Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wednesday Waterfall: Elliot Falls, aka Miners Beach Falls

Waterfall at Miners Beach, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Munising, Michigan's Upper Peninsula
There are so many big, raucous thundering waterfalls in Michigan's Upper Peninsula that it's too easy to overlook little gems like Elliot Falls at Miners Beach in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore near Munising in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

For years I've heard this waist-high falls called Miners Beach Falls, and also Potato Patch Falls referring to the nearby backcountry campsite called the Potato Patch. However the actual Potato Patch Falls is a wispy pillar located between this lower falls at Miners Beach and the campsite where the stream drips off a sandstone ledge.

A recent interaction on Facebook set the record straight on the beach falls though:
"Elliot Falls is named after my great aunt's husband, who had the cabin there for many years. Bob Elliot had 'Elliot's Farm', and the home had also been known as "Zimmies" in later years prior to being torn down by the park service. The house sat right over the creek (you could see the creek through the floorboards in the bathroom). A few pipes and concrete slabs still remain at the site. "

To reach Elliot Falls, just take the Miners Beach Road all the way to the east (the opposite end that most visitors go to). A short walk gets you to the beach (use the stairs, this is a high erosion area) and you'll see the falls to your right once you're there.

Photo tip: plan your trip for the evening for best light and be prepared to get your feet wet for some of the best angles, especially if icy Lake Superior waves are rolling in. Also, this little stream can be seasonal so unless there have been recent rains it may just be a trickle.

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