We stop at Judge Magney State Park because I have read that the Devil’s Kettle Trail along the Brule River there has lovely views of the river gorge. Of course, the trail also leads to what is billed as a lovely and interesting falls, but that little jaunt includes more than 200 steps just to get to the first viewpoint. I figure we can take in the views along the way and then turn back when we reach the stairs. That should be a nice enough hike.
The sky is still dark and gray, but it doesn’t seem like it is going to rain. The wet weather means the woods is lush and green and sprouting with mushrooms.
It is a lovely hike and we have periodic glimpses of the river far below — but only glimpses.
Mostly this is just a nice walk through the fall woods.
We can hear the roar of the waterfalls when we reach the 200 steps. They are actual wooden steps, regular in size with benches to rest along the way. I can do that.
At the bottom, we are standing in the mist from the Upper Falls. After a dry summer, there has been a lot of rain recently and the water pours wildly over the rock outcrop.
There is another set of stairs between us and the top of the falls, but now we have to see the rest, so up the we go.
At the top, a small platform extends out over the raging water. Beyond, the river splits into two branches. The nearest branch surges toward us, dropping into a ferociously churning pool from which it makes its way out of sight to the Upper Falls below.
The further branch surges around the other side of the stream’s rocky center, dropping into another basin, and then it too vanishes from sight – but on this side of the river, the stream vanishes from sight forever. This is the Devil’s Kettle, a mysterious stream with an unknown outlet. Very cool.