Wild, wildly scenic, and uniquely Michigan, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is unlike anywhere else in the Great Lakes State. Established in 1966, the park — one of five National Parks in Michigan, and the nation’s first national lakeshore — encompasses more than 70,000 acres and 40 miles of shoreline along the southern edge of Lake Superior.
There’s so much to see and do here, in any season: 100 miles of trails, seven waterfalls, beaches, sand dunes, forests, rivers, ice caves and ice climbing in the winter — but the main attraction, which lends the park its name, is arguably the striking sandstone cliffs and formations banded with ribbons of color, thanks to the presence of minerals like iron, copper, limonite and manganese.
Of course, there are countless landmarks and scenic spots to be found at this incomparable U.P. destination — this list includes just a few of the highlights. Some are easily accessible by car, some require a bit of effort (like hiking, which can be challenging in some places in the park) and still others can only be seen from the water, requiring you reserve a place on one of the area’s scenic boat tours or that you paddle the lakeshore in a kayak (there’s local tours and tour guides available for that, too).