Ready to explore a "ghostly" waterfall. The Copper Creek Falls is the only waterfall in the Copper Country that falls directly down into an old mine. Down the water goes and disappears into the mine. Owl Creek feeds the falls, which flow from Owl Lake and eventually runs out to Lake Superior. The water that drops into the mine eventually flows back out downstream.
Getting to Copper Falls can be rather tricky.
First, as you travel on U.S. Hwy 41 from Calumet, you will reach Phoenix, MI. Then keep heading north toward Copper Harbor. You will need to turn left onto Eagle Harbor Rd toward Eagle Harbor, six miles out of Phoenix. Look on the right for Central Rd. It will come downhill to a stop sign. Turn right onto Central Rd. for about 0.4 miles, and then you will need then to turn left. Then you will need to take the curve to the right, past an old gravel pit. Travel past the blue pipe. Then, walk to a sandy clearing with a circular track with a rusty metal post in the center. Look for a trail on the left of the clearing.
It may be faint, but this trail will lead you to the falls. If you followed the road to a rocky spine, you went too far.
Address: Eagle Harbor Cut Off Rd., Mohawk, MI 49950
Height: 20 Feet
Water Source: Owl Creek
The area is now overgrown and will require various climbing skills to access multiple sites of the falls. Still, the experience will help you appreciate the difficulties that the early miners of the Copper Country experienced in attempting to mine one of the first copper mining operations in the Copper Country. With a bit of exploring around the Copper Falls, you will see traces of the mining operations, including the first small railroad bed in the Copper Country. The miners built a dam above the falls to assist in the mining operation, but the dam gave way and washed much of the mining operation out in later years. Nevertheless, copper Falls played a vital role in the first mining operations of the Copper Country.
In 1847 Joshua Child recommended opening a mine at a place that he named Copper Falls, as the mineral vein of copper he observed was above and below the falls on a small stream known as Owl Creek. The Owl Creek Fissure Mine was part of the Copper Falls Mining Company. According to Old Diggings, the Owl Creek Fissure Mine had five shafts and three adits.
If you are interested, you may return to Central, visit the information center, and learn more about Copper Country's early mining history. Most of the mining during the early years was mass copper. However, people wandering around the hills surrounding Copper Falls have reported finding float copper.