Little Carp (Porkies) - Greenstone Falls trail to Lake Superior (5.5 miles)

Little Carp (Porkies), Michigan, US


Greenstone Falls trail to Lake Superior (5.5 miles)

Usual Difficulty III-IV (for normal flows)
Length 5.5 Miles
Avg. Gradient 127 fpm
Max Gradient 194 fpm

Hitting max velocity on Trapper's Falls sequence

Hitting max velocity on Trapper's Falls sequence
Photo of Harry House by Steve Corsi taken 04/09/05 @ 7.8 on Presque Isle

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
Little Carp Approximation
virtual-130808 100 - 600 cfs III-IV 00h41m ~ 0 cfs (too low)
Likely too low for reasonable whitewater run. Approximation based on relative drainages of Little Carp at listed put-in versus Black gauge. Correlation is not assured, and must be verified on-site.
usgs-04031000 1200 - 4000 cfs III-IV 38d19h38m ~ 180 cfs (too low)

River Description

Quick Facts:
Location: Porcupine Mountain State Park
Shuttle Length: Hike. (See details below.)
Character: Big slides and a lot of wood.

Put-in elevation is approximately 1270'.
Take-out elevation is approximately 600' (mean Lake Superior elevation).
Thus total elevation change is approximately 670 '.

Information (lat, lng, elev, total drop, run length, shuttle length) adjusted and/or verified from best manual extrapolation of online data (via, distance measuring tool, and other resources). 2009.02.05

The resolution on Google Maps for this area is fairly decent. You may be interested in going to the 'Map' tab, clicking 'Satellite', clicking-and-dragging the put-in (to have it center-screen), zooming in to the maximum resolution available, and doing a 'virtual walk' of this reach!

Previously described (by a StreamTeam member who, with no disrespect intended, never actually finished the run) as a masochistic expedition, in a wooded up wilderness stream, requiring a long hike-in (on Greenstone Falls trail off South Boundary Road) and a 4.5 mile paddle-out on Lake Superior. Others who have done it consider it an excellent wilderness whitewater river, with a few 'opportunities to stretch' while carrying or pulling your boat around some (unrunnable) scenic hydrologic features.

This run can be split into two main sections with the first putin at Little Carp River Road. The Little Carp River encounters Overlooked Falls and Greenstone Falls, followed by about 2 miles of wooded-up river to the confluence with Webeno Creek. Thus, we recommend anyone wanting to catch these two falls should just do a 'park-and-huck' here, before heading to the lower section.

The second putin involves bushwhacking, carrying or dragging your boat 1/4 mile from South Boundary Road along the ridge adjacent to Webeno Creek to get to the river. From Webeno Creek down to Lake Superior are a number of nice drops, some prime stretches of continuous class III, and very likely about ten log portages before the mouth at Lake Superior.

About 1/4 mile downstream from Webeno Creek lies the first drop in the second section, followed quickly by Trapper's Falls, one of the highlights of paddling in the Porkies. This is a long, tall, breathtaking conglomerate slide that will quicken the pulse even if you decide to portage. Numerous sections of fine class III are encountered after Trapper's. Keep your eye out for wood in this section.

Toward the end of the run, you'll find a sweet series of three drops before a foot bridge, where you may encounter fishermen in search of a trophy steelhead or coaster brook trout. The mouth of the Little Carp at Lake Superior lies just beyond.

You now have three options: paddle 5 miles to the Presque Isle camp ground take out, paddle 1 mile to the Big Carp River for a run the next day, or carry/drag your boat 2.6 miles up the Pinckerton trail back to South Boundary Road. (I recommend the Big Carp!)

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2018-01-02 13:29:41


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0Approximate drainageN/APhoto
0.6Overlooked and Greenstone FallsIVWaterfall
2.4Wabeno Creek ConfluenceN/AAccess Photo
3.5Trappers FallsIVWaterfall Photo
3.7Explorer's FallsIVWaterfall
5.0Traders FallsIVWaterfall
5.3Final Triple N/APhoto

Rapid Descriptions

Approximate drainage (Class N/A)

Little Carp

Little Carp
Photo of Steve by Tom O'Keefe taken 05/07/97

Drainage area at Little Carp River Road is in the neighborhood of 10 square miles.

Overlooked and Greenstone Falls (Class IV, Mile 0.6)

Overlooked falls is reportedly a pair of <5' drops in close succession. Greenstone is a single drop of ~5'.

A fine photo essay of Overlooked Falls (a bit upstream) and Greenstone Falls is available at: Porcupine U.P.

Wabeno Creek Confluence (Class N/A, Mile 2.4)

First drop downstream from Webeno Creek

First drop downstream from Webeno Creek
Photo of Paul Janda by Steve Corsi taken 04/09/05 @ 7.8 on Presque Isle

Trappers Falls (Class IV, Mile 3.5)

Hitting max velocity on Trapper's Falls sequence

Hitting max velocity on Trapper's Falls sequence
Photo of Harry House by Steve Corsi taken 04/09/05 @ 7.8 on Presque Isle

Another fine photo essay for this drop is available at: GoWaterfalling.

Traders Falls (Class IV, Mile 5.0)

Reportedly less than a 5' drop.

A brief blurb and photo are available at: GoWaterfalling.

Final Triple (Class N/A, Mile 5.3)

First of the three drops at the mouth

First of the three drops at the mouth
Photo of Erik Strahler by Steve Corsi taken 04/09/05 @ 7.8 on Presque Isle

Just before reaching the mouth of the river at Lake Superior, you are treated to three drops in quick succession.

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