Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is an amazing free public park located in Michgan’s Upper Peninsula on the Lake Superior shores. Every place we went we drove and hiked for free! Each area of the park we visted had plenty of parking, bathrooms (most with running water), and even drinking fountains. Many of the parks that sat along the lakeshore had picnic tables, fire pits and also small charcoal grills. We could have easily set up a small picnic for the day and grilled out at the beach as opposed to paying to eat at that restaurant. (I should have read the reviews.)
When we were in Munising, we stopped at this little kitschy joint to have a bite to eat called the Dogpatch. From the outside it looked a little cutesy, but I thought it had potential. Inside was a bored unfriendly waitress and an equally lackluster serve yourself soup and salad bar. The salad fixings were appropriately fresh though. The sandwich menu descriptions required more imagination to write than concocting the actual ingredients for the sandwich. Either way, it was a satisfactory simple meal. Nothing to write home about.
We continued on M-58 until we reached Miners Castle Road. There we turned in and stopped to take a picture at the parks enterence. It’s something that typical tourists do and we can’t resist when we’re out and about. 🙂
First place we went was to the very end of the road where the actual famed Castle Rock point juts out over Lake Superior. The different colors blue and green of the fresh lakewater and the layers of different minerals that make up the browns in the cliffs are amazing.
From the peaks of Castle Rock, we could actually see the creamy off white sands of Miner’s Beach. After exploring the trails near Castle Rock we drove down to Miner’s Beach on the road – If we had more time, we could have hiked the trail down. The beach sand is soft and creamy, yellowish white. It has pretty big grains and the edges of the water in some areas are covered in fine ground colorful little stones. Reds, whites, black, blue, pink and even green can be found in the small gems long the watershed.
After spending enough time realizing that Lake Superior is just a bit too icey cold for me to swim in these days. We got back in the car and drove over to the Miner’s Falls. There’s about a 1/2 mile hike into the woods to get to the falls. The hike is nice and marked by several identifiers that match a map of the area showing local fauna and flora. Once we got to the falls, the mosquitos had the better of us. We only took a couple photos and hightailed it back out to the trailhead and our car.
Later in this Pure Michigan inspired blog series I’ll talk about the hike along the beach between Hurricaine River and the Au Sable Lighthouse.