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.
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.
After viewing the falls, we continued down the road to Sand Point,
and the Sand Point Marsh Trail, a 1-mile boardwalk through a wetland habitat.
The marsh trail was a good spot for bird-watching, and there were also an abundance of wild roses.
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.
The trail to the falls was smooth and wide, and fairly easy, ending with a set of steps going down to an overlook.
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 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.
We could also see a stretch of the cliffs from this point.
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,
as well as some other interesting sights.
We weren’t sure what was making the holes in this tree, but maybe it was this strange-looking 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!
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.
Our last stop in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore was Sable Falls. On the way, we drove past Grand 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!
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!