Photo by Dan Wentzel
If you want to spend a day in a place of beauty and cool refreshment, I recommend Copper Falls State Park in Mellen, Wisconsin. This park provides many recreational activities as well as just a place to relax or picnic.
For thousands of years the Bad River cut a path over resistant rock creating the scenery that is now this beautiful park. The first drop of the Bad River results in the 29 foot falls that bears the same name as the park. This park was established in 1929.
The violent river flows through canyons which gives us a view of might and majesty. Downstream exists another falls called Brownstone Falls. The gorge has walls 60-100 feet high that border the river on both sides.
The beautiful picnic area of this park is easily accessible to all and is a wonderful spot to recharge or just enjoy nature without braving the trails. There are bathrooms close by as well as a refreshment stand.
If you are able to walk easily, the trails offer the best chance of observing the falls and other natural beauty. The earliest trails and bridges were built courtesy of returning World War I Vets. Later it was the WPA and Civilian Conservation Corp that provided meaningful work when many were unemployed in the late 1930’s to add to the park.
Swim at Loon Lake with a sandy beach or fish for Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike and panfish. You also can fish several rivers for a variety of trout. Trails run from short to much longer but, be careful to follow signs. When we intended to hike the short trail we somehow missed the right signage and ended up with a hike about twice as long and too difficult for our fitness level and age. The area also boasts quite a few golf courses if that is your passion. This state park and surrounding areas also offers lots of skiing and snowshoeing for those that adore winter sports.
I highly recommend a stop here.