Porcupine Mountains State Park: Presque Isle River Reflections

One of my favorite Midwest spots is Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in the Michigan upper peninsula.

The park offers 90 miles of trails, beautiful lakes, and numerous waterfalls. It also offers an immense amount of biting insects (black flies, mosquitoes, gnats, and other major nuisances).

The best way to avoid these annoying pests (they are worst in June and July), is to go offseason. Fall and Winter are my favorite times. In the Winter the park offers both downhill and cross-country ski trails.

The park has three main sections: Lake of the Clouds (plus the shoreline), the interior, and the river (waterfall) section. This post is on the river section.

All of these images are from mid-October. They represent the peak of the Autumn season.

Autumn Reflections

The feature image was taken at ISO 100 for 0.4 seconds at F11. I used a Canon 24-105MM F4 L Lens at a focal length of 82 MM.

Here are a couple more images. Slight changes in composition or tripod placement can produce hugely different reflections.


The key to reflection images such as these is for the water to be in the shade. The reflected trees are in the sun. The exposures were long enough to purposely blur the water.

You will need a tripod for shots like these. Play around with various exposures and time durations. The faster the moving water, the less time you need to get smooth water.

Get low to the water!

Sometimes you cannot see any reflections unless you do. Find a composition you like, then setup the tripod in that position.

There is a 2-mile waterfall loop trail that circles the waterfall section. Take it.

Equipment List

Those interested in my equipment and recommendations can find it here: Mish’s Equipment List.

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Porcupine Mountains Images

  1. Porcupine Mountains State Park: Lake of the Clouds
  2. Porcupine Mountains State Park: Presque Isle River, Manabezho Falls
  3. Porcupine Mountains State Park: Presque Isle River, Manido Falls
  4. Porcupine Mountains State Park: Presque Isle River, Nawadaha Falls

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Coming up next: a long-exposure surprise then on to a new location.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

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