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Copper Falls State Park

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American Black Bear, Euarctos americanus
Copyright: Patty Elton - Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
American Black Bear, Euarctos americanus
Description - The 2,700-acre Copper Falls State Park, located in northern Wisconsin, is part of the Penokee-Gogebic Range. Billions of years later those mountains have decreased to 1,000-foot hills covered with dense forests, cool ravines, narrow gorges, and beautiful waterfalls. Much of the park's natural beauty is a result of flowing lava that formed into erosion-resistant columnar basalt. The cornerstone of the park is the Bad River, which weaves its way northward to Lake Superior penetrating scenic hemlock and maple stands. Of particular beauty are the park's waterfalls. Copper Falls, the park's namesake, rushes through a sheer rock wall gorge tumbling 29 feet and downstream Brownstone Falls at Tyler's Fork tumbles 30 feet into the Bad River. Both easily viewed. Another geologic wonder of Copper Falls State Park is Devil's Gate. This area is marked by conglomerate rock that is the result of earth's tilted pressure. Easily seen from a bridge is the Bad River rushing over shale and sandstone layers that appear as a rocky gate, thus the name Devil's Gate. Copper Falls State Park, established in 1929, not only attracts humans to its unique landscape but also attracts over 200 species of birds including resident and migrants. Animal life is plentiful as well providing protection for black bear, ruffed grouse, badger, fox, bobcat, and others.

Attractions - Many visitors come to Copper Falls State Park to enjoy the fabulous scenery that is easily viewed from vehicle or an easy stroll. The park features 56 campsites that include four walk-in sites. Some of the sites have electric hookups and accommodate RVs. There is backpacking available and group sites as well. Camping reservations are available online or by calling a toll-free reservation number. Contact information is listed below.

Day use areas of the park include picnic areas with children's playgrounds, restrooms and drinking water. Note the park's historic structures. These decades-old structures are a result of the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration. One such structure is the log concession where visitors can purchase a sundry of food items pleasing a variety of tastes. Swimming at the park is permitted at the well marked but unguarded beach area. Several changing booths are provided. Copper Falls State Park has several hiking trails including a 1.7-mile interpretive nature hike around scenic falls. Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are enjoyed on the trails in winter. This park does provide access to a five mile segment of the North Country National Scenic Trail, a multi-state trail destined to become the longest continuous trail in the United States. Other recreations include two mountain bike trails and fishing opportunities on the Bad River, Tyler Forks and Loon Lake. Several species of trout inhabit the rivers while northern pike, largemouth bass, and pan fish dominate Loon Lake.

Recreation - Captivating scenery is one of the most talked about attractions at Copper Falls State Park. Recreations centered around this natural beauty includes hiking, cross-country skiing, mountain biking, canoeing, swimming, fishing, camping, backpacking, bird watching, wildlife viewing, and nature photography.

Climate - Northwest Wisconsin has four distinct seasons with warm summers and long winters. Great Lakes Michigan and Superior tend to make summers cooler and winters milder close to shore. January's average temperature is in the single digits F (-teens C). During summer, temperatures can climb to above 90 degrees F for several days (32 degrees C). Nighttime summer temperatures occasionally dip below freezing. The area's average yearly precipitation ranges from 32-34". Annual snowfalls in the Northwest Region have a wide range; the southern areas may receive 20" while the northern areas may receive in excess of 200". Dressing in layers is a good way to remain comfortable in Wisconsin.

Location - Copper Falls State Park is located about two miles north of Mellen on Highway 169.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Filed By: Misty Testin (Wild Rose, WI)
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: The hardest park was getting used to all the hiking that is to be done there. The biggest reward is the beautiful scenery. Yeah there were some forks in the road and you have to trust your gut on which way to go. There are some beautiful landmarks and falls. The best place for luch would be right on the side or edge of Devil's Gate. If you're looking for a great family trip then Copper Falls State Park is the place to go.

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Rivers & Streams Bad River
ICON Swimming & Waterplay Well Marked Area, Unguarded, Changing Stalls

More Information

Contact Information:
Copper Falls State Park, Rt. 1, Box 17AA , Mellen, WI, 54546, Phone: 715-274-5123

Additional Information:
Northwest Wisconsin - Wisconsin's least populated region, Northwest Wisconsin, invites you to explore its gently rolling terrain punctuated by scenic landscapes that are rich with wildlife.
Wisconsin Lakes and Rivers - Wisconsin is a land of lakes and rivers. The state boasts over 15,000 lakes, national and state protected rivers, and famed borders with the Mississippi, Lake Superior and Lake Michigan.
Wisconsin State Parks, Forests, Recreation Areas & Trails - Wisconsin showcases 86 state park system properties offering visitors an opportunity to hike, camp, swim, fish, and simply relax.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources - Official agency website.


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