Presque Isle - B) Underwood Tower Rd to Steigers Bridge (7.5 miles)

Presque Isle, Michigan, US


B) Underwood Tower Rd to Steigers Bridge (7.5 miles)

Usual Difficulty II-IV (for normal flows)
Length 7.5 Miles
Avg. Gradient 20 fpm
Max Gradient 58 fpm

Gauge Information

Name Range Difficulty Updated Level
usgs-04032000 500 - 1000 cfs II-IV 34d15h29m 251 cfs (too low)
Low, but possibly ELF (Extreme Low Flow) run. (We need your input to help refine ranges here! Add a comment or report!) Gauge (261 sq.mi. drainage) lies 2.6 miles upstream. A few pretty fair-sized tribs enter below gauge / above rapids, so actual flow will be somewhat higher.
usgs-04031000 2.80 - 5.00 ft II-IV 00h58m ~ 2.32 ft (too low)
Almost certainly too low. Help your fellow boaters! We need input to fine-tune boatable levels. Add a comment or report! Reference gauge should be a reasonable indicator of water in the area.

River Description

Reach includes Minnewawa Falls and Nimikon Falls.

Put-in: broken bridge on Underwood Tower Road
Take-out: Steigers Bridge on logging road
Note: Getting shuttle vehicles down to the listed take-out at Steigers Bridge may not be available due to the logging road being closed (gated). This may necessitate continuing downstream to run the Lower Presque. This makes a long day, paddling a total of 15.7 miles (or 16.8 to the mouth, including the 'final mile' or Bottom Presque run).

Note: There is about 16 miles of low gradient river from the listed take-out of the prior (upper section) to the put-in for this section.

AW members may click here for Part 1 of an article from the AW Journal, way back in 1981!
AW members may click here for Part 2 of the article.

In addition to this reach, the article also describes the following:
   Lower Presque Isle,
   Middle Black,
   Lower Black,
   Upper Silver,
   Lower Silver,
   Falls, and
and Wisconsin's
   Lower Brunsweiler,
   Montreal, W.Fk., and
   Montreal Canyon.

StreamTeam Status: Not Verified
Last Updated: 2012-05-26 15:09:47

Rapid Summary

Mile Rapid Name Class Features (Legend)
2.6rapids sequence #1N/A
3.5rapids sequence #2N/A
3.8Minnewawa FallsN/AWaterfall
4.1Nimikon FallsN/AWaterfall

Rapid Descriptions

Minnewawa Falls (Class N/A, Mile 3.8)

(Description from Google Satellite view)

It appears a substantial island splits the flow, with the larger channel to the right. Both channels pour into a large pool. A (logging?) road passes through below.

Nimikon Falls (Class N/A, Mile 4.1)

(Info primarily from Google Satellite view)

This is not so much a 'falls' as about a quarter-mile series of ledge drops.

User Comments

Users can submit comments.
July 22 2014 (1639 days ago)
bryan fosterDetails
FLAT WATER. Ok, I said it. There is way more flat water here than you might expect for a river with
such whitewater fame. Regardless, with the limited access at steiger's bridge, this is the way to
see some great whitewater, and get some paddle fitness in.
First things first, the put in is at a 90 degree left bend in Underwood rd/FR481 where a small
grass area for parking cars and an ATV trail over a berm is. Do not try the short cut through on
the forest road West, you will end up meeting locked gates, instead head back out to Hwy 28.
For the first part there is a bunch of flat water intermingled with rapids. When ever you see an
island with substantial gradient that you can't see down, hop out and scout.
The first big rapid is Minnewawa Falls, there is a nice class III- drop just before it which is
marked by a rocky island splitting the river. Minnewawa is split by an island as well, with most of
the water moving down the right channel. The right channel proceeds thought a constriction of
bedrock and then drops a few feet into a fast moving wave/hole followed closely by a second 5ft
green tough drop into another wave/hole with a large pool with waves and buggy water directly after
the drop. The left channel has a single drop which may offer a few lines at higher levels.
A little more flat water, then another rocky outcropping splits the current. Shortly after this the
river gradient picks up the pace with the majority of the water moving down to the right. There are
a number of eddies on the right shore to catch to get out and scout Nimikon Falls. This falls has a
left line which is a series of wave holes and smaller drops and a right line with a steeper drop
into a pool. There is a small fraction of water that takes a left line around the island which
might offer another drop to consider a carry up, because there is a lot of flat water after this.
Now for more of the endless flat water, until Steiger's rd bridge. The pace picks up from there,
and you are now in the middle section.