Picture Rocks paddling

Me and 2 friends are riding around Lake Michigan and we’re gonna take a jog up to this area to paddle. We have to rent the whole 9 yards of stuff as we have our bikes with us (and I have yet to install a hitch to carry a yak trailer).

Are there any other outfitters besides the 1 on M-28 in Munising to rent kayaks and stuff and shuttle us?

We hope to camp for a night near the area, maybe 2 nights also. Thanks in advance for any info!

hiya linda!
Hi Linda, we met at the Motor City Mile doing kayak safety detail and we paddled around Isle Royale. I was @ pictured rocks this spring but we staged a car at the beginning and end.

You might be able to get the outfitter from Munising to shuttle your gear to the Sand Point beach, just outside of Munising. From here you can paddle 10 miles or so east and see the best of the rocks. Otherwise shoot for Miner’s beach, where there is a parking lot near the water. You can camp nearby or paddle to a backcountry site.

Drop me a line if you need more ideas or info, these are just off the top of my head.

BTW - was that you in the water near the GM ren cen during the summer concert series?

Hey how are ya?
We won’t have any gear there as we are riding our bikes. We have to rent everything…I saw that ya paddle near Sand Point and Miner’s as per my research. I’m thinking maybe we can get shuttled somehow and hope it’s cheaper than just hiring a guide…

And no it wasn’t me at that GM thingie.

BTW that was
Belle Isle that we paddled around…

must be wishful thinking on my part. I have isle royale on the brain…

Ya and I have riding and kayaking
on the brain! I think that’s why I stood Dave up for coffee last week! Doh!! This is gonna be an awesome trip!!

If you want to camp in the NPS camp
grounds, be sure to check with them on their current system. When we visited in '97, the NPS campgrounds were full, and we had to find a state forest campground inland.

Excuse me for the ignorance but
what’s the NPS camp and where is it?

Check the link inside.

And while you’re on Lake Michigan, be sure to check out the website for Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore or whatever it’s called. There are two little rivers, the Platte and one at the north end of the park, that can be negotiated by kayaks and canoes. There are outfitters with rentals at both sites.

hi Linda
I’m going up there next week for a few days and have researched some of the info you are looking for:

A) I believe “northern waters” is the only kayak rental location which is the one you mention on M28. They wanted $49/day and proof of safety instruction. http://www.northernwaters.com/

B) there is a private (pay) campground that should be west of the kayak rental location (im thinking just west of ferry boat to grand island), not sure how much it costs. You can also camp @ either the drive-in campgrounds that previous poster mentioned or you can go to the visitors center and get permits for the backcountry sites. The backcountry site called “potato patch” is 1.9 miles from miners beach/castle if you want to hike that far in.

We are kayaking (our own) from either sand point or the ferry launch, over to grand island to spend the night, then kayakin back the next morning, then packing from sand point over to 12 mile beach.

have fun!

We may do Crystal River too
if we have time…

The drawback to using rental yaks…
You can only rent yaks for lakes and rivers and NOT for the great lakes so you have to take a guided tour at more expense if you want to see pictured Rocks…check their site and you’ll notice that fact…we may splurge and use the guide…

This time of year you should be OK with finding a place to camp, particularly if you are arriving by bike.

There is a National Forest Campground (NFCG) just west of Munising at Christmas called Bay Furnace. It’s small, but it’s right on the water and a short distance from the Grand Island Ferry Dock which is where I’ve started most of my paddling trips. You do have to climb a HUGE hill to get there from Munising which might be a drag, but it’s less than five miles from town.

Going in the other direction is a bit more of a stretch as the drive-in accessible campgrounds are several miles (20+) away on bad roads. Someone mentioned Potato Patch near Miner’s Beach, but I wouldn’t recommend it as it would be a rough carry up a steep eroded trail to the bluff where the campsite is located, and it’s not the greatest site anyway.

If you are backcountry camping on your paddling trip, Mosquito River and Chapel Beach are in my opinion, the best sites available, and the best section of the Pictured Rocks lies between them. You are supposed to reserve backcountry sites and file permits at the NPS office in Munising, but perhaps the outfitter will take care of this for you.

Good luck on your trip and have a good time.


Munising Tourist park
has electrical and Bob needs that every other night for a machine he uses. It has tent spots on the wate r too and is near town.

We may not get a guide for 115.00 /person and opt for the cruise if the weather is sorta nasty…

We really wanna see the rocks though via kayak…

We are supposed to paddle on Tuesday but if weather is too nuts and the next day looks good we may change this. So far Tuesday looks good though

If you are there look for 3 helmet -headed people…specially me…my curly tossled hair really looks bad when the wind gets to it too! Kayaking tends to curl my hair even more!

There is a kayak outfitter
in Munising. I forgot the name of it but I’m sure the Munising chamber of commerce could get you in touch.

Ya I know about them.