Sunday, July 27, 2014

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore


Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore stretches along the shore of Lake Superior, from Munising to Grand Marais.  while we were still in Ishpeming, we took a drive to Munising to check out the sights at that end of the park.

We stopped at the Visitor Center in Munising to pick up a map, and then drove into the park. 

Munising Falls


Our first stop was Munising Falls.  This was just a small waterfall, really just a trickle.

It was a short walk through the woods to several overlooks of the falls.

Cavern in the rock

After viewing the falls, we continued down the road to Sand Point,

Sand Point



and the Sand Point Marsh Trail, a 1-mile boardwalk through a wetland habitat.





Walking through the marsh

The marsh trail was a good spot for bird-watching, and there were also an abundance of wild roses.

Wild Roses

Wild Rose










We circled the marsh without stopping too often, because when we stopped the mosquitoes caught up with us . . . but otherwise they weren’t too bad.

Sand Marsh

One of the more popular areas of the National Lakeshore is Miners Falls and Miners Castle, and that was our next stop.  We drove to the Miners Falls trailhead first.     DSC_0456










The trail to the falls was smooth and wide, and fairly easy, ending with a set of steps going down to an overlook.


Miners Falls


These falls were much more impressive than Munising Falls!

As we walked along the trail, we saw lots of people in bathing suits, and we thought the trail might bring us out at the pool at the bottom of the falls, but it didn’t.  Plenty of people were making the climb down the muddy hillside to swim in the water, though . . . not us!





From the Falls, we continued the drive to the Miners Castle Overlook.

Miners Castle

Miners Castle is probably the most-photographed and well-known feature in Pictured Rocks, as it juts out into Lake Superior marking the western end of the National Lakeshore.

From the overlook, we continued along a trail that took us down for a closer look at the castle.

Miners Castle and a tour boat

We could also see a stretch of the cliffs from this point.

Pictured Rocks

From Munising, there are boat tours available to take you along the cliffs, where the beauty of the rocks are visible from the lake.  We considered taking the tour, but Tom and I had been on it many years ago and the boys weren’t really interested . . . so we just went back to Ishpeming, stopping in Marquette to do a little shopping on the way.

From Grand Marais, there are additional sights to see within the National Lakeshore.  Just past our campground was Big Sable Dunes.  At the western end of the dunes was the Log Slide, where loggers used to send logs down the sand dune to the lake, where they were picked up and loaded onto ships for transport.

The trail to the Log Slide included some artifacts from the logging days,

Big Wheel

as well as some other interesting sights.

Not sure what's been eating at that tree


We weren’t sure what was making the holes in this tree, but maybe it was this strange-looking bug.

Strange bug

The trail leads to the top of the Log Slide, with plenty of warnings against attempting to climb down . . .











The boys are usually up to any challenge, and they have climbed the steep dunes at Sleeping Bear several times, but they said this one looked a lot taller and steeper, so they stayed safely on the top of the dune!

Thinking about it

Nope - not going to try it!

Watch out, Nick!


From the top of the Log Slide, we walked along the trail to the overlook where we could see the dunes.  Nicolas had to be particularly careful on this trail!

It was difficult to see the Log Slide from over there,


but we had a pretty decent view of the dunes.

Log Slide Overlook

Our last stop in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore was Sable Falls.  On the way, we drove past Grand Sable Lake,

Big Sable Lake

and then we arrived at the falls.  The trail was fairly short, but there were a LOT of steps going down to the bottom of the falls.


We made it to the bottom, and were rewarded with a nice view of another impressive waterfall!

Big Sable Falls


We thought we might take a loop hike out to the dunes, but the woods were pretty dense and we were being bombarded by mosquitoes, so we just turned back and returned to the campground.


I think the boys are getting a little burned out on sight-seeing . . . they are ready to spend a little time just hanging out at the beach!  Hopefully the weather improves so we can do that!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you did have a full day!! Tell the boys we appreciate them for doing all this sightseeing so we can enjoy the photos;o))


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