The high river bluff is the reason for the area’s unusual name. At the turn of the last century, lumbermen needed inexpensive ways to transport timber from the forest to the sawmills and wide-flowing rivers like the Manistee were the answer. Steep banks were used to “rollaway” the logs in a thunderous avalanche to the water where they floated to the mills. Unfortunately, the practice quickly stripped the vegetation from the river banks and, by the time the lumbermen moved on, eroding sand was clogging and narrowing the rivers. In the last 20 years, efforts have been made to stabilize the Manistee River High Banks with fieldstone terraces and replantings. The observation platform was installed in 2001 so visitors could enjoy the stunning view without damaging the fragile system.
Visited by passing English geologists in 1771-1772, the nearby Miners River was named by employees of Alexander Henry during one of his exploratory trips on Lake Superior. At that time, indicators or “leaders” were used to locate mineral deposits. Discolored water oozing from bedrock was one such leader found in the Miners Basin, although no minerals were ever extracted from this area.
Charles took took this pic last week. See lots more on his Flickr!
…is the highest paved road between the Rockies and the Alleghenies. The drive is 10 miles long and has many pull-offs enabling visitors to stop and take in the scenery. There are two nature preserves along the drive that are worth visiting too. At the top, 735 feet above Copper Harbor, you will find a breathtaking 360° view of Lake Superior, the surrounding woodlands and inland lakes. On a clear day you can see Isle Royale about 50 miles away!
Authorized by Congress in 1966 as the nation’s first national lakeshore, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore today encompassed over 73,000 acres of multicolored sandstone cliffs, beaches, sand dunes, waterfalls, inland lakes, wildlife and the forest of the Lake Superior shoreline. Stretching from Munising to Grand Marais, the park is a four season destination attracting everyone from hikers to campers, hunters, and casual visitors. The park is managed by the National Park Service and welcomes over four hundred thousand visitors each year.
The frost and freezing temperatures for two or three days in a row last week have sparked the fall colors. A leaf’s nutrition supply is cut off from the main tree with a freeze. The underlying color pigments in the leaf then emerge for our fall splendor.
The western half of the Upper Peninsula has about 50 percent of total fall color. The eastern U.P. is around 25 percent changed now. The northern third of Lower Michigan has 25 percent to 50 percent fall color. The southern half of Lower Michigan runs from 10 percent to just spotty color from north to south.