Potawatomi Falls – Black River Scenic Byway, Gogebic County
We’ve already showcased two of the five stunning waterfalls on the Black River in Gogebic County, and today we turn our attention to a third – Potawatomi Falls. This waterfall has the distinction of being the only one on the Black River Byway that is fully handicap accessible, with a smooth, even trail and flat viewing platform. It can be reached from the same parking lot as Gorge Falls.
The river gradually drops 30 feet here as it falls over curved rock. A large rock outcropping splits the river into two here, but unless it is spring or after recent rain most of the water will be visible on the left side. Trees near the viewing platform make it difficult to get a full picture of the falls, but their green color contrasts nicely with the lacy white water and brown rock of the river.
In several visits to the area, we have yet to catch this waterfall at a high water point where there is significant flow on the right side as well. This area is beautiful enough with minimal flow, yet could be even more enticing after a spring thaw or heavy rain.
Directions: From the intersection of US-2 and Moore St. in downtown Bessemer, head north on Moore and follow it as it winds and becomes Black River Rd./CR-513. This road will lead to all five of the scenic waterfalls, as well as Copper Peak ski flying hill. The road dead ends at Lake Superior. An alternative route is to take Powderhorn Rd. north from its intersection with US-2, and follow it past the ski resort as it winds its way into the woods (as CR-511) before eventually intersecting with CR-513. Take a left there and head north.
Be prepared for: bugs, possible wet terrain but an overall smooth, easy hike