Summer of State Parks: Copper Falls

[anvplayer video=”5045593″ station=”998130″]

Every year, thousands of people are drawn to Copper Falls State Park. It’s one of northern Wisconsin’s most popular.

Located just 4 miles north of Mellen, the Bad River runs through the park, creating beautiful waterfalls and cascades over ancient lava flows.

“We’re known for geology,” Park Superintendent Chris Bender said. “So a lot of the geology buffs will come to learn about the formation of the park.”

Many also come to camp, picnic, or hike. The Majewski sisters were on a hike. Maya, Maggie, Macey, and their parents drove up from West Bend, Wis.

“Maggie graduated, so we decided to take a trip up here to look at a few different parks and to look at some of the waterfalls,” Macey said.

“I like the outdoors. I’m not a big heights person, though,” Maggie said, making her sisters laugh. “I guess toughing it out for that is worth it for the nice views of the waterfalls.”

The Majewskis were on the Doughboys’ Trail.

“The Doughboys’ Trail is the main one people come to see,” Bender said. “It’s a 1.7-mile round-trip hike, and they see Brownstone, Copper Falls, and the Tyler Forks Cascades.”

The Doughboys were WWI veterans who built some of the original trails. The Civilian Conservation Corps built much of the log architecture that is still standing today. Bender said that’s one of his favorite things to educate visitors about.

“A lot of this architecture is from the 1930s, how it was hand-laid, how the stones were hand-chiseled,” he said.

“I really like how all the trails and things that are built into it just really work along with the sights of everything to where everything really blends to where it really lets the falls actually just show off,” Macey Majewski said.

The falls are certainly the star of the show.

“If you come different times of year, the falls just have a different personality,” Bender said. “And we’re open all year round. So coming here in the winter and seeing the falls frozen over is a really cool sight.”

He’s also proud of the park’s accessibility. There is an accessible beach, campsites and cabins, and soon an accessible fishing pier. Bender said they’re also working to get some equipment for people to take on the trails.

For a list of Northland state parks, visit