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Coastal: Pictured Rocks Lakeshore, MI

Hike Lake Superior's shoreline in this 12+ mile hike.
may 2010 zones picture rock 200x170may 2010 zones picture rock 200x170

On the Upper Peninsula’s northern shoreline, Lake Superior’s powerful weather and water have carved 15 miles of giant, tree-topped arches, jagged promontories, and sea caves. The showstopper: a 200-foot, sheer sandstone cliff that resembles the chiseled mug of a Marine, with battle scars of manganese and iron streaked across his face, and a boreal forest crew cut. See the stone visage and other sights on this 14-mile weekend hike, tracing rocky trail and lakeside beaches from Miners Castle to Little Beaver Lake. Best season: Go in fall for fewer bugs, more solitude, and fiery foliage.

INFO Walk-in permits ($5/night), or reserve (recommended) at least two weeks ahead ($15). (906) 387-2607; nps.gov/piro. Trip data: backpacker.com/hikes/614547

1. Lakeshore Trailhead
0534962E 5149173N; mile 0
Head northeast along shore and up through maple forest.

2. Junction
0538882E 5152664N; mile 3.9
Stay straight/north on Lakeshore Trail for bluff-top views of the park’s curving ribbon of crags and promontories.

3. Grand Portal Point
0541206E 5155642N; mile 6.8
Balcony vistas of massive arches, deep sea caves, and rocks shaped into whimsical, hourglass shapes.

4. Chapel Rock
0542808E 5155005N; mile 8.2
Camp near creek; a two-mile path leads to 60-foot Chapel Falls.

5. Spray Falls
0545154E 5156168N; mile 10.1
Seventy-foot falls; descend to dune along Twelvemile Beach.

6. Little Beaver Lake
0548254E 5157498N; mile 12.4
Head inland, west of Little Beaver Lake to trailhead.

*Google Earth providers DigitalGlobe, State of Oregon, SIO, NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO, Terrametrics, Data Living Oceans Society, USDA Farm Service Agency.

Hike the Coast
See more shoreline hikes.

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