Grand Portal Point in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. PC: Tim Trombley
USA Today readers recently chose Michigan’s Upper Peninsula as the best destination to view fall foliage and we’re not surprised. Whether you’re cruising or kayaking near towering cliffs, hiking among colorful trees, or enjoying a scenic drive throughout the park, you’re sure to make memories that’ll last a lifetime.
Even though the multicolored cliffs in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore are stunning year-round, the beauty is magnified in the fall. Deep scarlets, yellows, oranges, and violets of the trees that line clifftops reflect off the clear blue waters of Lake Superior and illuminate the hues in the sandstone rock face.
Here are the top reasons why a fall adventure to Pictured Rocks is a must:
Experience a Magnificent Color Show from the Water
A Pictured Rocks Cruises’ boat glides along Lake Superior shoreline with fall foliage in the background. PC: Pictured Rocks Cruises
An intimate view of the Pictured Rocks cliffs on a Pictured Rocks Kayaking tour. PC: Pictured Rocks Kayaking
For a bit more adventure, book a trip with Pictured Rocks Kayaking where you’ll see the most beautiful parts of the park up close. Both tours include the most iconic landmarks of Pictured Rocks including the Grand Island East Channel Lighthouse, Miners Castle, Chapel Rock, Lovers Leap, and more!
Hike Among the Colorful Trees
Miners Castle, a popular landmark and hiking area in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. PC: Craig Blacklock
There are hundreds of miles of trails in the Pictured Rocks area. Walk one of many self-guided nature trails and see a vast array of nature and wildlife. Check out Miners Castle, perhaps the most famous landmark along the Pictured Rocks shoreline that can be seen by water and land. Erosion over time created the interesting rock formation that gave this place its name. Trails to all overlooks are paved and easy to reach. Miners Beach, which is near Miners Castle, also offers gorgeous views of Lake Superior and the Pictured Rocks as well. There’s a wheelchair accessible boardwalk that leads from the parking lot to the staircase down to the beach.
Enjoy a Beautiful Scenic Drive
The water cascades 140 feet into the waters and rocks of Lake Superior from Bridalveil Falls, another scenic drive option. PC: Craig Blacklock
Take a cruise along colorful trees down H-58 – the scenic highway that runs along the Pictured Rocks park. Be sure to stop at Sable Falls and the Log Slide overlook, where you can see enormous sand dunes that tower atop the 300-foot high Grand Sable Banks. These magnificent sand dunes are located just west of Grand Marais, the park’s eastern gateway.