Pictured Rock - Superior??

we have a gig in Motor City later this summer and were thinking of bopping up (6.5 hrs!) to Piro for a look-see.

any great must see trips while we’re there or advice?

I heard about the stable flies… ouch.


pictured rocks
is a great place to paddle

great scenery

black flies are bad in late june and july, and possibly august too, unless there is a bit of a breeze.

interested in shipwrecks?

There’s also a glass bottom boat tour, but any that can be seen by one of these tours can be seen by kayak/snorkling. I’ll be there in mid August.


Have vacationed there
For the past 7, almost 8 summers. We stay for a week, my uncle, dad and I go up three days early and backpack the trail. It depends on how much time you have I guess, Miners Castle is a quicky. Chapel & Mosquito beach are nice little day trips. 2.1 mile hike to Mosq and 3.3 to Chapel. Day hike between Chapel and Miners is nice, some of the highest points and great scenery.

expect to take your time
Honestly, dont expect to get from detroit to the rocks in 6.5 hours.

from detroit your lucky to hit the bridge in 6.5 (bout 300 miles from detroit) hours due to traffic and road work.

on top of that north of the bridge there arent really any real freeways per say, just 55mph two lanes.

Lastly, word for the wise, dont speed north of the bridge, during the summer they import police from elsewhere in the state.

Pictured Rocks
It is about 400 miles from Detroit to Munising, so the 6.5 hours isn’t far off. However, there are only two lane roads once you hit the U.P., so it will definately take a bit longer. Construction in places could add to the drive.

Pictured Rocks Nat’l Lakeshore is beautiful. The view from the water is spectacular. If paddling, I would go out from Miners Beach and head east. Be aware of weather conditions though, as there are no good landing spots east of Miners Beach for many miles because of the rocks and cliffs. If you would like to see the shoreline without paddling, there are the Pictured Rocks Cruises but the tour is somewhat pricy. Grand Island is another nice place to paddle to, but again the need to know weather conditions is important. I haven’t paddled to Grand Island myself, but I have been around the island by powerboat and have rode a mountain bike on the island a couple of times.

If viewing by land, there are numerous waterfalls in the area. Munising Falls is a short walk, so is Wagner Falls. Miners Falls is about a mile walk if I remember correctly. Miners Castle (if you can call it a castle any longer) can be viewed in the same vicinity as Miners Falls. The reason I say that about Miners Castle is that the large turret that formed the “castle” fell this spring. Miners Castle sort of looks ridiculous now. Chapel Falls is pretty spectacular and is about 2.5 miles with about another 1.5 miles to walk to Chapel Beach. I haven’t hiked many of the trails in the park, but I am sure they are spectacular. Also, there is Grand Sable Dunes, Au Sable Falls and Au Sable Lake all near Grand Marais which is nice to see. Grand Marais Harbor has a nice beach, too.

As far as the flies are concerned, the black flies have been nasty the past three weeks, but they weren’t as bad yesterday as they were on Memorial Day weekend (I have the bites from Memorial Day to attest to that!). They should be dying off soon. The stable flies usually show up around the end of June and into July. They love to bite feet and ankles! (That is assuming I have the right species of fly.) They are sort of hit and miss. Sometimes they are a problem, sometimes they’re not.

Anyhow, lots of options. I would say the best time in the U.P. is at the end of July into August, mostly because the bugs aren’t as bad and the weather is a bit nicer. However, I have been in Munising in mid-August where the high temp was 60 degrees with a stiff wind. You never know what the U.P. weather can bring.

soundz good!
yep, the stable fly…don’t wear blue.

thanks for all the beta! sounds like we’ll have fun!


See Taquamenon Falls on the way
to Pictured Rocks. It is one of the highest waterfalls east of the Mississippi (might be second or third behind Niagara). Great hiking area but no paddling that I am aware of.

The Pictured Rocks are well worth the trip. I was there twice in my pre-paddling days. I took tour boats, but if I recall correctly, it is a great paddling area.

Have fun.

bring a diving mask
The wreck in the bay on Grand Island is shallow enough that you can get a decent look at it without leaving your boat. Flip, enjoy the view, roll back up.

The water is very clear – I remember standing on the cliffs, looking down, and seeing a loon chasing fish underwater.