The Menominee River
The Menominee River is a popular whitewater rafting destination in the upper Midwest. Located in northwestern Michigan and northeastern Wisconsin, the Menominee travels approximately 116 miles to drain water from a rural, forested part of northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan into Lake Michigan. The length of the river forms a portion of the boundary between the two states. From calm float trips to white water rafting and fishing, the Menominee is a great place for fun summer activities in Michigan.
The river begins approximately 10 miles to the northwest of Iron Mountain, Michigan where the Michigamme and Brule rivers converge. The Brule begins just over 50 miles to the northwest of the head of the Menominee. It begins just inside the Michigan border at Brule Lake.
On its journey toward Lake Michigan, the Menominee River picks up more than 100 tributaries, including the Pine, Sturgeon, Pemebonwon and Pike Rivers.
Menominee River – Home To Some Michigan’s Cleanest Waters
Along the Menominee River are several large reservoirs. The waters in these reservoirs are some of the cleanest and deepest lakes in the region, and much of the surrounding land is managed for recreational use. This ensures conservation and restricts development along the shoreline. The lakes are kept pristine, and the water is lined with wild forest land instead of docks and cottages.
The name “Menominee” comes from an Ojibwe Algonquian work that means “wild rice” or “in the place of wild rice.” The river shares its name with the historic Menominee Tribe that once lived in the area and used wild rice as a staple of their diet. Today, the Menominee are the only Native American tribe in Wisconsin who originated in the present-day state.
The Chippewa once lived in the upper section of the river basin, and they referred to the river as the “Me-ne-cane Sepe”, or “Many Little Islands River.” French missionary priests called it “Riviere de la Folle Avoine,” or “Wild Oats River.”
Piers Gorge – The Menominee’s White Water Attraction
One of the most popular and scenic attractions along the Menominee River corridor is Piers Gorge, which is located near Niagara, Wisconsin. With class IV and V whitewater, it is a very appealing destination for rafters and thrill seekers. Piers Gorge has some of the fastest moving water in all of Michigan and Wisconsin, but it still offers breathtaking scenery and plentiful wildlife viewing opportunities from the shore. This area has become one of the top destinations in the eastern United States for expert class kayakers and rafters.
An undeveloped trail follows Piers Gorge for ½ to ¾ of a mile and offers excellent viewing opportunities for a number of bird species. Bald eagles, osprey and various waterfowl can be seen all along the Menominee River corridor. In fact, there are several eagle nests located right along the shoreline in tall trees.
The Menominee River attracts countless visitors to the area each year. If you are looking for a thrilling whitewater adventure, there is simply no better outfitter than Northwoods Adventures. Give us a call today at 906-563-5450 to book a Michigan whitewater adventure of a lifetime!