Lots more about Chapel Rock on Michigan in Pictures.
Here’s a shot from high atop one of the many dunes in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore from August 1, 2012.
The small lake below is North Bar Lake. The name describes how the lake formed: it is ponded behind a sand bar. At times, the sand bar builds up and separates North Bar Lake from Lake Michigan. At other times, a small connecting channel exists between the two lakes. North Bar Lake occupies part of a former bay on Lake Michigan. This ancient bay was flanked by headlands on both sides: Empire Bluffs on the south and Sleeping Bear Bluffs on the north. Shorelines have a natural tendency to become straighter with time. Wave action focuses on the headlands and wears them back, while shoreline currents carry sediment to the quiet bays and fill them in. Deeper parts of the bay are often left as lakes when sand fills in the shallower parts. The same process that formed North Bar Lake also formed many of the other lakes in northern Michigan: Glen, Crystal, Elk and Torch Lakes, for example.
…North Bar Lake is one of the most popular beaches in the Lakeshore because it has shallow, clear water over a sandy bottom makes for warmer swim than in Lake Michigan. But for those who like the refreshing cool water and wave action of the big lake, you can walk across the low dunes that separate the two lakes in just a couple of minutes. The beaches of pure sand and the small outlet to Lake Michigan is ideal for the kids to play.
Maybe if I looked at this view every day for 50 years I would get tired of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
More Pictured Rocks on Michigan in Pictures.
You will have to hike at least 5 miles in to see the falls, and another 5 miles to get back. If you are looking for a good long day hike this is a winner. In addition to the main falls there are also a number of smaller cascades, and whatever route you take there is lots of wilderness scenery.
The total drop of the falls is about 20′. The falls consists of two parts, a slide on the left, and a plunge on the right. In higher water the two parts merge, but in lower water the two parts are distinct, as can be seen in the photos on this page. Plunge falls are rare around Lake Superior.
…Downstream of Shining Cloud Falls are a number of unnamed falls and rapids. Several of these are larger than some of the named falls on the Little Carp River. The last drop near the Lake is known as Bathtub Falls. If you are hiking upstream to the falls, do not be fooled by the smaller drops. The trail follows the river closely, but it climbs away from the river before reaching Shining Cloud Falls. There is no sign marking Shining Cloud Falls, but it is very distinctive.
You can read on for more including directions. FYI, “plunge falls” are those where the water descends vertically without contact with the surface.
Lots more waterfalls on Michigan in Pictures!
Huron-Clinton Metroparks explains that Kensington Metropark – a place I used to visit with my grandmother a lot – is one of the most popular parks in Michigan:
Kensington’s 4,481 sprawling acres of wooded, hilly terrain surrounds beautiful Kent Lake, and is home to an abundance of wildlife and waterfowl. Kensington Metropark offers a multitude of recreational activities throughout the year, from biking and boating to cross-country skiing and tobogganing. In addition to striking sunrises and sunsets, 1,200-acre Kent Lake offers plenty of fun activities: swim at Martindale or Maple beaches, get soaked at the Splash ‘n’ Blast, or just spend the day fishing, boating or picnicking along the water. Take a tour of the lake aboard the Island Queen II in the summer and fall. Or, enjoy a winter day ice-fishing or skating on frozen lake waters.
This first-class recreational area also features an 18-hole regulation golf course, 27-hole disc course, nature center, farm center, beautiful picnic areas and scenic hiking and biking trails for hours of enjoyment. With two and a half million visitors every year Kensington Metropark is a favorite place to enjoy Michigan’s natural treasures.
More info, activities, and a map on their website.
…includes 13 miles of stunning Lake Superior shoreline from Spray Falls on the west to Sevenmile Creek on the east. The wilderness is some 3.5 miles deep.
The Beaver Basin Wilderness offers opportunities for quiet, solitude, wilderness recreation, and spiritual renewal. Individual and small group recreation is available along 8.4 miles of the North Country National Scenic Trail and 8.5 miles of connector trails as well as 6 backcountry campsites.
The area includes three beautifully clear lakes: Beaver Lake – 762 acres, Trappers Lake – 45 acres, Legion Lake – 35 acres and five cold water streams: Lowney Creek, Arsenault Creek, Sevenmile Creek, Little Beaver Creek, and Beaver Creek.
Click through for more including a map.
John writes that this is one of the exotic places you can go without a passport. Gotta love that about Michigan!! View the photo bigger, follow him on Facebook, and purchase it and other shots from one of Michigan’s coolest places in the Pictured Rocks gallery on his website. There’s a couple other photos of this feature including one from the cliffs above.
Here’s a video John took nearby too…