper Presque Isle,Lower Presque Isle,Middle Black,Lower Black,Upper Silver,Lower Silver,Falls, andRock,
and Wisconsin'sLower Brunsweiler, andMontreal, W.Fk..
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 lists a site with drainage area 264 square miles.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Permits are not required for this reach.
We have no additional detail on this route.
Use the map below to calculate how
to arrive to the main town from your zipcode.
Karen Frank at put-in, three falls visible means a good level, level 720 cfs
Jim McHale surfing the Montreal at 720cfs
Karen Frank finds surf waves and great scenery at 720 cfs
Karen Frank punching at big wave on the Montreal at 720cfs
Doug Heym punching a big hole at 720cfs
Doug Heym, Todd Leigh, Karen Frank paddle by the beautiful cliff walls at 720cfs
The "Beautiful" Montreal Canyon (only 1.6')
Warren & Peggy in the canyon (1.6')
Ice piles in early spring (only 1.6')
Ice piles on shoreline-early spring (only 1.6')
Kurt plays a wave (1.6')
Playwave in Montreal Canyon (1.6')
Peggy surfing a wave (1.6')
Brendan hits the hole
Stacy hits the hole
The stairs to the put in
Saxon Falls at put in
Guage on power house
If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to
American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety
editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.
Log into the American Whitewater website and you can contribute to river descriptions,
flow and access tips, and maps associated with runs you've done. You can even add new
runs to the inventory!