Menominee - C) Pemene Falls (0.2 miles)

Menominee, Michigan, US/Wisconsin, US


C) Pemene Falls (0.2 miles)

Usual Difficulty IV (varies with level)
Length 0.2 Miles
Avg. Gradient 24 fpm
Max Gradient 24 fpm

Pemene Falls

Pemene Falls
Photo of Pemene Falls by Brian Sodergren taken 08/06/03 @ Low

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-04066003 800 - 10000 cfs IV+ 28h02m 10900 cfs (too high)
Huge, surging, BIG WATER. Impressive to look at. Very few will accept the challenge presented at these massive flows. Gauge (3,140 sq.mi. drainage) lies immediately downstream of this reach, so very accurately portrays flow here.

River Description

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 these three distinct areas now requires either a daily or annual State Park sticker. Additional information is available at: WI DNR

This is a shorter and more intense section than Piers Gorge, and may offer better play (depending upon your preferences).

If you run the full rapids here, this is easily one of the scarier rapids around to run. Some sweet, small surf waves lead into the main drop. Were it not for what lies just downstream, these would be excellent for beginner-to-intermediate tame play.

The first large feature is encountered as the river narrows to about 12' wide, alongside the remnants of an old dam. Clarice Hole, is an extremely violent river-wide hole. Entering 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 generally flushes 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 (more keepy) 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 (at least, at low-to-moderate flows), 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 at Piers Gorge (20 miles distant), Menominee at Quiver (24 miles distant), Sturgeon at Sturgeon Dam (28 miles), Paint at Horserace Rapids (50 miles).

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2018-01-02 14:56:43


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Rapid Descriptions

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User Comments

Users can submit comments.
May 13 2014 (1672 days ago)
varunr89 (156350)
A group of Hoofers from UW-Madison Ran this section on 05/11/2014 at 8500 CFS. Awesome big water
run. Big Waves, Big Holes. Everything flushes except for the final hole on the left just before the
pool which is a bit sticky but you can work you're way out of it with a little skill and
persistence. Easy clean up at the bottom if you go for a swim so not a problem at all. Nice surf
waves at the top but try to avoid flipping near the old dam because of rebar. Overall a well worth
Big Water run!

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