Exploring Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Miners Castle along Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
Miners Castle along Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. | Source

Michigan's Upper Peninsula has so many places that are breathtakingly beautiful. I have traveled to this area my entire life and have just barely touched the surface of all that there is to see and do up there. So I have set a new plan for myself and my children that each summer when we visit, we will explore at least one new area each time. This summer, along with touring Marquette County, we decided that we would walk, hike and swim along the shores of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is one of the most beautiful stretches of land that Michigan has to offer. Situated along Lake Superior, the coldest of the Great Lakes, the land is home to hiking trails, beaches, waterfalls and much more.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore spreads from the shores of Munising, northeast to Grand Marais. We explored the shore in Munising and had planned to travel up to Grand Marais but just ran out of time. So this hub will explore the area in Munising. Grand Marais will have to wait until next summer!


Munising Falls

Munising Falls
Munising Falls
Grace and Alex in a little mini cave at the falls.
Grace and Alex in a little mini cave at the falls.

Munising Falls

We started our hike trekking up to view Munising Falls. The trail was short and easy to navigate. A great start for a Mom and her two young kids! We loved the beauty of the trail and the sound of the stream trickling down. It was a great tease to the large falls that we just up a few more flights of steps.

As we reached the first platform, the kids and I were in awe of the beauty. The sun shone on the falls as if it were the star in its own show. In fact it was so bright that we had to climb to the next level just to get a clear view. It was amazing.

Miner's Beach and Miner's Falls

As we continued our adventure, our next stop was Miner's Beach. We first stopped at several of the lookout areas to view the beauty of the green-blue shoreline and the majestic presence of Miner's Castle. We were all in awe of its magnitude and beauty. The foot trails were pretty easy to navigate, although there were some spots where the incline may be a little taxing for the elderly or very young.

Eagerly we hopped in the car to head out to the next stop, Miner's Beach. The kids were extra enthusiastic because it meant that they were now able to take a break from all that hiking and swim. The waves were loud and inviting and the sand was warm and relaxing. It was the perfect way to take a time out. The beach was clean and not very crowded.

On our last stop, we hiked up to Miner's Falls. This was the most challenging hike of the day. The trail was over a mile one way and there were parts that were a little steep. However, it was well worth it. I held my breath as my children got close to the edge of the scenic platform so as not to let my fear of heights interfere with their enjoyment of the falls. Breathtaking does not begin to describe the beauty of the wonder in nature. It was magnificent.

Unfortunately when your hiking companions are three and four, you have to know their limits. By four in the afternoon, I knew that we had done all that we could. I highly recommend visiting this area and taking the time to explore the natural beauty it has to offer. We will definitely be returning to do some more exploring. Until next summer...

Pictures of Munising Falls

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Miners FallsMiners FallsAnother view of Miners Beach toward Miners Castle.The beautiful blue green shoreline at the bottom of Miners Castle.
Miners Falls
Miners Falls | Source
Miners Falls
Miners Falls | Source
Another view of Miners Beach toward Miners Castle.
Another view of Miners Beach toward Miners Castle. | Source
The beautiful blue green shoreline at the bottom of Miners Castle.
The beautiful blue green shoreline at the bottom of Miners Castle. | Source

Kid Rock and Born Free

Whether you are a Kid Rock fan or not, he is a proud Michigan native. He grew up just about 5 miles north of where I currently live, in the city of Romeo. Not only does he frequently visit his home state, he actively promotes it and gives back to the area. The setting in the video for his title track of his new album, Born Free, is filmed in various parts of Michigan. The woodsy, motorcycle parts are filmed in the Lower Peninsula but the shore line in the video is on Miners Beach along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. It is a great video and an uplifting song.

Grace exemplifying 'born free' on Miners Beach.
Grace exemplifying 'born free' on Miners Beach. | Source

Other Ways to Enjoy Pictured Rocks

Aside from touring the shoreline by walking or hiking the trails, there are some other great ways to see the beauty of the area.

Glass Bottom Shipwreck Boat Tour The Glassbottom Shipwreck Boat Tours take off from Munising, Michigan. The tours run from Memorial day through October with a range of tour times depending on the month of the year. During the height of summer, there are more tours available each day. For a complete schedule you can check their website. As you find yourself exploring Lake Superior and learning about the shipwrecks found in this Great Lake, you will also take advantage of the beauty of the shoreline along Pictured Rocks. On this two hour tour of the area, it is a perfect way to view the beauty of the shore.

Pictured Rocks Cruise The Pictured Rocks Cruise is three hour narrated tour of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Some of the highlights include Indian Head, Miner's Castle, and Great Caverns. Select cruises also include Spray Falls. For some of these sites, this is the only way to view them unless you plan to do miles of hiking or have a boat of your own.

Grand Island Grand Island is located directly across from the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Aside from taking a boat tour, it is the best way to view the shoreline. Grand Island can be reached by ferry. For the ferry schedule you can view the website for specific times and costs. There is also plenty of hiking trails, biking, and camping is also allowed on the island. However, if you plan to camp, beware that there are bears on the island so proper precautions need to be taken.

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Comments 40 comments

vrajavala profile image

vrajavala 5 years ago from Port St. Lucie

I'm drooling


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan Author

If you are ever in the area vrajavala, be sure to check it out! Thanks for reading and commenting.


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois

Hey Cara - I don't think I've ever heard Kid Rock before - he was Ok, LOL. But you're right, the scenery in the video is wonderful. I'd forgotten Michigan could be so beautiful, especially the UP. Makes me a little homesick. Was the water cold? That's probably what I remember most about MI lakes, how cold they usually are - or seemed to a non-swimmer like me, anyway.


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

Beautiful scenery. Thanks for introducing me to this area.


davenmidtown profile image

davenmidtown 5 years ago from Sacramento, California

great hub. The water looks so blue that it is inviting... almost tropical. Very diverse and beautiful. Thank you.


mydubaistay profile image

mydubaistay 5 years ago from Dubai

Really nice and the pictures are just perfect


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Aunt Danette, he typically is does more rap type of music but does do some cross over type of stuff. His latest album has been compared to Bob Seeger. Yes, the water was cold! I didn't swim, just the kids. :)

You're welcome Flora, glad you enjoyed the virtual trip.

It does look almost tropical davenmidtown. Unfortunately it is COLD water. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

I'm glad you enjoyed in mydubaistay. Thanks for your comments.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

What a beautiful hub and thank you so much for sharing .

I bookmark into my Armchair travelling slot and vote up.

Take care

Eiddwen.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom

This looks so lovely and inviting, I would love to visit one day.

Your photos are simply wonderful!

Thank you for sharing and voting up.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks so much Eiddwen and Movie Master for taking the tour! I'm glad you enjoyed it and hope you can make it there in person one.


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 5 years ago from Iowa

Beautiful photos (and cute kids). Thanks for sharing your adventure.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks Deborah! They are my muse(s). :) I'm glad you enjoyed it.


thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 5 years ago from Sweden

This looks like a beautiful place and I would love to see it! Since it is unlikely that I will, I so enjoy to go there with the aid of your hub! You have done a great job and the photos are fantastic. I am glad you shared this beautiful place here! Thanks.

Tina


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan Author

You are very welcome Tina. I'm glad that you were able to come along on this virtual trip. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.


Dardia profile image

Dardia 5 years ago from Michigan

I know I read this hub some time ago and can't believe I didn't comment. Shame on me. Anyway, nice hub! Michigan is a very beautiful State. I should know I live there too. :)


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Yes Dardia, our great state of Michigan is gorgeous isn't it! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Hopefully if you haven't visited Pictured Rocks yet, you will be able to sometime. Thanks for reading.


Dardia profile image

Dardia 5 years ago from Michigan

Cardelean,

I have been to pictured rocks and even wrote a hub about it. :) I would love to go back and will as time permits.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan Author

I didn't know that, I'll have to check it out! Thanks for letting me know.


Dardia profile image

Dardia 5 years ago from Michigan

Thanks for your interest.


Dardia profile image

Dardia 5 years ago from Michigan

I added a link to your hub on mine.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks Dardia, I appreciate it! I haven't had a chance to read your hub yet (swamped at work) but I hope to do some hub reading tonight!


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

Well done, daughter! Beautiful hub, including the photos and video. Makes me homesick for it also. One of these summers I must return and play tourist again! XXOO


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan Author

We will gladly join you on that tourist trip! Thanks for reading.


acc12 profile image

acc12 5 years ago

My brother & his fiancee love to look for rocks such as agates in the areas near Pictured Rocks. I've yet to make the trip. Thanks for the great ideas.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 5 years ago from Michigan Author

You're welcome acc12! I hope that you are able to make the trip one day. Thanks for reading and commenting.


ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 4 years ago from Illinois

This hub and photographs brought back some great memories for me. Years ago we traveled from IL to the UP going through Wisconsin on our way to Mackinac Island. We stopped along the shores of Lake Michigan before we got to our destination and I was struck by its beauty. I also vividly recall how cold and clear the waters of Lake Huron (I believe) were when we biked around Mackinac Island and stopped to test the waters. I would love to see the exact destinations you photographed and have bookmarked this hub.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

This spot is further north of Mackinac Island along the shore of Lake Superior. It is an absolutely gorgeous place to visit. There are so many trails to hike and waterfalls to view. We are going to explore the other end of the shore in Grand Marais next summer. There are sand dunes in that area. We just ran out of time and steam this past summer.

Let me know if you make it up there Ktrapp and how you like it. Thanks for your comments!


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

This spot is further north of Mackinac Island along the shore of Lake Superior. It is an absolutely gorgeous place to visit. There are so many trails to hike and waterfalls to view. We are going to explore the other end of the shore in Grand Marais next summer. There are sand dunes in that area. We just ran out of time and steam this past summer.

Let me know if you make it up there Ktrapp and how you like it. Thanks for your comments!


ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 4 years ago from Illinois

Thanks for the additional information, Cara. (My daughter is a Kara too, but with a "K") I looked at it on google maps and actually I think the Pictured Rocks Lakeshore is closer to us than Mackinac Island. Basically, we are in IL along Lake Michigan (north of Chicago) and this looks like it is almost a straight shot north through Wisconsin. I hope maybe we can work in a long weekend trip next summer. It looks beautiful. Thanks again.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

What a GREAT name your daughter has! :) Glad the additional information helped Ktrapp. Our family from Marquette travel to Wisconsin often so I know it's not too far of a drive. Enjoy and come back to tell me all about it.


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York

Wow - that water is SO beautiful! We're near Lake Erie (and Lake Ontario), but the water isn't that gorgeous turquoise blue! We are about 8 hours from Michigan (maybe less if we go the northern route through Canada)... maybe we'll head out that way on a summer vacation sometime!


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

It really is amazing. I'm not sure if the color is because of the coldness of Lake Superior or if there are minerals in that area that create that color but it is GORGEOUS. We are about 9 hours from that particular spot. We live in the Detroit area and this is in the Upper Peninsula. I have family up there so we go every summer. Wouldn't it be fun if we met up there sometime? Your boys and my kiddos would have a blast!


collegedad profile image

collegedad 4 years ago from The Upper Peninsula

I was at Miners Falls two weeks ago. I grew up 40 miles from Munising and didn't even know they were their. We plan on hiking the length of the Pictured Rocks shoreline this summer if time allows.

P.S. Miners beach is beautiful!


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

We *so* loved Miners beach along with the falls. It was the first time I had ever been there and I've traveled to Marquette several times a year all of my life. My aunt is actually planning a backpacking trip from Munising to Grand Marais. I would love to do that one day when my kids get a little bit older. If you are headed out toward Marquette at all there are some great things to do out there as well including a very cool outdoor sculpture park. Have fun and stop by to let me know how it turns out!


collegedad profile image

collegedad 4 years ago from The Upper Peninsula

We now live 15 minutes south of Marquette. It is a beautiful area, with many great things to do. If you love the outdoors, there is not better place to be!


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

I have family all over that area (Negaunee, Ishpeming, Humbolt Twp.). We head up to visit every summer and love spending the time outdoors. The sculpture park is in Chocolay Twp and it is really neat. I've actually written a hub about the cool things in the Marquette area to do.


collegedad profile image

collegedad 4 years ago from The Upper Peninsula

I'll look it up. The sculptured park is right on M28 isn't it. The one with the dinosaur out front? I grew up in McMillan (Lakefield Township), lived in Ishpeming, and met my wife in Negaunee. Small world isn't it. LOL


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

It absolutely is on 28, the one with the dinosaur out front. Lots of fun to explore. They have a stage and picnic tables too.


collegedad profile image

collegedad 4 years ago from The Upper Peninsula

Cool! We've driven by it a few times. Now we'll make a point of stopping in.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Fantastic, let me know how you like it now that I've probably over talked it up! :)

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