Pattison State Park located just south of Superior, Wisconsin, is situated on the Black River. It contains the highest waterfall in the state. Big Manitou Falls cascades through a gorge from a height of 165 feet. It cools onlookers with a fine mist as they view from a nearby observation platform.

Big Manitou Falls

Big Manitou Falls is in Pattison State Park near Superior, Wisconsin.

Its smaller cousin, Little Manitou Falls, boasts twin side-by-side falls a hike away from Big Manitou. Bear in mind that some of the trail system is still unusable as a result of the torrential rains that flooded the region in June 2018.

Little Manitou Falls

Little Manitou Falls is in the Pattison State Park near Superior, Wisconsin.

As we relaxed under the shade of a bur oak at our campsite, we decided to visit the farmers market in Superior. There we met Tom and Jamie Carlson of T and J Farms near South Range, Wisconsin. They raise a variety of meat products on their diverse farm south of Superior. Beef comes from their Braunvieh cattle; pork and lamb come from mixed breeds.

Rico and Kahn

Rico, left, an Anatolian, and Kahn, an Akbash, are guard-dog breeds with Turkish origins. They work at T and J Farms to help humans Tom and Jamie Carlson.

Goats escape

A goat escape occurs but the calm demeanor of Jamie and Tom Carlson along with the oversight of Mama Bear, the Boer goat looking over the fence, and Kahn, their Akbash guardian, makes it routine to gather the escapees.

One of the big surprises they discovered, they said, is the popularity of the meat from their Boer goat herd. They sell it to folks in the area and have trouble meeting demand. Wendy and I can vouch for the flavor of the goat chops; we put them on the grill upon returning to Pattison Park. The Carlsons said they consider their operation to be family-run. Their two grown children – son, Zack Carlson, and daughter, Chelsey Carlson – play a role in helping. And Tom Carlson’s mother, Joanne, helps with egg sales. Tom and Jamie Carlson are lifelong residents of the area, which they said has undergone much change since their younger days.

Tom Carlson

Tom Carlson calls in his herd of Braunvieh beef cattle. The breed is of Swiss origin; it was once used for meat, milk and draft purposes. 'I used to make hay for as far as you could see from this spot,' he says.

Tom Carlson lures herd

Tom Carlson lures his mixed herd of Boer Goats, sheep and turkeys with expired bread slices.

They said they love what they do.

“It doesn’t feel like work to us,” said Jamie Carlson as she stood amongst her contented herd of healthy Braunvieh cows.

Tom Carlson with cattle

The Carlsons are growing their customer base. Tom Carlson says he hopes he can step back from his long-haul-trucking work.

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Greg Galbraith and his wife, Wendy, sold their dairy farm after 30 years of grazing cattle. He now has 20 acres of his grandfather’s original farm with a sugar bush and cabin. From there he writes about the evolving rural landscape. Visit for more information.