This is a long (25 miles!) reach, with NO bridges (road crossings) between put-in and take-out. (Therefore no convenient way of shortening the run. There are a few roads or logging trails which come close, but none which cross the river.) This (of course) limits the number of paddlers who will tackle this stretch. The main feature (beyond looking at Agate Falls before you put in below it) would appear to be "Three Rapids Falls", somewhat after the midpoint of the reach. However, aerial views show very little at that location!
Put-in: Park at a wayside on Hwy.28. ***Do NOT put in at the wayside.*** Carry downstream to put-in below Agate Falls. This scenic, steep, stepped falls lands almost uniformly hard (on bedrock). Furthermore, the riverbed increasingly slopes and accelerates the water inexorably toward the lip of the falls. There would be precious little chance for a boater to avoid being swept over the falls (if in the river above it) at any reasonable boatable flow.
Take-out: Hwy.45 at "Military Bridge".
USGS lists a sampling site and shows drainage of 203 square miles.
A wayside at Hwy.28 provides great parking, and a trail down river-right to the falls and below. DO NOT PUT IN AT THE WAYSIDE! The falls is just a couple-hundred yards downstream, and it is far too easy to get past 'the point of no return'.
Virtually all sane boaters will put in BELOW this falls. The lead-in slopes increasingly downhill, and the landing is quite uniformly shallow (on bedrock), making this a pretty falls to look at, but an ugly one to think about running.
From the put-in below Agate Falls you will have fairly continuous class II rapids. Just less than 0.2 miles into the run, there may be an island which accumulates lots of wood. A route hard to the left is likely to be open, but strong current may push hard into trees. Be careful.
As you come around the backside of the island, action increases (class II, possibly a short bit of class III).
A small creek enters river-left.
It appears there may be a ledge/wave/hole river-left.
Tom Creek enters from river-right.
Another island, prone to accumulating wood, and another hard-left-turn for what is likely to be the clear channel. As you round this bend, Meto Creek enters river-left.
There is a significant break in the trees, signaling a 'lane' for a gas pipeline, and a private property not far off, river-left. It MAY be possible to use this for access/egress, if permission is obtained.
Rounding a hard-right bend, be alert for the likelihood of logjams.
A hard left, and another likely location for a logjam to be skirted.
Again, a tight turn (this time to the right), and an increased chance for massive log jam. Proceed with caution.
A fairly decent-sized trib enters from river-right.
A half-mile walk to the west/left would get you to the end of One-mile Road.
At long last . . . after interminable flatwater, finally some decent rapids! A long island splits the flow, with best flow likely to the left.
It appears there may be three (+/-) ledge/wave/holes in quick succession here.
A small creek enters from the right.
An extension off this road leads not too far from the river. If one could identify this location from the river, and if one can access this location (may be private property, may be gated access), it could provide a shorter egress from the river, below all apparent drops and best gradient.
This could provide emergency access, or possible access/egress.
Not far above this bridge is where "Three Rapids" is marked on topo maps. However, there is virtually nothing apparent on aerial views. (OK, very very minor waves.)
Generally runnable only in spring due to the reach being partially dewatered by Bond Falls diversion.
Cited gauge is at the downstream end of this long run, after the confluence with the East Branch Ontonagon and the Baltimore River. Since the gauge includes flow from those major tributaries, it is likely to be a very unreliable indicator of runnability for this reach.
As a result, the best indicator will be via visual inspection.
Permits are not required for this reach.
Park at a wayside on Hwy.28. ***Do NOT put in at the wayside.*** Carry downstream to put-in below Agate Falls. This scenic, steep, stepped falls lands almost uniformly hard (on bedrock). Furthermore, the riverbed increasingly slopes and accelerates the water inexorably toward the lip of the falls. There would be precious little chance for a boater to avoid being swept over the falls (if in the river above it) at any reasonable boatable flow.
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