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Named for the beautiful colors on the cliff faces, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore was established in 1966 as the country's first national lakeshore. Hugging the shore for 40 miles along Lake Superior from Grand Marais to Munising, Pictured Rocks is a wonderland of dunes, beaches, lakes, waterfalls, forests and shoreline. Ojibwa Indians called the area the land of "thunder and gods." Henry Wadsworth Longfellow memorialized it as the setting for his poem "The Song of Hiawatha." Rising 50 to 200 feet directly from Lake Superior, the sandstone cliffs get their color from mineral seepage — red and orange from copper, green and blue from iron, ...

Named for the beautiful colors on the cliff faces, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore was established in 1966 as the country's first national lakeshore. Hugging the shore for 40 miles along Lake Superior from Grand Marais to Munising, Pictured Rocks is a wonderland of dunes, beaches, lakes, waterfalls, forests and shoreline. Ojibwa Indians called the area the land of "thunder and gods." Henry Wadsworth Longfellow memorialized it as the setting for his poem "The Song of Hiawatha." Rising 50 to 200 feet directly from Lake Superior, the sandstone cliffs get their color from mineral seepage — red and orange from copper, green and blue from iron, black from manganese and white from lime. A four-season recreational gem, Pictured Rocks offers some of the best scuba diving in the Midwest. The shipwrecks of Lake Superior's "Graveyard Coast" represent many eras of shipping and are relatively well preserved. While most shipwreck remains can be seen only by scuba diving or cruise boat, some are visible along the shoreline. To help warn ships, lighthouses once dotted the Lake Superior coast and one of those — the Au Sable Light Station — can still be seen within Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Constructed in 1874, the station beacon continues to shine over Superior's frigid and dangerous waters. Today, the light is solar powered.

Jackie Finch
About the Expert

Jackie Sheckler Finch has written several guidebooks, including The Unofficial Guide to Campgrounds in the Great Lakes States, and four times she was named Travel Writer of the Year by Midwest Travel Writers Association.

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Jackie Finch for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Late September for autumn foliage