Hike to Devil’s Cascade

A nice (all) day hike on the Sioux-Hustler Trail is to the water feature known as the Devil’s Cascade.

Devil's Cascade, Sioux Hustler Hiking Trail

Devil's Cascade, Sioux Hustler Hiking Trail

A rather strenuous 6.75 (one way) mile hike will get you to the campsite and scenic overlook.
Little Indian-Sioux River looking north

Little Indian-Sioux River looking north

It was a beautiful day last Sunday, April 29th, a perfect day for a long hike. We hit the trail at 6:50 a.m. and made it to the falls at 11:00. We had lunch and relaxed for about an hour, then hit the trail for the return 6.75 miles making it back to the car at 3:40 p.m.
beaver dam crossing

beaver dam crossing

The first beaver dam that is only in about 1 mile had made a complete mess of things a couple years ago. There was a huge pond that had to be curcumvented in order to get back on the trail. Well, that pond is completely gone now – just a stream runs through the open area. Somehow the pond was drained but we couldn’t see what had happened. Maybe the beavers had built another dam upstream, starving the pond of water. Now it will revert back to the way it was before, a field of really tall grass.
 
 
But, the second beaver pond is still there and care must be used when crossing on top of the dam. It helps immensely to have a walking stick. As you can see in the above picture, grass and pond scum had accumulated along the edge of the dam making it look deceivingly like solid ground. You wouldn’t want to fall in there!
 
 
 
Elm Portage rapids/falls

Elm Portage rapids/falls

 A very scenic place to stop for a break is at Elm Portage. You will be about halfway to the Devil’s Cascade campsite at this point.
 
The trail was difficult this year making the hike go a bit slower than if a completely cleared trail was available. The bad snowstorm that we got in April made a mess of the small trees on the trail. Many Spruce trees had come down under a heavy load of snow making the trail littered with small trees.
 
Cedar Tree
Cedar Tree

There’s lots of Cedar trees around Elm Portage in the cool wet environment. Some of the Cedars had come down too in the recent snowstorm.

Hepatica
Hepatica

Another really early wildflower to bloom in the north country is the Hepatica. It was funny that on the way in to Devil’s Cascade, we didn’t see any blooming flowers, but on the way out in the sunny afternoon, there was Hepatica blooming everywhere!

Hepatica, purple flower
Hepatica, purple flower
Marsh Marigold
Marsh Marigold

Marsh Marigold were just starting to emerge.

 
Hepatica
 
Another variety of Hepatica.
 
Now for the “creme de la creme”:
 
 

 
 
 
 
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