Added by James Brady
The best way to see the 200-foot sandstone cliffs that make the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore famous is to do it up close and personal by kayak!
The best place to start a kayak tour of the main section of cliffs along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is Miners Beach, located just outside of Munising. Miners Beach features a good size parking lot, along with a beautiful sandy beach that serves as a great launching point within sight of the 200-foot cliffs.
As you paddle, you can take in the remarkably clear waters of Lake Superior and the woods that hug the shore of Miners Beach. As you begin to reach the first stretch of cliffs, you will paddle by Bridal Veil Falls, which is typically visible early in the season or after a strong rain. East of that, you will soon be overtaken by 200-foot sandstone cliffs, some of which hang over you as you paddle beneath them.
There are not many places to stop along the initial stretch of cliffs, but if you manage to paddle approximately 3 miles east of Miner Beach, you will come across the perfect place to stop for lunch at Mosquito Beach. Despite the name, Mosquito Beach is a beautiful place to stop, relax, and take in the sights. The rock shelf that you enjoy your lunch on plunges beneath the water not far from the shore and provides for great snorkeling opportunities. Just down the beach, visitors can explore the caves of the Bloody Chiefs and even jump into the lake off of some of the rock ledges near the caves.
If you are lucky enough to have good paddling conditions, or are just in extra good paddling shape, you can continue paddling further east along the shoreline and explore several more miles of sandstone cliffs and highlights including the shipwreck of the Superior and the natural rock arch known as Lovers Leap. Be sure to know your limits though because the paddle back to Miners Beach can take several hours, especially if the wind is out of the west.
- Sea Kayak
- Swim Suit
- Dry Sack
- Personal Flotation Device
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