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Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Park on $20 a day

This is part of an 18 week, 7,532 mile, Vanabode road trip detailed in the book from Amazon
titled Big City Wild Country East Coast Road Trip on $20 a Day for just $2.99
See East Coast Road Trip for more pictures, itinerary, maps and trip overview.

We’ll be camped in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Park along Lake Superior or somewhere in the tiny town for a few days.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Park Lake Superior


hike conditions in pictured rocks

Above: Maps in hand we hike to an eighty-foot high tier of waterfalls, then follow the twenty-foot wide tributary down to the sea. She winds and twists back and forth on the beachhead and erodes the sandy dunes. She delays her disappearance into the lake for as long as gravity will allow. This little two foot deep beach stream provides what I need, a somewhat warmer clear clean place to bathe.

barefoot hiker makes and wears a leaf bandage over bruised bloody toe

Above: This crazy girl was hiking barefoot (old school) through the forrest and had rigged up this leaf bandage since whe nearly tore the end of her toe off on a rock. Barefoot hiking? If my son had seen this girl it would be so on!

michigan lakeshore cliff hikes in summer

This park offers forty miles of pristine lakeshore with over one hundred miles of trails winding through hardwood forest. The rangers described a ten plus mile hike the day before at the visitor center in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Park. One ranger stated her challenge, “if you don’t go on this most difficult hike and take the long way around the outside path, you won’t see anything but big trees. It’ll just be a waste of your time.” Of course, as soon as Kelly hears that, she immediately makes plans to go. Ten miles is no joke though. Insect repellant, a map, water, hat, and good shoes are imperative or you’ll ride out on a stretcher.

pictured rocks lakeshore kayak tours and rentals

Above: Pictured Rocks kayak tours and rentals on waterfront. Lake Superior, just one of the great lakes, is the largest fresh water lake in the world. The lake holds so much water; that if drained, it could fill a pool the size of the entire lower forty-eight states five feet deep.

forrest in pictured rocks in michigan park

We drive the shore at twenty-five miles per hour along winding roads through dense small tree forest. We stop every two miles or so to disembark and walk down boardwalks to scenic overlooks, grab fresh water, photograph a small waterfall, and walk the pebbly agate strewn beaches.

pictured rocks national lakeshore park lake superior tributary

The ten-mile hike turns into more than eleven miles because we take a lot of side trails to scenic outlooks and hidden places for Kelly to swim or potty and tromp over car sized boulders, sharp rocks, noisy gravel, twisted tree roots, uphill, downhill, over bridges, along precarious cliffs, through bug infested shrub, and along slippery rock waterfalls.

boat tours on lake superior in michigan

The views are magnificent. We explore the tops of one hundred foot tall cliffs that drop straight down into clear as the Bahamas lake water. Shore birds scream, circle, fight, and nest fifty feet below us.

waterfalls in Lake Superior Pictured Rocks

Waterfalls fill the heavy white pine forest. For hours tiny mice and chipmunks run the trails ahead of us leading us on and on and on, until finally they give up with a squeal and scurry off to the side and disappear into the ferns.

wild rock formations along the coast on lake superior

pictured rocks national lakeshore park lake superior hiking conditions

This is what it looks like when you are hiking on the rocky shores. There are thousand places to fall to your death. We investigate rocks, examine driftwood, photograph the lake, skip flat stones, sand the soles of our feet with course sand, sunbathe, smile a lot, and rest.

kayaks float among the cliffs offshore

Kayaks float among the cliffs offshore in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Park Lake Superior.

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