The turquoise waters of Lake Superior beneath the sandstone cliffs of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore make it seem warmer than it actually is. Glaciers carved this shoreline thousands of years ago, but the Ice Age never seems far off in the lake’s cold waters. Minerals leaching from the stone paint the cliffs in many hues, hence the name Pictured Rocks.
Petit Portal, Miners Castle, Munising Falls, Sable Falls
Kayaking through Petit Portal is an unforgettable experience. Guides can provide the necessary gear and know-how, as well as commercial boat operators that get close to but do not actually pass through the natural arch.
Not far from the visitor center is a short trail to Munising Falls, one of several waterfalls in this 42-mile stretch of shoreline.
It will be hard to maintain a flat horizon line while bobbing on the waves in your kayak as you pass through Petit Portal, so take plenty of pictures.
Primarily a summer destination, but even then be prepared for sudden storms that can suddenly blow across Lake Superior.
No entry fee, but there is a charge for backcountry camping permits that are only available online.
All roads are paved (to our knowledge).
Three campgrounds, plus 14 backcountry camping areas in the National Lakeshore. More backcountry campsites can be found offshore in Grand Island National Recreation Area, administered by Hiawatha National Forest, which also offers dispersed camping opportunities.
Explore More – What valuable mineral stains the sandstone cliffs green and blue?