Big Manitou Falls of Wisconsin is Worth the Hike

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The state of Wisconsin is known for the many breathtaking and bubbling waterfalls. The majority of these waterfalls are located around the park system of the state, but right on top of the list would be the Big Manitou Falls. It is significant, and it has the distinction of being one of the tallest waterfalls in that region that includes states like Michigan and Minnesota. At the height of 165 ft, the Big Manitou Falls looks majestic.

The Falls are located within the Pattison State Park in Douglas County, just 13 miles from Superior. In 1920 a state park was created only around the falls, and its protection level was increased by a few more notches when in 2003 it was included as a part of the Wisconsin State Natural Areas Program.

About Big Manitou Falls

What makes Manitou Falls so unique?

Travel guides say that you must be really in love with waterfalls to be ready to make the journey to Pattison State Park, which is just outside Superior. But as soon as you reach, you will be greeted by the mighty big Manitou Falls – one of the seven wonders of the State of Wisconsin. But when you actually see the Falls, you will understand that words like ‘Big’ does not do any justice here.

The Big Manitou Falls is the 4th largest waterfall located to the east of the Rockies. It enjoys the same height as the more popular Niagara Falls, but, as people say, this one is a lot skinnier.

Those who are coming here for the 1st time would know that the entrance to the park is reasonably big and looks grassy, but the waterfalls are not visible from the entrance. You can hear the rumbling of the falls continuously, and suddenly you can see all the splash and spray. No wonder, many tourists have termed this falls as a hidden gem.

An interesting point to note here is that whoever comes in here expects the Big Manitou Falls to be right next to the visitors center! Well, it is not exactly there, but it is very accessible. Since the trees hide it and one can hear the rumbling of the falls from a distance, this is what makes the Big Manitou Falls so special.

The 165 ft tall waterfall looks impressive with the mineral-rich brown, orange, and white deluge of water flowing from the famous Black River. The river is known as Mucudewa Sebee (meaning dark) – a name given by the Ojibwa. It signifies the root beer tint of the water, which comes from the roots of vegetation and the decaying leaves.

How do you get in?

When you reach the park, you need to keep in mind that you will have to walk a little bit to get to the Falls. It makes sense to take the help of park guides as you can miss the waterfalls entirely!

The journey to the Falls is well worth it, and when you are here finally here, you will feel that you are in an entirely different world. More than 150,000 visitors come here every year, but the park never feels too crowded.

Anything else to do?

If you have time in hand, then you can opt for the Big Manitou Falls Trail, which offers a real chance to see as many as 200 species of birds and more than 50 different types of mammals. This is one of those parks where the term common sightings include exotic creatures like black bears, beavers, porcupines, and even moose!

You can take a short tour of the region and see one of the other Seven wonders of Wisconsin – the Apostle Islands. But for that, you need to camp in the Pattison State Park, which may not appeal to everybody.

Other things to do in Wisconsin