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Topic: Best of Pictured Rocks?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 29 2013, 3:57 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hey everyone, I'm putting the finishing touches on my family vacation plans. I need input on the best/most scenic sites in Pictured Rocks Natl. Lakeshore.  We're looking for great views and fun swimming on the beach shores.  

What are your thoughts on Chapel Rock and Twelvemile Beach?  Are there any kid-friendly hidden gems that would be accessible by car?

Also, I'll take any suggestions for Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes on Lake Michigan.

Thanks in advance.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 29 2013, 11:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Check out our info from our trip a couple years back.  we have some pretty good pictures that give you a good idea of what you might want to spend some time at.  

http://outdoorunion.weebly.com/pictured-rocks-nls.html


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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 30 2013, 6:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

For great views check out the Log Slide area in the Nothern part of the Pic Rocks. Plus check out all of the neat waterfalls.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 01 2013, 12:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm not sure what you mean by kid-friendly - 1/4 mile hike, 3 mile hike?  Chapel Rock / Beach is one of my favorite destinations at Pix Rocks but it takes a little bit of hiking (3 miles I think?).   Miner's Castle / Beach seems to be everyone's favorite drive in spot, wouldn't call it a hidden gem.  

At Sleeping Bear Dunes I like Pyramid Point, seems to be less travelled but still awesome views and a dune climb.  Relatively short hike to get the view but uphill so maybe that discourages people.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 02 2013, 12:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

hi mo,

Did you find all of Pictured Rocks' brochures online?  They have a nice series of dayhikes on their site, it might give you a good idea of how long some of the dayhiking trails are, etc.  I found their website really useful but sometimes you have to dig around.  The backcountry planner has some nice descriptions of trail portions.

We'll actually be up there August 11th-13th, hiking from Miner's to Twelvemile, so if you run into us give a holler  :;):


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 02 2013, 1:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

--From Log Slide walk west/northwest one mile on the NCT/Shoreline Trail. The trail curls along the bluff there, several openings offer (IMHO) prime views east of the whole Grand Sable Dunes (kid caution, steep drop off).

--From Hurricane R. CG walk the shore east a mile to Grand Sable Lighthouse. Remains of several shipwrecks line the shore. The top of the beach features low bedrock walls -- if it has rained they turn into hanging gardens, miniature cascades, mossy nooks.

About a mile and a half one-way. Add a mile (along the NCT), little elevation, and you'd reach the vista mentioned first.

--From Chapel Beach TH. Note the small creek/drainage that goes under the road just south of the TH parking lot. A tad south  of that drainage walk west 100/200 yards, off trail, thru open woods until that creek merges with a larger one flowing north. Descend to the bed of the larger one, walk south a minute or two and a sandstone box canyon appears. Springtime it's a good waterfall there, late summer might be a pleasant dribble. (Kid caution. Given good route finding there should not be a problem here. Approach the box canyon from above tho and there are potentially dangerous dropoffs.)
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 06 2013, 9:22 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(mocamper1 @ Jul. 29 2013, 3:57 pm)
QUOTE
Also, I'll take any suggestions for Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes on Lake Michigan.

Just got back from 5 days near Sleeping Bear.  We go up a few times a year and camp at Platte River Campground -- stay in the outer loop of Loop 4 (closest to Peterson Rd) or the walk-in sites.  (We stayed at Lake Dubonnet State Forest Campground on this trip because we were picking up our son from Interlochen and that turned out to be a great spot, too.)  The beach at Platte River campground is one of the best (and allows dogs).  We also love Good Harbor beach in the northern part of the park, near Pyramid Point.  In both places, you can have the place to yourselves with a short walk.

At Sleeping Bear, do a float down Platte River either in canoes or kayaks.  The mouth of the river at Lake Michigan is a really fun place to swim.  Super crowded on the weekends, so try for a weekday if possible.  There are lots of kayaking/canoeing opportunities in the area.  Upper Platte is faster and less crowded, Crystal River is easy with some really nice scenery and no crowds.  Betsie meanders through marshlands with lots of wildlife.  The Platte is chock full of fish and the salmon will be running in late August/September.

There are some small inland lakes at Sleeping Bear that not many tourists know about or bother with.  We love them.  Our favorite is down a two-track and you need at least a small SUV with clearance (PM me if you're interested... we like to keep it quiet.)  Great for kids since the water is warm.  We take floats, kayaks, etc., fish, practice kayak self-rescues.  We might share the lake with a few locals out fishing, but that's about it.

The big dune climb is always crowded but a must-do at least once with kids.  We still take the boys once every summer (10 years running, I think.)

If you're going to be there for a few days, a drive up and around Leelanau peninsula is worth it.  Stop at Fish Town -- a little commercial but fun.  We go up once every summer to stock up on champagne at Mawby -- lots of vineyards on the peninsula.  With more time, you can take the ferries from here to the Manitou Islands.  (We almost never go because we always have our dog with us.)


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 15 2013, 2:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

IMO, Chapel Falls and Chapel Beach counts as one of the most scenic hikes in the Midwest. If your kids can hack it, the loop involving Chapel Beach and Mosquito Beach / Falls is fantastic,

It's probably worth a day trip to Grand Island (15 minute ride) to check out Trout Bay, which is beautiful.


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