Why You Should Plan a Long Weekend at Pictured Rocks

The cliffs of the Pictured Rocks and clear waters of Lake SuperiorThe cliffs of the Pictured Rocks and clear waters of Lake Superior. PC: Instagrammer @errythang_19, website: https://ezmoments.com/

Deemed the “Great Lakes State” and famed for its physical shape resembling a mitten, Michigan is lush in many ways but is best known for its beauty. North above the Mackinac Bridge rests the stunning waterfalls, sandstone cliffs and sea caves, dunes, and tranquil trails and forests of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

Spanning over 40 miles along the crystal-clear shores of Lake Superior between the cities of Munising and Grand Marais, the Pictured Rocks park has so much to offer it makes day trippers wish they planned a longer stay.

With an abundance of sights and ways to see them all, here’s why you need to take a long weekend “Up North”:

Explore 14 Beautiful Waterfalls

Sable Falls near Grand MaraisSable Falls near Grand Marais. PC: Instagrammer @thewanderingmichigander
The Munising and Pictured Rocks area has 14 (yes…14!) amazing waterfalls. From thunderous flows cascading into gorges to roadside falls trickling from creeks, the sights are all unique and worth the venture.

 

See Waterfalls by Water: Pictured Rocks Cruise | Pictured Rocks Kayaking

Admire the Rocks Aboard

A Pictured Rocks Cruises boat along the cliffsA Pictured Rocks Cruises boat along the cliffs. PC: National Park Service.

Delighting passengers along the gorgeous shoreline as the oldest tour company in Munising, Pictured Rocks Cruises operates every day from early May to mid-October. View the brilliantly colored cliffs, sea caves, waterfalls and see famous landmarks like Lovers Leap, Miners Castle, Chapel Rock, and Grand Island’s East Channel Lighthouse aboard one of their 2 to 2 1/2-hour-long tours.

Learn About Pictured Rocks Cruises

Paddle Under Arches and Through Sea Caves

Paddle Under Arches and Through Sea Caves

With Pictured Rocks Kayaking, paddlers take in the beauty of the park during a relaxing boat ride before being launched into the water to kayak near gigantic archways, formations and through sea caves. The boat anchors near the Painted Coves where staff helps launch paddlers into the water for five miles (approximately 2 hours) of kayaking.

To ensure the safety of all passengers, the vessel stays with the kayaking groups throughout their entire adventure. Once done with the paddle portion of the trip, kayakers board the boat and head back to the mainland.

Learn About Pictured Rocks Kayaking

Discover a Lifestyle Shaped by Superior

Au Sable Light StationAu Sable Light Station. PC: Instagrammer @ashgodzilla

With the lakeshore sprinkled with shipwrecks and lighthouses, visitors can easily discover the area’s maritime history. Built in the mid-1800s, the 86-foot-high tower at the Au Sable Light Station is found after a 1 ½-mile (one way) walk along an old wooded U.S. Coast Guard road. Tours are available in the summer and early fall.

Learn about the Au Sable Light Station

Enjoy Magical Beaches

A Sunset over Lake SuperiorA Sunset over Lake Superior. PC: Instagrammer @neimanjane

What’s better than unwinding at a magical white sandy beach? Miners, Sand Point, Mosquito, Twelvemile, and Chapel beaches are all within the Pictured Rocks park! Whether you’re looking to swim during the day or catch a gorgeous sunset over the lake, our beaches have got you covered.

Walk on Top of the Cliffs

Near Grand Portal Point, Pictured RocksNear Grand Portal Point, Pictured Rocks. PC: Instagrammer @matthewmeloney
The Pictured Rocks park offers some of the best hiking trails in the world. From short 10-minute walks to day-long excursions, you have plenty of options to choose from.

Read “How to Experience the Beauty of Pictured Rocks by Trail” for more information.

Feel “Grand” at the Grand Sable Dunes

Grand Sable Dunes

Grand Sable Dunes are the highest formation in the park, rising more than 300 feet above the lake! Visit the Log Slide, where loggers once rolled timber down a fast chute over the dunes into the water! Sable Falls is also close by and equally beautiful.

Spend a Day in Grand Marais

The Pickle Barrel House Museum in Grand MaraisThe Pickle Barrel House Museum in Grand Marais. PC: Instagrammer @neimanjane

From Munising, take a cruise along H-58 – the scenic highway that runs along the Pictured Rocks park to Grand Marais, a quaint harbor town along the lake. With unique museums, shops, and restaurants, this place is a good reminder of how some of the smallest things can be the most beautiful.

Remember to Plan Ahead

The Fuzzy Boyak Welcome CenterThe Fuzzy Boyak Welcome Center. PC: The Alger County Chamber of Commerce/Fuzzy Boyak. PC: Mike Stockwell of Cranking Graphics.

It’s always a good idea to book your trip to Munising and the Pictured Rocks ahead of time. Need help finding lodging options? Call the Alger County Chamber of Commerce at (906) 387-2138!

Be sure to stop by the Chamber’s office while in town also called the Fuzzy Boyak Welcome Center – as well! Located at 129 E. Munising Ave., Munising – there, you’ll find free maps, waterfall and hiking guides, brochures, and other business and area information. Find more at www.algercountychamber.com.