For years, the sign for Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore whipped by our car window in a blur. This year we slowed the car down long enough to explore. Over the New Year holiday, we snowshoed to Miners Castle and this summer after an equally important holiday, the UP Fall Beer Festival, we enjoyed a cruise at sunset after hiking a few of the trails along the shoreline.
(A view from the shore of Miners Castle.)
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is easily one of Michigan’s most beautiful places. It is a bit of a trek to get there so be prepared for a long car ride. It’s on Lake Superior’s southern shore in Munising, Michian. I couldn’t help wondering while we are visiting if it looked same as when Henry Rowe Schoolcraft visited in 1820. He described it as “some of the most sublime and commanding views in nature”. I’m sure the formations are different, but I’d bet money the colorful cliffs are the same.
The Pictured Rock Cruises sunset boat tour is definitely worth the money. The tour guide’s narration is entertaining and informative. I’ve included just a few of the attractions on the tour.
East Channel Lighthouse
The East Channel Lighthouse is on the Grand Island in Munising Bay and is the first picture opportunity on the tour. It looks so small and lonely. Note to self: next time in Munising, explore Grand Island. It is a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts.
If you are to believe folklore, a couple jumped off the top of this arch together to demonstrate their love for one another. The tour guide was quick to add, “DO NOT ATTEMPT this stupidity as the water is only a few feet deep and you’ll probably kill yourself.” Not his exact words but you get the idea.
After Hours Show
We had dinner in Christmas, Michigan at Foggys while waiting for the real show to start, the Aurora Borealis. We got the scoop from the cashier at Hillside party store as to the best place to watch the Northern Lights. He suggested Au Train Beach just a few miles from our hotel. Thank you for the suggestion! You have to wait for them, but for those who wait, they are rewarded.