the wandering chick
... Pictured Rocks Natl Lakeshore
on Michigan's Upper Peninsula

On the south shore of Lake Superior is one of the most fascinating natural wonders of our United States. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is a stretch of multi-colored sandstone cliffs that rise from the clear, green water to 200 feet above.

The fury and wrath of Lake Superior's winters, over the years, have gradually changed the shapes and formations of the rocks - and continue to do so. As we see them today, it doesn't take much imagination to see natural carvings of an Indian's head, a flower vase and even a row of battleships.

The best way to see the cliffs is from a boat. Cruises take off from the small town of Munising on Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

a waterfall
a stretch of Pictured Rocks NL
two pedastals
the pedastals from a distance
Above the cliffs are mostly deep forests, but snowmobile and hiking trails are easily found.
colors of Pictured Rocks
The cliffs begin in Munising, Michigan and extend east to Grand Marais, about 40 miles. The cruise travels 15 miles of that section, starting in Munising.
The cliffs are stained by groundwater seeping through the cracks in the stone. The groundwater contains minerals such as iron, copper, manganese, all of which leave a different color.
Lovers' Leap formation
formation called Lovers Leap
This formation has been named Lovers' Leap. The captain of our cruise boat suggested that lovers NOT leap - the water here is only two feet deep.
rock slide
A reminder that the cliffs are forever changing shape and formation.
rock slide
canoers in front of cliffs
Indian Head Rock
This cliff is called Indian Head. With some imaginatnion you can see the nose and chin jutting out over the water.
two caves
fallen rock
fallen rock
These formations are called Battleship Rock, as they resemble a row of battleships lined up, ready for action.
The Cave
This cave was just large enough for our cruise boat to slip in. The captain took us within a hand's reach of the inner wall, as seen below.
inside the cave
inside the cave, looking out to the water
a lone tree on Chapel Rock

The rock formation below is called Chapel Rock. It is connected to land only at the base and has a single tree sitting atop it.

What's most interesting is that, as seen in the photo below left, the tree remains alive only by receiving nutrients via one major root that travels across the gap to the soil on the mainland.

There is a hiking trail (about 3 miles from the trailhead) to Chapel Rock off of Highway 58 east of Munising.

lone tree on Chapel Rock
a seagull flies parallel with the boat
red rock
waves from the boat
sunset for Grand Island
moon shot over Pictured Rocks

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lThe lower Lake Michigan from New Buffalo to Sleeping Bear Dunes

The upper Lake Michigan, including Traverse Bay and the Old Mission Peninsula

The Mackinaw area including Macinaw City, Mackinac Bridge and Mackinac Island

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (and the Leelanau Peninsula)

Michigan's Upper Peninsula

Or, to leave Michigan, click one of the locations below.

I took the sunset cruise which afforded me these shots of both the sunset over Grand Island and a moon shot over Pictured Rocks.