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Rock River Canyon Wilderness

From west to east, remote waterways Rock River and Silver Creek flow  through 150-foot-deep canyons. The two canyons are separated by a broad, flat ridge and surrounded by relatively flat uplands. Second-growth  northern hardwoods can be seen, alongside stumps from logging operations that denuded the area by the end of the 1930s. In spring, Rock River  leaps about 15 feet over Rock River Falls into a pool, pouring into  Ginpole Lake, a secluded 13-acre body of water bordered by canyon walls. The waters offer anglers the chance to fish for rainbow trout, brown  trout, brook trout, Coho salmon, and northern pike. Beyond the lake,  Rock River joins Silver Creek and together they flow out of the  Wilderness and continue the journey toward Lake Superior. Wildlife is  typical of a northern hardwood forest, and may include deer, bear,  beaver, mink, muskrat, raccoon, squirrel, hare, woodpecker, and grouse,  as well as several songbirds.

 Access is generally easy by foot via unmarked trails covering old  logging roads, skid trails, and abandoned railroad grades which  crisscross the area's upland. Within the two canyons are steep walls,  densely vegetated with brush and undergrowth, wet on the bottom; the  fragile sandstone walls support a diversity of unique plants, and  climbing is discouraged. Along the edge of the canyons, sandstone  undercuts form caves up to 40 feet deep. In winter, incredible ice curtains can form when water seeps over the edge and freezes.


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