About Middle Falls of the Pigeon River
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).
That said, 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.
Experiencing the Middle Falls of the Pigeon River
Our visit of the Middle Falls of the Pigeon River 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.
This was especially since we were talking about roughly an additional 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.
The Middle Falls Falls of the Pigeon River resides in Grand Portage State Park on the USA side near Grand Marais in Cook County, Minnesota, and just outside the Pigeon River Provincial Park on the Canada side near Thunder Bay, Ontario. On the USA side, it is jointly administered by the Grand Portage Band of Chippewa and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. On the Canada side, it did not seem to be administered by any formal government authority.
The way we visited the Middle Falls of the Pigeon River 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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