Tahquamenon Falls & Pictured Rocks, August 2000

Day 1

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Click here for map, mileage and trail elevation information - Tahquamenon Falls
Click here for map, mileage and trail elevation information - Pictured Rocks

For this year's hiking trip, Ken, my good friend/hiking companion and I decided on to spread our five day trip out between two of Michigan's scenic upper peninsula locations; Tahquamenon Falls and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The Pictured Rocks trail follows the north coast of the Upper Peninsula for 42 miles from Grand Marais to Munising. This is actually just a small part of the 4600 mile North Country Trail which stretches from New York, through seven states, and ends in North Dakota. The scenery was beautiful and much of the trail runs very close, sometimes only 3-4 feet, to the edge of 200 foot tall sandstone cliffs. We started our trek to the north on August 21 and decided to make a quick stop at the Fibron Quarry which is located in the eastern part of the Upper Peninsula west of Trout Lake off of highway 40.

The Fibron Quarry was an active limestone quarry that operated from the early 1900's until it was permanently closed in 1935. Limestone was a key ingredient used in the production of calcium carbide, which in turn was used to create acetylene gas, considered, at the time, to be an economical source of clean, bright light. The quarry area contained several business-related buildings such as a quarry plant, a crusher, a train shop and a boxcar loading hopper. It also was home to a railway system which facilitated the removal of the quarried rock. The area was not only a limestone quarry, but also a small community consisting of workers and their families, a community store, homes and a school house. Today, the only remnants of this mining community are a large building, the boxcar loading area and an open rocky area slowly being covered by trees and small scrub bushes. After wandering through this area for a while we discovered a descriptive plaque on a trail nearby. The plaque contained a picture of how the quarry appeared during its operating days and a few sentences explaining the picture.

A short hike further down the trail and into the woods leads to the opening of a cave. The caves are part of the Michigan Karst Conservancy. People wishing to explore the caves are supposed to get permission from the MKC and explore the caves during certain weekends when members of the MKC are present. If you would like to learn more about the quarry's history, visit the Fibron Quarry pages at the MKC web site, check out the pictures at Paul's Ghost Town Pictures or see this link about Michigan's railroad stations.

After spending some time at the quarry we drove to the Tahquamenon Falls State Park. We arrived early in the evening, set up the tent, unpacked some supplies and had dinner. The day had been clear and bright and the evening provided still more excellent conditions; clear star-filled skies and perfect temperatures. We started a fire, discussed plans for the next day, checked out the thousands of stars and the Milky Way and then went to sleep.

Miles covered today: 1.5
Total trip miles: 1.5

Day 2

This page last updated on 02-25-2016 @ 11:22 AM