Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Welcome to our Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore information page. Pictured Rocks became the first National Lakeshore in 1966. They are located on the south shore of Michigan's Lake Superior, between Munising (Westend) and Grand Marais (Eastend.)
There are 42 miles of Lake Superior shore and close to 70,000 acres that Pictured Rocks calls Home. With 45 miles of hiking trails, (the length of the park,) it could take you a few days or maybe even a week or two to truly enjoy all the sights there are to see.
Our last visit here was a few years ago. We drove from Escanaba to Munising, which is located on the west end of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
Once we arrived in Munising we located the Welcome Center, which is right in the middle of town (if my memory serves me right.) They had several maps of the area and we realized that there was so very much to see.
Our first stop was at Horseshoe Falls located in Munising. You can access it through a small gift shop, for a small admission fee. We really enjoyed this one, they also have a big Trout pond where you can feed the the Rainbow Trout, and several other fun things to do.
(Go to waterfalls page.)
We continued on driving down County Road Hwy 58 to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
Hwy 58 is mostly sand/gravel but it travels along the Lakeshore of Lake Superior. We very much enjoyed our choice to travel this way as there are some great views of Lake Superior.
Upon arriving at the park we found the paved path which follows along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. It sure was the most wonderful sight, the Tan, Brown, and Green colors of the cliffs were breathtaking. We found out that Iron, Manganese, Limonite and Copper in the water were responsible for this.
Continuing down the path, we found Miner's Castle located within the park, a must see rock formation. There are other must see sights like Battleship Row, Indian Head, Lover's Leap, Chapel Rock, Color Caves, and Rainbow Caves, just to name a few.
We noticed others were following a trail through the woods, so being curious, we decided to follow it ourselves. It sure was alot of fun and we saw some beautiful sights, but none like what we found at the end of the trail.
The trail ended at Miner's Beach, where you can see just how high the cliffs of Pictured Rocks are. Some are 200 feet above Lake Superior.
We had heard of Lake Superior Agates, so while on Miner's Beach we decided to collect a few, which we brought home and put in a rock tumbler and WOW are they cool. (We later found out it is illegal to remove them, but more on this later).
After we finished visiting the beach, we had the long journey back to the paved path. Well, it felt long since we were carrying our treasured agates with us, and we were pretty wet from collecting them. After returning to our vehicle, we continued on Hwy 58 East toward Grand Marais.
We came across Twelve Mile Beach, so we decided to pull over to go and see if we could find more agates. We sure did have alot of fun doing this, until we heard a car door.
Sure enough, there was a Park Ranger coming to see what we were up to. Jim was talking to her and I kept collecting our beloved treasures. After a few minutes, I decided to come out of the water go see what the two of them were discussing, she was telling Jim that there was some trouble on the beach a few days earlier and she wanted to make sure we were ok.
We explained to her we were just there seeing the sights and collecting Agates. She turned out being very nice and informed us that it was illegal to take anything from any National Lakeshore. She then told us she would let us get back to "admiring" the rocks and left. We of course collected our things and continued on our merry way.
So remember... even though there are literally millions of these Agates to be found, it is illegal to remove them from Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
We continued East on Hwy 58 and ended our day trip in Grand Marais. We found a cozy little motel and stopped for the night. Ordered in pizza and got the rest we needed so we could continue our short tour of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
We saw so much of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore that day and hope to visit it again real soon. They say that the Pictured Rocks Boat Cruise is the best way to see all the beauty of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, but I am sure glad we decided to just drive and walk because we saw so many beautiful things.
Who knows, maybe on our next visit, we will take the cruise for for a whole different view of Pictured Rocks....
Click here for Tour info.
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