The Lower Potato Falls waterfall is large, easy to find, and provides fun opportunities for exploration.
Round-Trip: 2 km
Difficulty: Moderate (because stairs!)
Location: Gurney, WI
Potato River Falls in Potato River County Park is often said to be one of the more beautiful waterfalls in Wisconsin and that’s no exaggeration. The total drop from the upper falls to the lower falls is somewhere between 100-110 feet. There is so much to see here so make sure to allow yourself at least a couple of hours to take everything in.
These falls are well worth the visit. From Hurley, WI/Ironwood, MI– Take US 2 West from Hurley/Ironwood for roughly 15 miles before turning left (south) onto Hwy 169 towards tiny Gurney, WI. Follow Hwy 169 2.8 miles into Gurney then turn right onto Falls Road. Follow Falls Road 1.5 miles until it dead-ends then find a place to park around the circular turn-around area. If you reach the Potato River on Hwy 169 you missed your turn. Falls Road dead-ends at a small circle turn around.
There are 2 options to view the falls. The path leading to the Upper Falls is less steep than the path to the Lower Falls, but neither trail is rated easy. If you’re not up for a harder walk you’re better off leaving more time to explore the Upper Falls. If you carefully proceed downstream from the Upper Falls you will encounter the Potato Middle Falls. It is possible to continue downstream from the Middle Falls to the higher Lower Potato River Falls, but this is the hardest option. An easier option would be to return to the parking area and take the trail to the Lower Potato River Falls. You will descend 266 stairs before reaching river level. You can walk upstream towards the falls to see them up close. Take a good rest, because the only way back to the parking lot is to go back up those 200+ steps!