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 00h36m ~ 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 7d14h34m ~ 1580 cfs (running)
Uncertain. Help us out by posting a comment about boatable flows. Reference gauge should indicate water in the area.

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 'USGS Aerial', double-clicking the near (not on, but near) the put-in, zooming in to the maximum resolution available, and doing a 'virtual walk' of this reach!

Previously described (by a streamkeeper who 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 S Boundary Road) and a 4.5 mile paddle out on Lake Superior. Now known as an excellent bit of wilderness whitewater, with a few opportunities to stretch while pulling your boat around some scenic hydrologic features.

This run can be split into two main sections with the first putin at Little Carp River Road. From this point, 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.

The second putin would be to drag your boat 1/4 mile from South Boundary Road along the ridge next 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 about 10 log portages before breaking through to Lake Superior.

About 1/4 mile after the Webeno Creek comes the first drop in the second section. Soon after this comes 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 more 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 meet a few fishermen in search of their trophy steelhead or coaster brook trout. The mouth of the river and end of the Little Carp at Lake Superior are just beyond.

Now, you can either paddle 5 miles out to the Presque Isle camp ground take out, paddle 1 mile to the Big Carp River for a run the next day, or 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: 2009-11-23 10:16:43


Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
0.0Approximate drainageN/A
0.6Overlooked and Greenstone FallsIVWaterfall
2.4Wabeno Creek ConfluenceAccess
3.5Trappers FallsIVWaterfall Photo
3.7Explorer's FallsIVWaterfall
5.0Traders FallsIVWaterfall

Rapid Descriptions

Approximate drainage (Class N/A)

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: The Wilds of Michigan.

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.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.

No Comments

Do more than just check gauges; join over 5,000 AW members today.

Or, consider donating