Middle Falls of the Pigeon River

Grand Portage State Park / Pigeon River Provincial Park, Minnesota / Ontario, USA / Canada

Rating: 1.5     Difficulty: 1.5
Middle Falls of the Pigeon River

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

Middle Falls of the Pigeon River was further upstream of the more famous High Falls of the Pigeon River. And since this river defined the international boundary between USA and Canada within the immediate area, this was also another one of those lesser known trans-national waterfalls. However, the similarities ended there as the Middle Falls was much shorter than the High Falls at 20ft (roughly 100ft shorter than the other one) though it had the potential to be much wider depending on the flow of the Pigeon River itself. The infrastructure to access this waterfall was also far less developed and more primitive than its more famous neighbor further downstream.

Our visit of this waterfall was pretty much confined to the Canadian side since it was more like a roadside waterfall. We only needed to do a short scramble to get to the banks of the Pigeon River with the distant view of the falls that you see at the top of this page. There was a road barricade that hinted to us where to scramble to get down to the river's banks with some informal pullout shoulders nearby to stop the car (see directions below). From that same pullout, I also did another short scramble on a trail of use descending to the brink of the waterfall though the view from here was quite obstructed.

It was possible to hike to a different view of this waterfall from the American side on the High Falls trail. However, we opted not to do the 3.5-mile round trip hike from where it deviated from the main trail and back so we can't say anything much about it. All I know from the park literature was that the trail was said to be more primitive with more climbing so it was also not recommended for children, especially since we were talking about roughly 1.5 hours to do this out-and-back detour.

Our visit from the Canadian side pretty much took just 10 minutes. Despite the short duration, I raised the difficulty from 1 to 1.5 given the scrambling and informal nature of this excursion.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Further downstream of the Middle Falls was the impressive High Falls.  Shown here was the closest view on the American sideFurther downstream of the Middle Falls was the impressive High Falls. Shown here was the closest view on the American side
We didn't do very much in Thunder Bay, but we did manage to get surreal views of the setting moon at sunrise on the day of the eclipseWe didn't do very much in Thunder Bay, but we did manage to get surreal views of the setting moon at sunrise on the day of the eclipse
This was the road barricade off the side of the 593 road, where the descent to the banks of the Pigeon River and the Canadian view of Middle Falls startedThis was the road barricade off the side of the 593 road, where the descent to the banks of the Pigeon River and the Canadian view of Middle Falls started

This partial view of the Middle Falls of the Pigeon River was seen as I was approaching the final short descent to the banks of the riverThis partial view of the falls was seen as I was approaching the final short descent to the banks of the river

I noticed some stacked rocks from people who had been here beforeI noticed some stacked rocks from people who had been here before

View of Middle Falls from the banks of the Pigeon River on the Canadian sideView of Middle Falls from the banks of the Pigeon River on the Canadian side

Returning to the parked car off the shoulder of the 593 roadReturning to the parked car off the shoulder of the 593 road

This was the view of the Middle Falls from its brink, which was just a short downhill scramble from the shoulder that we parked atThis was the view of the Middle Falls from its brink, which was just a short downhill scramble from the shoulder that we parked at


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Checking out the Middle Falls of the Pigeon River from the Canadian side from the banks of the river


Checking out the brink of the Middle Falls of the Pigeon River from the Canadian side


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

The way we visited this waterfall was from the Canadian side so we'll describe the directions from Thunder Bay, which was where we had stayed the previous night.

From Thunder Bay, we drove about 34 miles on the Hwy 61 before keeping right to get onto Road 593. We then followed Road 593 for about 1.4 miles, where we were able to catch a glimpse of the Middle Falls (also referred to as Little Falls according to my map) right off the road. There was a shoulder to pull over immediately nearby, and we then walked and scrambled from there to get a closer look.

For the American side, the Middle Falls of the Pigeon River shared the same trailhead as that of the High Falls of the Pigeon River in Grand Portage State Park. See the directions on that page for how to get there.

Finally, for geographical context, Duluth, Minnesota was 154 miles (about 2.5 hours drive) north of Minneapolis, Minnesota, 189 miles (about 4 hours drive) southwest of Thunder Bay, Canada, and 397 miles (6 hours drive) northwest of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES




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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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RELATED PAGES



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