Big Smokey Falls


October 2006

State: Wisconsin

Location: Menominee Reservation, 19 miles north of Shawano

Height: 20?

Crest: 40+

Water Source: Wolf River

Waypoint: 45.01694N 88.63667W

Summary: This is a powerful and complicated waterfall. It is not very high or steep, but there is a lot of water and plenty of rocks. Unfortunately there is no easily accessible vantage point from which you can get a very good look at the falls.

Big Smokey Falls is located on the Wolf River in the Menominee Reservation. Here the Wolf River drops over 20 feet in a complicated cascade. There is an island in the middle of the falls. The nearer part of the falls is steeper and more impressive, but there is no easy place to really see it due to rocks and trees. If you wanted to get a really good view of it, you would have to be on the other side of the river, or on the river below the falls.

There is a bridge above the falls that takes you to the island. You cannot reach the far side of the river from the island however. The Menominee run a concession at the falls during tourist season and there is a nominal fee to cross the bridge.

In addition to the falls, the Wolf River Dells are about a mile upstream. Here the river drops over a number of small cascades and through some narrow rocky gorges.

The falls are located off of Wisconsin Route 55, about 19 miles north of Shawano. The road to the falls is about 1 mile past the junction with west bound County Road M. There is a sign for the falls. The road to the falls is a well maintained forest road, and the drive from the main road is less than a mile. It is a short walk from the parking area to the falls. The Wolf River Dells are about 2 miles from Route 55.

The Wolf River eventually flows into Lake Winnebago, which flows into Green Bay by means of the Fox River. This puts Big Smokey Falls in the Lake Michigan watershed.

I visited the falls late in the day and late in the year (it was not actually that late in the day, but the sunsets early in October). I would have had some better pictures if the sun was higher. Getting to the other side of the river would not be too hard, and I think you could get some much better pictures of the falls from there.

Nearby Falls

The smaller Big Eddy Falls and Keshena Falls are both several miles downstream. Otherwise this is a fairly isolated waterfall. Wequiock Falls is about 80 miles away. Daves Falls is about 90 miles away.

Photo Gallery


Near Cascade

Far Cascade

Upper Dells

Lower Dells

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Last Modified: Monday, 18-Aug-2008 16:41:56 MDT.

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