Menominee, Michigan, US/Wisconsin, US
|Usual Difficulty||IV (varies with level)|
|Avg. Gradient||24 fpm|
|Max Gradient||24 fpm|
|MENOMINEE RIVER BELOW PEMENE CREEK NEAR PEMBINE,WI|
|usgs-04066003||800 - 10000 cfs||III-IV||00h46m||8260 cfs (running)|
|Too big and surging for best play, but a great BIG WATER run through waves and holes (for well-experienced whitewater boaters). Gauge (3,140 sq.mi. drainage) lies immediately downstream of this reach, so very accurately portrays flow here.|
In summer, 2012, the areas surrounding Piers Gorge, Quiver Falls, and Pemene Falls were
incorporated into a State Recreation Area cooperatively operated by Michigan DNR and Wisconsin
DNR. As a result, parking and access for each of these areas now requires either a daily or
annual State Park sticker. Additional information is available at: WI DNR
This run is easily combined with Piers Gorge. It is a shorter and more intense reach than Piers Gorge, and may offer better play below the rapids (depending upon your preferences!).
This is easily one of the scarier rapids around to run (if you run the whole sequence). Some sweet smaller surf waves lead into the main drop. The first large feature, Clarice Hole, is an extremely violent, river-wide hole where the river narrows to 12' wide alongside the still-visible remnants of an old dam. When entering the hole from upstream, the top of the backwash is a little above eyeball level. There is a small room of doom to the right, which (if you flip and are swept into) will make your life miserable (though it does generally flush in the center). There are countless sharp pointy rocks that the current will slam you into if you do flip. At levels above 7.9 feet you can run this rapid without hitting rebar. However, I have not been able to confirm presence or absence of rebar risks at levels below 7.9 feet. The hole becomes less flushy the lower flow goes. I have not visited this area higher than 8.3 feet (which is a good level to run it at), but I was told that it was very intimidating at 12 feet.
Fifty yards downstream is Hannibal Hole. This is a great hole to play in, especially since there is a huge eddy on river left that provides easy access. Just 5 yards below Hannibal is Lecter Wave. This is one of the best waves in the Upper Peninsula/Wisconsin area. Again, a huge eddy on river left provides easy access.
The 4th 'feature' of this rapid is Cannibal Rock, a chunk of old dam on the river right side of Lecter Wave. This rock is just below the surface and if you windowshade here, you will smack it hard. (I received a mild concussion the first time I hit it, and spent the next 12 hours vomiting. Plus it snapped my paddled in half!)
This run is a little off the main drag, but worth a side-trip to see. Even if you (as many people) decide not to run the whole sequence, you may find Hannibal and Lecter will provide adequate entertainment.
Recommended 'Companion' Runs
|Menominee, Piers Gorge||20 miles|
|Menominee at Quiver||24 miles|
|Sturgeon at Sturgeon Dam||28 miles|
|Paint, Horserace Rapids||50 miles|