Copper Creek, Michigan, US
|Usual Difficulty||II-IV (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||66 fpm|
|Max Gradient||98 fpm|
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:
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.0||Drainage area ~18.5 square miles.||N/A|
|2.6||Confluence, Presque Isle||N/A|
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.
The only photos I've found online are at: MIfalls.com. Mouse-over each of the falls' names to see images of each falls.
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.)
Take out here, or continue down the 'Bottom Presque'. (However, if there was enough water for Copper Creek, Bottom Presque is probably insane!)