Presque Isle, Michigan, US
|Usual Difficulty||III-V (for normal flows)|
|Avg. Gradient||51 fpm|
|Max Gradient||105 fpm|
|PRESQUE ISLE RIVER NEAR TULA, MI|
|usgs-04032000||500 - 1000 cfs||III-V||00h17m||356 cfs (too low)|
|Likely a bit grungy, possible ELF (Extreme Low Flow) run. (We need your input to help refine ranges here! Add a comment or report about recommended flows!) Gauge (261 sq.mi.drainage) lies 10+miles upstream, so will understate flows (perhaps by 10-20%).|
|BLACK RIVER NEAR BESSEMER, MI|
|usgs-04031000||2.80 - 5.00 ft||III-V||00h47m||~ 3.4 ft (running)|
|Likely moderate to moderately-high flows. Help your fellow boaters! We need input to fine-tune boatable levels. Add a comment or report! Reference gauge (Black River) should provide reasonable correlation for this river. Actual flows must be confirmed by on-site inspection.|
Aug '04 Update/Access
The listed put in for this reach, Steiger's bridge, is privately owned, as are the roads leading up to it. In Spring '04, paddlers were informed that, due to liability concerns on the part of the owner, the road would be closed to public usage. Access to Steiger's bridge may be gated and unavailable. Alternate options are:
A) "Full" Presque run, doing the Upper Presque at Underwood Tower Road and continuing down to paddle this reach. Total length of the combined reaches is 15.7 miles,
B) Doing the Copper Creek to the Presque, which unfortunately comes in below 'the canyon' (Triple Drop and Nakomis), or
C) Hiking in (a LONG hike, trespassing on the gated road).
This is a classic run, once considered "cutting edge" whitewater. Triple Drop, Nakomis,
Lepisto, and Iagoo Falls are the major drops. There is much great play water after the gorge,
particularly at higher water levels (above 7.5', when Triple Drop and Nakomis will likely be
Early runs of this, most groups took out at the South Boundary Road Bridge, however, the final mile to the lake contains some interesting, big, runnable (for experts) drops, and is now often done as a 'first choice' run. (See Bottom Presque for description and photos.) Those not choosing to run that bottom mile will want to at least enjoy the views from overlooks and footbridge in the park.
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:
Upper Presque Isle,
Montreal, W.Fk., and
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|1.5||begin increased gradient||N/A|
|3.4||Confluence with Copper Creek||N/A|
About a quarter-mile into the light rapids, a large rock splits the flow, with a bit of a ledge/drop either side. Passage is possible either side, but you'll likely want to give the rock wide berth, as it forms a sticky hole at some flows. This rock also serves as your signal that 'The Canyon' lies just ahead, with the two meatiest drops of the run: Triple Drop and Nakomis.
This begins the 'the canyon'. Less-confident or less-skilled paddlers will be well served to portage this sequence. At high flows, even well-experienced kayakers take to the shore.
The main drop of Nakomis has a decent eddy above it. Strong, confident paddlers may boat all of the approach and catch the eddy (to stage and run the main drop, or to portage it). Less skilled or confident paddlers may start their portage further up. At high flows, it is not uncommon to portage from above Triple Drop and put in below Nakomis.
Lepisto Falls is not that much of a drop, but can be nearly as troublesome for boaters as some of the larger falls. The river spills over a hump of bedrock which has been scoured and sculpted into some weird folds. At most 'normal' flows, there will be an exposed area of bedrock midstream where you can beach the boats to scout the drop. The river is fairly wide here, so it can be difficult to be certain of your line: Too close toward the exposed area and you may piton into a scoured back-cut in the bedrock (as a string of boaters, each following the prior one's line, did back in the days of long boats, resulting in a number of badly sprained ankles). Too far from the exposed area and you head into a wave/hole in front of an exposed rock midway down. Run between the two, and you're good. However, at the base of the sliding drop, a potentially quite 'keepy' hole (depending upon the flow) awaits.
For those not wishing to deal with the potential consequences of the route(s) just described, there is at least one good sneak. Head way to river-right, where the flow (if I recall correctly, from many, many years back) drops down a more jumbled rapids.
This is similar (in general appearance) to Lepisto, but without the folded back-cut bedrock. The flow spills across a river-wide transverse hump of rock. Depending on flow and precisely where you 'attack' this, you may encounter a fairly significant wave/hole.
This may be named after the Indian legend of Iagoo, (that's i-a-g-o-o) the story teller. One good source for more about this legend is http://scienceviews.com/indian/fairytales2.html
USGS lists a site at S.Boundary Road citing drainage at that point as 358 square miles, or ~1.8*Black at its gauge.