Picturing Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Along the Great Lakes, many parks have been created to preserve & protect these beautiful lake shores – one of the best is Pictured Rocks National Seashore in Munising MI.

Best appreciated from the water, commercial boats (with narration) are available for your touring pleasure.

Our experience was good – the boat was not extremely crowded with guests, so I was able to easily move around the boat to soak in the beautiful views.   We have tired of corny narrated boat tours, due to overload from last Summer’s Alaska excursion.  How do these narrators keep up the enthusiasm – repeating the same details ride after ride….?   We try to avoid these.  Here in the Great Lakes, the commercial tourist boats are one of your few options for experiencing the water-focused parks.


The views from the water side are lovely – multicolored hills topped with greenery clinging to the rock.  And the color of the Lake Superior is a great bright blue.  

Not anticipated here in the North – I expected darker, muddier waters here, perhaps used to the New York, New Jersey waters (no medical waste here…!) but this was an unexpected surprise.  

Expected in the South – a great treat here in the North.

Another great way to see the Rocks was on a kayak tour.  While we travel with sit-on-top kayaks,  they are often not suitable for rough and cold open water.  And not knowing the water-ways and changing weather patterns, in unfamiliar waters we paddle with a tour operator.

For this paddle, we signed up for “Paddlers Choice” with Uncle Ducky’s Kayak Tours.  Found North of Munising – home of all things Picture Rocks – we were the only paddlers for this trip.  Instead of grouping us with other trips launching at the same time, we had a private tour at our own pace – which was great!

Many times if the minimum number of participants is not met, a tour operator will place a guest with other groups, despite what you’ve chosen.  Not Uncle Ducky’s!  We had a strong four hour tour with light winds (rare) and light tide (also rare…)

And yet another good option for lake-viewing and picturing the Pictured Rocks,  a few short hikes are nice for viewing the tops of the multi-colored cliffs.  The rushing water and views into to caves are easily viewed from the trails.

Relatively few trails are available to hike as this park is focused on the water – and they want you to appreciate the view from the Lake.

We hiked from Miner’s Beach North to Mosquito Falls & Mosquito Beach.  Short, zero elevation gain -good for those with heart problems!  Despite the names, the bugs were not out in force,  They waited until we visited Minnesota…

We camped at Wandering Wheels Campground, now a KOA  park.  Campsites were tight and not very level, but we made it work.  As one of the few campgrounds in the area, they are slammed with guests in the Summer months.  As I sat in the campground office (accessing the internet, as coverage in our campsite was marginal..) the extremely patient women answering the phones continued to take reservations until the campground was sold out for the end of June and July Fourth holiday.

The larger, easier to navigate sites may be found in the front of the park.  No shade nor gravel, but easy to navigate.

Not especially close to the park of town of Munising MI – it is one of the few options for larger RVs.  A better option might by Munising Tourist Park Campground in the town of Munising.

Pictured Rocks lived up to the name – we were fortunate to be able to visit such a beautiful place.  Hope you get to visit too!

3 thoughts on “Picturing Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

  1. The Pictured Rocks are well named. Many years ago I hiked several times in the Pictured Rocks for a total of almost 100 miles. Just a gorgeous place to enjoy the outdoors. We camped at the Bay Furnace National Forest Campground. It was dry camping, but the site was roomy and at $10/night, a good deal.

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