The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

ICORE to host Interstate Falls hike


January 30, 2018

Richard Jenkins/Daily Globe

HIKERS WILL have the opportunity to explore Interstate Falls, seen here Monday evening, Feb. 8 as the Northwest Land Trust and Iron County Outdoor Recreation Enthusiasts host a guided hike to the waterfall on the Montreal River.

KIMBALL, Wis. - The Northwest Land Trust and Iron County Outdoor Recreation Enthusiasts are offering the public to chance to explore Interstate Falls and see the waterfall during winter.

Local naturalist John Bates will lead the hike, which is scheduled for 1 p.m. Feb. 8.

"Participants should plan to meet at the Interstate Falls parking lot by 1 p.m. People can look for the large 'Interstate Falls' sign visible from U.S. 2, just west of the U.S. 51 interchange. The parking lot is about 500 feet down W. Center Road, where there are signs indicating the trail to the falls," Sandy Lotto, the land trust's outreach coordinator, said in a press release for the hike. "People can tour the falls on their own at any time, but this guided hike will provide more background information and insight into future improvements that are planned."

The Eagle River-based land trust purchased the property around the falls in December 2015, later gifting it to the town of Kimball. The purchase consists of 38.7 acres of land on the west side of the Montreal River, including 2,500 feet of frontage on the river along with a roughly quarter-mile corridor on Cominski Creek. The purchase was made through a combination of grants from private foundations and a Wisconsin Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Grant.

"It took eight years of fundraising, a lot of financial support from individual donors, family foundations and a Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund Grant to make the purchase possible," Bryan Pierce, the land trust's executive director, said in the release. "We don't typically buy land to protect it, but this is a very unique site with a much-loved 18-foot waterfall on the Montreal River."

"For 58 years, the previous owners allowed people to go on their land to see the waterfall," Pierce said. "When it came time for them to sell, they wanted to find a buyer who would continue to allow public access and keep the property in its natural state. Thankfully, they were able to patiently wait until we could come up with the funding."

At a dedication event in June for the park, Donald Seibert - who owned the property with his wife, Nancy - said he wanted to ensure people could continue to access the waterfall.

"I didn't want to commercialize (the property). I didn't want to build houses (on the land)," Siebert said. "I wanted it to stay the way it is so anyone could go there."

The area was named the Siebert Scenic Conservation Area during the dedication ceremony to honor the former owners.

Participants in the hike should come dressed for the weather, according to the release, and need to provide their own snowshoes.

While the event is free, registration is requested. Contact the land trust at 715-479-2490 or email to register.

-Richard Jenkins


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