Hitting the Peak

An interesting aspect of chasing down fall color is that finding exactly what you want to see can be comparable to trying to time the market on a stock trade. As much as you attempt to rely on available information to be in the right place at the right time, the results may not be what you had planned. The past week demonstrated this thought.

Tuesday the 5th we had planned to head up to Copper Harbor, but business kept us pinned down to Houghton and Hancock. The view of the Quincy Mine from Houghton, though colorful, included quite a large mix of green trees.

On a whim we decided to take a hike into the Swedetown Creek Gorge by way of the Tomasi trailhead at Maasto Hiihto on the north side of Hancock. Serendipitously, we were greeted by amazing fall color!

The gorge with its numerous waterfalls is an awesome place to immerse yourself in nature without having to drive or hike very far at all!

Wednesday morning found us at McLain State Park. While the forest along Lake Superior had only a small amount of fall color, the view a short distance inland at Bear Lake was much more colorful and even more pleasing because of its reflection on the calm waters.

Friday we headed for the high country (1800’+) on the North Country Trail to the south of Herman to help a friend accumulate 6 more miles toward the #hike100NCT Challenge. Along Keweenaw Bay there was still plenty of green, but as we drove up toward Herman we rapidly found ourselves in peak color conditions. In a short distance south of Herman where we started our hike, we clearly had reached a location at that higher elevation where the temperature had likely dropped into the 30s as most of the leaves had fallen from the trees! As a North Country Trail volunteer sawyer, I had been involved with cutting the new trail through this area during the summer. Even though most of the autumn color was now on the ground, I enjoyed the opportunity to return to this remote location. The hike’s highlight was a narrow, rock-walled valley that is the home of at least seven consecutive beaver dams!

Check out a GoPro video take on this hike at the following link:

You can take a closer look at the beaver dams in the narrow, rock-walled valley at this link:

On Saturday we finally made a quick trip up to Copper Harbor to check out the view from Brockway Mountain. Although hazy, the view was both impressive and enjoyable.

On our way back we stopped to have dinner and hike with friends who live upland from McLain State Park. Here the color was eye-popping! We also saw a monstrous amanita mushroom as well as a beaver dam under construction!

Sunday found us in the Trap Hills with friends to hike 6.64 miles out-and-back on the Peter Wolfe Chapter’s segment 8 of the North Country Trail. This segment is one of my favorites as the lookouts from this portion of the trail provide outstanding views to the west looking toward the Hacking Site and an equally impressive view looking east toward the Norwich Bluff. We experienced striking gold colored leaves on this hike while we also ran across micro-climates in the course of the hike where the leaves remained green!

I have this hike broken into two GoPro videos at the following links:

If you have the ability to work remotely and would appreciate living in a place offering serendipitous experiences with fall color such as these, consider locating in the Keweenaw where fall color on steroids would be an annual experience! Visit https://remoteworkforcekeweenaw.com