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”:
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.
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.
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.
Discover a Lifestyle Shaped by Superior
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.
Enjoy Magical Beaches
Walk on Top of the Cliffs
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. You’re sure to pass numerous waterfalls and rivers along the way before reaching stunning beaches and standing atop incredible cliffs. To learn more, click here for a detailed guide to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore trails!
Feel “Grand” at the Grand Sable Dunes
Spend a Day in Grand Marais
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
It’s always a good idea to book your trip to Munising and the Pictured Rocks and buy your tickets 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.