Turnip Rock in Clear Water

Turnip Rock in clear water by DjOOF

Turnip Rock in clear water by DjOOF

The excellent sunrise side blog Thumbwind explains that Turnip Rock in Lake Huron can only be reached by kayak or canoe & share some tips for would-be explorers:

Paddling to Turnip Rock is not hard. Located at the tip of the thumb, it’s about a four hour round trip from Port Austin. This small guide offers a local point of view to avoid problems with the local law enforcement and property owners while being able to enjoy a unique natural wonder.

Despite its uniqueness, this natural wonder is located in the Pointe Aux Barques Cottage Community and is private land. Thus the only way to access it is from the water. Fortunately, that can easily be achieved by canoe or kayak. This means that you can’t go feet dry. Stay in the water. The area around the rock is monitored and even the topic of an Instagram account. If you must get out of our kayak stay as close to the water’s edge as possible. (Unless its an emergency)

During the weekends the number of paddlers can get quite large. If the area around the rock is crowded consider paddling a few hundred yards past the rock and view the overhangs and cave features that border the Pointe Aux Barques community. During the late 1800s, the cave were hideouts for fugitives. It’s worth taking a few minutes to explore. You may be tempted to get out of your kayak and climb the rocks for a view. This is a no-no and there are several signs reminding not to trespass.

Read on for lots more, and if you happen to take any pictures, consider sharing them in our Michigan in Pictures Group on Facebook!

DjOOF writes that they made it past Turnip rock and captured this view on the way back. See more in their Google Nest Pics album on Flickr. Also check out their shot of one of the smuggler’s caves referred to above!

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Kayaking to Turnip Rock

Kayak at Turnip Rock

Turnip Rock, Port Austin, MI, photo by Seasons Photography

The second in our series of “Cool Places Your Kayak Can Take You” features this cool rock formation in Lake Huron. Port Austin Kayak’s page on kayaking to Turnip Rock says:

A trip to Turnip Rock in Port Austin is unmistakably one of the best activities for kayakers on Lake Huron. The trip consists of a 7 mile out-and-back trip via the Point aux Barques trail. The shallow waters surrounding Turnip Rock allow you to get out and enjoy the area as well as snap a few photos while you are there. Be sure to wear suitable footwear if you are going to exit the kayak as the rocks are slippery. For an account of what it’s like kayaking out to Turnip Rock, read this adventurer’s great story. While this story also goes out to the lighthouse, that leg of the trip is for experienced kayakers only and is reserved for the calmest weather days, as you will be kayaking two miles out into Lake Huron.

Please note that the property surrounding Turnip Rock is privately owned, which is why kayaking is the premier way to access the rock. The owners of the surrounding properties take great care of the land and we ask that you respect their space by not trespassing or littering.

If you don’t have a kayak, they can certainly rent you one. That link goes to one of my favorite photographer’s trips: Lars Jensen and his Turnip Rock expedition.

View the photo bigger and see more in Seasons Photography’s Michigan slideshow.

More kayaks & kayaking and more about Turnip Rock on Michigan in Pictures.

Winter at Turnip Rock

"Turnip Rock" Pointe Aux Barques, Lake Huron

“Turnip Rock” Pointe Aux Barques, Lake Huron, photo by Michigan Nut

Michigan’s Little Finger has been getting a lot of national media attention for the fantastic ice caves that have formed off the Leelanau Peninsula, but it’s a good time to check out the Thumb as well! Turnip Rock is on private property and reachable in the summer only by boat. In wintertime, however, walking on publicly owned Lake Huron becomes an option.

The Point Aux Barques – Turnip Rock geocache explains:

Everyone that received their grade school education in Michigan learned that glaciers pushed their way over Michigan several times. The result is glacial drift averaging 200 to 300 feet deep covering on top of the bedrock. The thickness of drift has measured over 1,000 feet in a few Michigan locations. Rarely can we see exposed bedrock that has been sculptured by non glacier forces. This is one of the locations in southern Michigan where the sandstone bedrock is exposed at the surface. The amount of shoreline that has exposed sandstone is about one mile, but a lot of beauty has been sculptured in the stone.

The locals call the main structure here “Turnip Rock”, because of it’s shape. Geologists call it a “Sea Stack”. A definition of a sea stack is an isolated pillar-like rocky island or mass near a cliff shore, detached from a headland by wave erosion assisted by weathering. Waves force air and small pieces of rock into small cracks, future opening them. The cracks then gradually get larger and turn into a small cave. When the cave wears through the headland, an arch forms. Further erosion causes the arch to collapse. This causes a pillar of hard rock standing away from the coast. Generally occurring in sedimentary rocks, sea stacks can occur in any rock type.

Here’s a map to Turnip Rock.

View John’s photo bigger and see more including nearby Point Aux Barques Lighthouse in his Lake Huron slideshow.

Turnip Rock Sunrise

Turnip Rock Sunrise (3 of 3)

Turnip Rock Sunrise, photo by dwfphoto

You may recognize this photographer from his photo of Chapel Rock last month. Turnip Rock has been featured a few times on Michigan in Pictures, but this is definitely the most dramatic photo of it! He writes:

Taking these pictures of “Turnip Rock”, located near Port Austin at the tip of Michigan’s thumb region, was a bit of an adventure. I had seen day time pictures of it before, but thought that it would look its best at sunrise. I decided to make a project of it during the 4th of July weekend. I traveled to Port Austin and in talking to folks there confirmed what I had already read – since it is located just offshore a large private property the only way to visit it is by kayak (about 7 miles round trip). I hesitated a bit since it was my first time in the area and I have not kayaked in decades. Also, in order be there by sunrise meant I would have to paddle out there in the pre-dawn darkness. Having a chance to see it at sunrise turned out to be too tempting, so after finding a hotel room 20 miles away in Bad Axe (closest one available because of the holiday), I put my alarm clock on for 3:45am.

I was on the water by about 4:30am and arrived at Turnip Rock just before the sky started to light up. I have had several outings before where the weather didn’t cooperate, but this time I was lucky and despite the clouds there were some nice colors in the sky. I am pleased with the pictures, but the experience of kayaking out on Lake Huron in the early morning hours is something I will always remember. Look forward to other outings like this, which is one of the reasons I have enjoyed taking up photography again.

Indeed! Your camera is like a dog – it will make you get outside and see cool things! Check this out background bigtacular and see a couple more shots from his kayaking adventure in his slideshow.

Beaches? Sunrises? Lake Huron? Summer wallpaper? Tons more on Michigan in Pictures. Enjoy your holiday weekend!

Turnip Rock in Lake Huron

Turnip Rock

Turnip Rock, photo by SimsShots Photography

A page about the Point Aux Barques – Turnip Rock geocache had the best information I found about this Lake Huron Landmark. The author explains:

This cache is accessible by a kayak, canoe, jet ski or boat on Lake Huron. Port Austin is the closest harbor which is approximately three miles west. The land around this feature is a gated community. I must stress that this cache is only accessible by a water craft via Lake Huron. If you are not comfortable navigating the waters of Lake Huron, do not attempt to do this cache. Lake Huron can be dangerous at times for small water craft such as kayaks or canoes.

…Everyone that received their grade school education in Michigan learned that glaciers pushed their way over Michigan several times. The result is glacial drift averaging 200 to 300 feet deep covering on top of the bedrock. The thickness of drift has measured over 1,000 feet in a few Michigan locations. Rarely can we see exposed bedrock that has been sculptured by non glacier forces. This is one of the locations in southern Michigan where the sandstone bedrock is exposed at the surface. The amount of shoreline that has exposed sandstone is about one mile, but a lot of beauty has been sculptured in the stone.

The locals call the main structure here “Turnip Rock”, because of it’s shape. Geologists call it a “Sea Stack”. A definition of a sea stack is an isolated pillar-like rocky island or mass near a cliff shore, detached from a headland by wave erosion assisted by weathering. Waves force air and small pieces of rock into small cracks, future opening them. The cracks then gradually get larger and turn into a small cave. When the cave wears through the headland, an arch forms. Further erosion causes the arch to collapse. This causes a pillar of hard rock standing away from the coast. Generally occurring in sedimentary rocks, sea stacks can occur in any rock type.

Read on for more and also see the Atlas Obscura entry for Turnip Rock has a map and photos. Michigan in Pictures favorite Lars Jensen has some great photos of Turnip Rock as well, and you should definitely check out Jason Glazer’s panoramic photos of Turnip Rock.

Check this out background big and see more in Rob’s Landmarks slideshow.

More Michigan landmarks on Michigan in Pictures.