Year 2 Day 249 Willow River Falls

With the sun out, shining over blue skies, Mary Margaret and I took this opportunity to explore our state park. It was originally a site of logging back in the early 1800s when tall oak trees dominated the area. Once cut and trimmed, the logs were rolled to the river and then floated down to St. Croix River, where a mill was located. As our area was cleared of trees, settlers moved in and wheat farming became common. However, prosperity was determined by the weather and drought years made making a living tough. William Scott and the family he and his wife raised farmed this area. He died in 1849 and their family gravesite is located in this state park.

One of Wisconsin’s most dramatic waterfalls is also located here so we decided to see if we could find it. As it turned out, a nice trail ran by our campsite and after bushwhacking through the sumac bushes, we found and followed it.

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It led pass the Scott family gravesite. While no grave markers were present, you could make out the location of the graves by the slight mounds that still existed.

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To get to the falls, we had to descend a long, steep trail that wound down the 200-foot gorge that the waterfalls are located in. As we approached, we could hear the waterfalls through the forest and from that sound, knew it was very powerful.

When we arrived, we were rewarded with a spectacular view of the falls as the Willow River cascaded down a series of falls, with the largest being a 15-foot drop. The view made the steep hike into and out of the gorge worth it.

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Tomorrow, we pack up and fly off to Ann Arbor, Michigan to take in a football game. Whoo Hoo!

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