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Wisconsin Parent

Waterfalls of Florence County, Wisconsin

Aug 24, 2014 09:15AM ● Published by Julie Henning

If you've been following any of our recent travel posts, you'll know our family has been getting into nature and finding as many "Wisconsin Waterfalls" as possible. From Willow River Falls in Hudson and Cascade Falls in Osceola, our most recent waterfall adventure went down in Florence County on the Eastern side of Northern Wisconsin.

While Florence County has fourteen named waterfalls and rapids, LaSalle Falls on the Pine River is the most popular of the bunch—it features a 22-foot plummet and 35-foot rock outcropping. But because I was traveling solo with my three kids, I was looking for something a bit more manageable on our first trip to the region. With a bit of guidance from Explore Florence County and the Wisconsin Wild Rivers Tour (download the Android or the iPhone Mobile App before you go), we settled on Big Bull Falls, Myers Falls, and Bulls Falls.

Big Bull Falls

Big Bull Falls is Wisconsin Wild Rivers stop #3 and is located on the Popple River off of Highway 101.

Stop 3:4Drive just over 1/2 miles west on River Road and look for the parking lot on the right-hand side of the road (the trail head will be on the other side of the parking lot).

Trailhead Big Bull FallsGetting to the falls involves about a 1/4 mile hike on a narrow trail (not recommended for sandals or flip flops). If you enjoy oyster mushrooms, you may find some on the dead aspen trees fallen along the route.

Big Bull Falls 2The falls consist of a north and a south channel, with the best views achieved downstream from this vantage point (see photo above).

Big Bull Falls 1I sent a kid scrambling/wading over to the island between the channels to take this photo of the falls on the other side of the river (photo above). Note: If you just want to let your kids play in the water, consider stop #4 nearer to Highway 101 (the water is shallow, but you would want water shoes or old tennis shoes to keep people from slipping and/or cutting themselves on the rocks)

Myers Falls and Bull Falls

Myers Falls is Wisconsin Wild Rivers stop #13 and Bull Falls is Wild Rivers stop #15. Both are located on the Pine River just over 7 1/2 miles west from the Wild Rivers Interpretive Center on Highway 70.

Stop 13:14:15When you see this sign, you will want to turn left onto Goodman Grade Road. Note: This is a two-track gravel road with some pot holes. If you really love your car, maybe get a rental or just remember to drive slow, or both.

SignYou will want to travel about one mile to the intersection where 13, 14 and 15 split off.  If you go right to Myers Falls, it's about 1 1/2 miles to a parking area then only 25 yards to the falls (stay on the gravel road–not the grassy turnoff roads). You will be able to hear the waterfall from the parking area.

Meyers FallsWith a 7-foot drop, water "cascades" down Myers Falls and there isn't really any great spot for wading (but the rock formations are beautiful and this one is quite easy to access). The large rock I stood on to take the above photo would make for a nice picnic spot.

Bull Falls Trailhead

Bull Falls is a bit more of a commitment. You'll want to backtrack to the "fork in the road" and go the direction of Bull Falls for about a mile (this is where the road took a turn for the worse, but nothing a minivan couldn't handle). The hike to the falls is about 1/4 mile through a spectacular Hemlock forest and an eventual "slant" down to the river.

Canopy to Bull FallsWe did not see any other forms of human life during our waterfall adventure, so I tried to make plenty of noise in order to avoid any "surprises" with wildlife. Like Big Bull Falls, you would not want to make this hike wearing flip flops. You might also want to remember bug spray (this was the one place we seemed to attract deer flies).

Bull FallsOne of the smaller of the seven named falls, Bull Falls cascades down a five-foot overall drop. I did let the kids wade around a bit, and they looked for minnows and tadpoles while I took photos of the scenery—the hike is truly the highlight with this experience.

Stay tuned for a story listing all the kid-friendly places to visit in the nearby town of Florence.

Travel wisconsin Wisconsin Parent waterfalls up north florence florence county pine river popple river wisconsin wild rivers
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