Pictured Rocks + Lake Superior

August 01, 2018

Lake Superior will take your breath away…literally. By late August, the water will remain cold in certain areas but feels refreshing on a hot, calm day. Michiganders and those attracted to the beauty of Pictured Rocks, escape to Munising to soak in summer. Everyone should take the time to explore this beautiful shoreline whether it be via hiking, kayaking or boating as this unique place brings different textures and colors of some of the clearest water I’ve seen. You can hike nearly 100 miles of trails, though I have yet to hike any portion of the shoreline, as summer time in Michigan for me means being on the water as much as possible. I love nothing more than the exquisiteness of the freshwater coastlines that Michigan has to offer, especially in our Upper Peninsula. I have boated along the shoreline multiple times, mesmerized by how beautiful this place is. Each time has offered a new experience with new discoveries as seasons, and my own perspectives, change. It’s hard to express how much I love Pictured Rocks, which is why I recommend you explore it yourself. Only then will you truly understand what a different world it is.

I recommend exploring the park by boat if you can, as you can see and explore more places along the coastline. You truly get to embrace the pristine cliffs, natural archways, and waterfalls. You will be able to embrace and experience the areas that are typically inaccessible by foot or where most don’t travel to. These “spots” offer you some of the most stunning sights. Kayaking is a great alternative to boating and most will still see one of the most photographed sights, the imposing arch of rock that extends from the shoreline into Lake Superior. However, you are only able to cover a certain distance by kayak, while boating offers the opportunity to absorb more of this Great Lakes Shoreline. By boat, you can enter the caves or unique rock formations which are truly incredible. You can walk various areas of the shorelines and stop to climb amazing rock formations. Pictured Rocks also offers countless waterfalls such as Spray Falls. This waterfall is best viewed from the water as there is limited viewing from the trail. I was taken by the beauty of it when I first saw it. There is something truly special about being able to swim the Lake Superior shoreline right up to a stunning waterfall. Grand Island offers long distance views of Pictured Rocks and is equally stunning to explore. I recommend exploring both which, can be done in the same day as they are very close to each other. What should you travel with?

  • A camera or GoPro, as you can never take enough pictures of the beauty this place displays. I always have mine in-hand, and it’s nearly impossible to take a bad picture here.
  • Water shoes. I can’t express how thankful you will be to have these. It’s called Pictured Rocks for a reason and some areas can be slippery.
I’d recommend checking which areas are pet friendly if you intend to hike, camp, etc. with your pet, as the park has restricted areas for them. My 3-year-old labradoodle, who is also addicted to the water, enjoys every adventure we embark on. I recommend boating, as your furry best friends can also enjoy that adventure. Enjoy the below pictures, as I believe that is truly the best way to understand why I recommend boating this beautiful shoreline. Start your boating near downtown Munising and head down the coastline to discover it yourself.  

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Kate Dorse

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