Copper Creek - logging road to Presque Isle (2.6 + 4.75 miles)

Copper Creek, Michigan, US


logging road to Presque Isle (2.6 + 4.75 miles)

Usual Difficulty II-IV (for normal flows)
Length 2.6 Miles
Avg. Gradient 66 fpm
Max Gradient 98 fpm


Photo taken 02/19/15

River Description

Though this small creek was first run many years back, it does not see many paddlers due to the "remote" put-in by way of an unmarked logging road (off Cty 519) five miles south of S.Boundary Road. Depending on seasonal conditions, it is a drive or walk (just under a mile) east on this road to the creek. (The 'featured photo' above-right attempts to show the options for access to the put-in. You'll obviously want/need to click the photo enlarge it enough to see the detail.)

Following a bend to the left, one encounters the first of the three named falls that drew paddlers here in the first place: Ogima Falls, Ogimakwe Falls, and Abinodji Falls. All three are varied pitch bedrock slides that rate from class III to IV at most flows. These are followed by a little over a mile of continuous class II-II+ water consisting of boulder bed interspersed with small ledges which runs down to the confluence with the Presque Isle.

Copper Creek runs into the Presque Isle below the canyon, where you will run part of the fast, wavy "Conglomerate Staircase" section and the four ledge sequence around Lepisto Falls. When Copper Creek is running, it will likely be at a high flow for the Presque but, with appropriate caution, this can be great fun. An intimate creek run for openers, followed by a big water play run, offers the best of both worlds. Now if it would only happen more often when it's warm! Take-out is at South Boundary Road bridge in Porcupine Mountains State Park.

The following video shows (at least part of) the trek into this creek, the run, and the part of the Presque Isle you'll run after the confluence:

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2015-10-30 20:00:28

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0Drainage area ~18.5 square miles.N/A
0.5Ogima FallsN/AWaterfall
1.0Ogimakwe FallsN/AWaterfall Photo
1.4Abinodji FallsN/APlayspot
2.6Confluence, Presque IsleN/A
3.2Lepisto FallsIVWaterfall
3.4Iagoo FallsIV
7.4S.Boundry RoadN/A

Rapid Descriptions

Ogima Falls (Class N/A, Mile 0.5)

Note: all falls locations (and distances) listed here are very approximate. On a creek this small, trees often obscure aerial views, and images were taken when there was little flow, so identifiying features is neraly impossible. Locations as marked on various online maps, and coordinates given by various other sources often map far from the river, much less from the actual rapids or falls. (This may be actual error in coordinates, or error in the 'registration' (alignment) of data layers in online maps.

Ogimakwe Falls (Class N/A, Mile 1.0)


Photo by Sizzler taken 05/13/07 @ too low to run

Abinodji Falls (Class N/A, Mile 1.4)

The only photos I've found online are at: Mouse-over each of the falls' names to see images of each falls.

Confluence, Presque Isle (Class N/A, Mile 2.6)

A fine set of ledges lead to the confluence. At this point, your run changes dramatically, from intimate creek to BIG WATER run on the conglomerate staircase. This should all be 'read and run' except for the two named falls, Lepisto and Iagoo, which could be monstrous. (Scouting strongly advised.)

S.Boundry Road (Class N/A, Mile 7.4)

Take out here, or continue down the 'Bottom Presque'. (However, if there was enough water for Copper Creek, Bottom Presque is probably insane!)

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
November 16 2005 (4808 days ago)
From Brock Royer:

"I ran this solo this year and found that if you hike in the logging trail -- I am not sure
how to explain which one it is other than it the only one I know that has a stop sign, and 50 feet
in there are places to park with a gate across the road. Go around the fence and hike this road,
keeping to the right as it forks until you come to the creek. Put in there and viola ... you have
saved yourself tons of time!

It is somewhat continuous with few eddies, but even when the Presque is at VERY high water you
could probably stand up in the middle of [this creek] at just about any point. Definitely fun if
you are not up for hitting the [Presque Isle] gorge at high water. The rest of the Presque [which
you will do as the run-out for this creek] is a blast at this level!"