Scenic vista at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Scenic vista at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Scenic vista at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, photo by Craig Sterken Photography

Craig writes “My wife and I hiked in the Beaver Basin area for the first time and discovered our new favorite hike. What a great place to swim after walking through the woods in 87 degree weather!

Can’t see how it could get much better!! View Craig’s photo bigger on Facebook and view & purchase his work at craigsterken.com.

Chapel Rock Revisit

Chapel Revisit by Rudy Malmquist

Chapel Revisit, photo by Rudy Malmquist

View Rudy’s shot from August of 2014 background bigtacular and see more including a nice pic of nearby Spray Falls in his slideshow.

Lots more about Chapel Rock on Michigan in Pictures.

Exotic Michigan: Beaver Creek Wilderness

Pictured Rocks Beaver Basin

Beaver Basin Wilderness, photo by Michigan Nut Photography

The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore says that the 11,740 acre Beaver Basin Wilderness was created in 2009 and:

…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…

Along the Hiawatha Water Trail

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore from Water

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, photo by Paul Wojtkowski

Sorry this is a little late today and apologies to anyone who’s on Lake Superior/UP overload – today is my birthday and the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is my favorite place in Michigan!

One of the items on my Michigan bucket list is to paddleboard or kayak the stretch of the Hiawatha Water Trail that passes through Pictured Rocks – or the whole thing! They say:

Gitche Gumee, the Ojibwa (Native American) name for Lake Superior, has inspired all who have stood on her shore or paddled her waters. Running 120 miles from Big Bay to Grand Marais Michigan on Lake Superior’s south shore, the Hiawatha Water Trail (HWT) follows a shoreline paddled by Native Americans, Voyageurs and early European explorers. Experience some of the most scenic paddling available in the Midwest at places such as Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Grand Island National Recreation Area, Hiawatha National Forest and other public lands. Stopping in at the communities of Big Bay, Marquette, Munising and Grand Marais, a paddler finds places filled with history and friendly people.

View Paul’s photo background bigtacular and see more in his slideshow.

Dive in, but look before you leap

High Dive

High Dive into Lake Superior, photo by Craig

I want to say some things about this photo.

First and foremost, how incredibly awesome is someone to leap into Lake Superior any time of the year? Pretty doggone awesome is the answer, and if you’re wanting to go into Michigan’s coldest lake, August (when this photo was taken) is a pretty good time!

On Michigan in Pictures I post a lot of photos of people doing amazing things in this four-season playground we are blessed with. While summertime is certainly the best season for flamboyant fun, in June especially, the waters of Michigan’s Great Lakes can get very cold. Cold enough to kill as this tragic story from Marquette earlier this month illustrates.

My safety tips would be to really check water you’re leaping into for depth, obstacles, temperature, and whenever possible ASK A LOCAL what they think about whatever ridiculousness you’re considering. Chances are they know a thing or two about currents, weather patterns, or at least a good place to grab a bite and a beverage after your epic stunt.

Remember – having fun is what it’s all about, so figure out how to do it right and then DO IT!

View Craig’s photo bigger, view & purchase work at Craig Sterken Photography, and be sure to follow him on Facebook.

More fun on Michigan in Pictures!

May’s Eta Aquariad Meteor Shower

Milky Way over Au Sable Point Lighthouse

Milky Way over Au Sable Point Lighthouse, photo by Michigan Nut

EarthSky shares details on this week’s Eta Aquarid meteor shower:

In 2016, the forecast calls for the greatest number of Eta Aquarid meteors to light up the predawn darkness on May 5 and 6. It should be a good year for this shower, with the May 6 new moon guaranteeing deliciously dark skies for the 2016 Eta Aquarids. This shower favors the Southern Hemisphere, ranking as one of the finest showers of the year. At mid-northern latitudes, these meteors don’t fall so abundantly, though mid-northern meteor watchers will catch some, too, and might be lucky enough to catch an earthgrazer – a bright, long-lasting meteor that travels horizontally across the sky – before dawn.

Halley’s Comet is the source of the Eta Aquarid meteor shower. Every year, our planet Earth crosses the orbital path of Halley’s Comet in late April and May, so bits and pieces from this comet light up the nighttime as Eta Aquarid meteors. This shower is said to be active from April 19 to May 20, although Earth plows most deeply into this stream of comet debris around May 5 or 6.

The comet dust smashes into Earth’s upper atmosphere at nearly 240,000 kilometers (150,000 miles) per hour. Roughly half of these swift-moving meteors leave persistent trains – ionized gas trails that glow for a few seconds after the meteor has passed.

They add that early morning is the best time to see them and that the broad peak of the Eta Aquarids may present a decent showing of meteors during the predawn hours on May 4 and May 7 as well! Read on for more.

View John’s photo bigger, see more in his Starry Nights slideshow and definitely follow Michigan Nut Photography on Facebook!

More about the Au Sable Lighthouse in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on Michigan in Pictures!

Miner’s Castle, before it fell

Miner's Castle before it fell

Miner’s Castle before it fell, photo by spauldi1

Today is the 10th anniversary of the collapse of one of the turrets on the Miner’s Castle formation in the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

On Thursday morning, April 13, 2006, the northeast turret of Miners Castle collapsed. One turret remains on Miners Castle, the best-known feature of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The collapse was reported via cell phone by fisherman in the area, according to chief ranger Larry Hach. Most of the rock fell north and into Lake Superior, and there were no injuries. The lower overlook platform near Miners Castle appears to be unaffected.

While the rockfall at Miners Castle on April 13 was startling, such events are not rare along the Pictured Rocks escarpment.

Click for the full report on Absolute Michigan.

Sue took this back in 2003. View it background big and jump into her slideshow for more pics from “before the fall”at Miner’s Castle.