BLACK RIVER HARBOR
Region: Ironwood & the Gogebic Range
|Photography by James Marvin Phelps|
|The Black River plunges over 200 feet on its way north to Lake Superior, creating terrific waterfalls and terrifying rapids.|
Today this former Lake Superior village at the Black River's mouth looks like many cottage resorts. A hundred years ago, it was a fishing settlement based on abundant lake trout. Gogebic County purchased some waterfront in 1924, and the village moved a little inland along Black River Road (County Road 513). In the 1930s, during the Depression, make-work Civilian Conservation Corps projects further developed the harbor park. For decades after that, logging provided year-round customers for three taverns in the harbor.
One old tavern remains as one of the Bear Track Cabins, a mile inland from the harbor. Here visitors can park in front of resort owner Norm Bishop's house and use the easy trails in the Ottawa National Forest for hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing through the old growth hemlocks and hardwoods behind his resort. There's no charge. Look for trail maps in a box. In winter the trails are single-tracked by a snowmobile and well suited to beginning and intermediate cross-country skiers.
For years, "the harbor" has meant an alluring mixture of attractions: a marina and swimming beach connected with a campground by a delightful suspension bridge, five beautiful and very different waterfalls, and the North Country Trail passing through the area. Black River Harbor really comes alive with a big Labor Day fishing tournament.
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