Rock River Falls

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Rock River Falls

Alger County, in the center of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, is home to many famous waterfalls. Munising, Miners, Chapel, and Sable Falls are all popular destinations in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Wagner and Laughing Whitefish Falls are well developed destinations too. While I’ve enjoyed visits to all of these, my favorites are the more out of the way locations where crowds don’t need to be controlled with boardwalks and decks and the falls are in more pristine settings.

Nestled deep in the Rock River Wilderness Area, Rock River Falls takes some finding. Starting at the small farm town of Chatham, your journey begins with an 8 mile drive down a series of gravel roads. The last 3/4 mile you’ve got to navigate a two track forest service road of questionable navigability. You eventually reach a small clearing with room for a few cars. You’ve got to go forth in faith because there’s no sign, though the trail is clear enough.

A three quarters mile walk through the woods brings you to the falls and an ample reward for your adventuresomeness. It’s a beautiful falls and humankind has been mercifully gentle in it’s enjoyment. I rested an hour to the sound of falling water and never saw another soul.

This panoramic view is a blending of three shots that I took in sequence. The key to success in situations like this is to set your shutter and aperture manually to assure the three shots share an exposure. In this case 1 second at f/11. I also make sure that both the camera and the tripod are level so that they swing in a flat plane when rotating through the scene.

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