Piers Gorge Hiking Trail
The Piers Gorge hiking trail is short, only about a mile and a half, making for a 3 mile out and back hike. Piers Gorge, located on the Michigan-Wisconsin border, is formed by the Menominee River. The name is derived from the waterfalls that jut out across the river like “piers”. The river drops about 20 feet over the course of the four waterfalls.
The gorge walls are nearly 100 feet tall in some places. The largest drop is Mischicot Falls and is about 8-10 feet depending on water levels. While only about a half mile in length, the Class IV section of Piers Gorge is a popular white water rafting destination. The last pier that you will encounter is Sand Portage. A 5-foot drop and about a mile upstream from Mischicot Falls. However, the trail doesn’t provide a view and degrades into a less traveled singletrack.
The trail shaded and mostly flat with a few small rises in elevation. The trail surface is a combination of loamy earth, rock, and gnarled tree roots. Most any footwear will do but be prepared for an uneven surface for most of the trail. Trail runners would be the ideal footwear, I’d advise against sandals. Hiking poles aren’t essential but would be nice in some of the rocky and rooted sections.
The trail parallels the river and has several areas to access the river and many scenic overlooks too. The forest is a mix of Cedar and hardwoods. Wildflowers are common along the rivers edge. Ferns are abundant too.
Location and Directions
Piers Gorge Rd, Norway, MI 49870
From the town of Norway, Michigan, take US-8 west toward Wisconsin. Two miles south of town, turn right on to Piers Gorge Road. The Park entrance is located 1.1 miles from the US-8.
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