The Colors of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is named for its colorful sandstone cliffs that stretch 15 miles along the largest of the Great Lakes, Lake Superior. The beautiful colors of these magnificent rocks are caused by the mineral-rich groundwater that leaches out of the rocks. The iron, manganese, and copper minerals paint the cliffs in reds, pinks, blacks, greens, and other colors.
My friend JP who owns an epoxy flooring company in Houston told me that when he visited Pictured Rocks with his family several years ago, he was reminded of the rich colors they use in epoxy paint. The colors are really that beautiful and must be seen in person.
See Pictured Rocks by Boat
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is located on the southwest shore of Lake Superior near Marquette, Michigan. The best way to see these colorful cliffs is by boat. A boat tour takes visitors along this beautiful coastline to view this scenic wonder. The boat tour begins at the Marquette marina and takes about an hour and a half.
The marina offers several boats for rent, including catamarans, small speedboats, and yachts. Visitors can enjoy this lovely place on a short leisurely cruise along the shores and waterways. The marina also has boats available for boating and fishing. There are picnic areas near the marina for dining and relaxation. Boat rental charges are nominal.
The Pictured Rocks boat tour also includes a chance to view the historic lighthouse that has stood since 1835. The lighthouse overlooks the southernmost point of Lake Huron. The marina has restrooms, tables, chairs, and restrooms for visitors who choose to be self-parked on the waterfront. The marina also provides boat slips, docks, and storage for touring or camping overnight. If you prefer to leave the marina, there is also a parking area available. The marina provides a free shuttle service to the marina parking area and the boat tour’s parking area.
During the boat tour, you can see the many attractions on the water, such as the beach and the nearby harbor. Several boats are available for day trips to see these areas. The boat tour can travel along the Lake Huron shore and through Lake Huron and Lake Michigan’s waters. The marina also provides guided tours of the beach to give the visitor a more detailed view of the area. Other attractions are the harbor and pier.
There are several restaurants on the boat tour. You will not want to miss the opportunity to sample the local cuisine on this scenic excursion. All boat tours include meals and beverages. Many hotels are just minutes away from the marina, so those traveling by car you have plenty of time to relax and enjoy the sights.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore hugs Lake Superior’s southern shore on the peninsula of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Of course, the name comes from the distinctive multicolored rocks of the beach and surrounding area. Unusual, layered sandstone formations such as Miners Castle and Cathedral Rock define the headland. Twelvemile Beach leads into a white birch forest to the east. Several trails pass through an area that was once a shipwrecked marina. Fishing charters are available.
Other attractions in the area include the Sauk Rapids Railroad, which runs from Newaygo to Marquette and offers a free tour that takes you through the railroad’s main workings. Visitors can also catch a glimpse of locomotives in the daytime and then hop on the train at night to reach the station. This train ride allows visitors to witness the locomotives as they run through the train yard. The Sauk Rapids Railroad also shows the train tracks, the river, the marsh, and the railroad trestle.
The Railroad Museum also offers railroad history and the railroad’s history. The visitor center also provides information about the railroad and its history.