Sturgeon, W.Br. (Menominee R. trib.) - Metropolitan to Calumet Mine Road (5.77 miles)

Sturgeon, W.Br. (Menominee R. trib.), Michigan, US


Metropolitan to Calumet Mine Road (5.77 miles)

Usual Difficulty II-IV (for normal flows)
Length 5.77 Miles
Avg. Gradient 20 fpm
Max Gradient 55 fpm

River Description

Some interesting drops for anyone willing to paddle a wooded-up PITA reach. (If you do it once, you'll probably never feel the need to do it again.)

The one time we paddled this (April of 2001, at relative minimal flow) we ran a couple of drops, portaged a grungy drop, and had one section of a quarter-mile or so where it appeared a 'gust front' had blown down a whole swath of trees. We had a very cumbersome carry around, over, and through a total wooded-up mess, instream and on shore!

Looking now at Google Maps, it appears there may be other roads for access. There was a nice spot or two of rapids somewhat later in our run. I can't recall (nor can I tell from topo or aerial shots) where those spots of rapids might be relative to the shown roads.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2017-12-04 01:15:24

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
-7.5USGS sampling siteN/A
1.5Head of GradientN/AWaterfall
1.5Upper Mill Pond FallsIVWaterfall
1.7Lower Mill Pond FallsIII+Waterfall
2.4Camp Suicide RoadN/AAccess
2.8Unnamed (truck trail?) roadN/A
3.2*Possible* minor rapidsN/A
4.0Perhaps random ripsN/A
4.2*Possible* rapidsN/A

Rapid Descriptions

USGS sampling site (Class N/A, Mile -7.5)

USGS lists a sampling site with drainage area of 56 square miles.

Head of Gradient (Class N/A, Mile 1.5)

Topo map shows a mill pond (long gone, as it does not show up in satellite views), followed by 30' of drop in a rather short distance starting about here.

Just shy of 1.5 miles of flatwater paddling you'll likely see some buildings (river-left shore), and immediately downstream, as trees close in, the gradient begins.

Upper Mill Pond Falls (Class IV, Mile 1.5)

You don't have to paddle very far to find a big drop.

Lower Mill Pond Falls (Class III+, Mile 1.7)

I believe this is the "grungy" falls mentioned in the main description. A pretty fair straightaway precedes an abrupt 90-degree right, where the river spills across splines of rock.

Camp Suicide Road (Class N/A, Mile 2.4)

We have no first-hand information about whether this is a private road or if it is reasonably passable with normal street vehicles. This could provide access after the two big drops. If possible to use, we recommend you ensure you can identify this take-out location from the river.

Unnamed (truck trail?) road (Class N/A, Mile 2.8)

Another possibility for access. Again unknown if it is gated or posted as private. Again, if accessible, make certain to have a good look at the river to be certain that from your boat you can identify this location (if vehicles aren't within sight of the river).

*Possible* minor rapids (Class N/A, Mile 3.2)

Resolution on aerial views gets pretty sketchy through here, but I *think* there may be some minor low-grade rips through about here.

Perhaps random rips (Class N/A, Mile 4.0)

At this point the resolution on aerial view improves, and it appears the river is fairly free of snags and has some slight improvement in gradient, creating minor rapids between here and our indicated take-out.

*Possible* rapids (Class N/A, Mile 4.2)

Again, very low resolution on aerials, but I *think* there are some low/moderate rapids here.

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