Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP

Trip Planning

More Adventures In Michigan's UP

Forests, lakes, waterfalls, beaches, streams, sand dunes, ponds, and abundant wildlife are all a part of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

We continued our adventure in Munising, MI, along Lake Superior’s southern shore. I called ahead to the campground to ask about available spots and the campground informed me that someone had just made a cancellation on a waterfront site! This isn’t the first time this has happened.

For instance, we used to live near Refugio Beach State Park in California. It’s a gorgeous campground right on the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately, it books up a year in advance. While our busy schedules wouldn’t allow us to make reservations that far in advance, we could always get by calling and and asking about cancellations. People’s plans change all the time and if you are consistent (and polite) you’re bound to get a spot at some of the busiest campgrounds… or in this case one of the few lakefront spots!

Lake superior is the largest, coldest, and deepest of all the Great Lakes. It’s beautiful to behold and we were so excited that it was right in our backyard!

Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
Munising flanks the west end of Pictured Rocks National Seashore, one of the most suggested stops from the Go RVing audience and it’s easy to see why! Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is named for the towering sandstone cliffs that line the blue waters of Lake Superior. The cliffs follow 15 miles of the national lakeshore and reach 50 to 200 feet above the water.
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
Nature trails offer views of the cliffs from above.
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
If you want to really experience the magnitude and beauty of the rocks, take a guided cruise along the shore. The cruises leave daily from Munising during the summer.
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
We opted for the sunset cruise. Unfortunately, it was a bit cloudy that evening so the colors weren’t as spectacular as they could have been, but it was still an amazing way to see the arches, blowholes, turrets, and sea caves that nature has sculpted into the cliffs over hundreds of years.
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
The name “Pictured Rocks” comes from the colorful streaks of mineral stain that decorate the rocks. Ground water makes its way through cracks and trickles down the face of the cliffs where the minerals leave gorgeous colors. Some of the most common minerals are iron, copper, manganese, and limonite. Iron makes the red and orange. Copper will leave behind blue and green. Manganese creates black and brown and limonite leaves behind white.
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
Before deciding on the cruise, we discussed taking our kayak out to the cliffs but after talking to a ranger about the unpredictable nature and cold waters of Lake Superior we decided to forgo the kayak… this time.
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
The guided cruise gave us a chance to take in the beauty and relax. Along with the colorful cliffs, the tour took us past Grand Isle East Channel Lighthouse.
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
It was a beautiful evening spent on Lake Superior.
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
One of the best parts of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is the miles and miles of pristine beaches to explore.
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
Twelve Mile Beach is a wonderful place to go for long walks.
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
You may even come across an old shipwreck like we did near Hurricane River. While most shipwrecks can only be seen by boat or scuba, there are a few along the shore.
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
Sculpted driftwood and colorful rocks line the shore.
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
One afternoon, we headed out for a short hike to Miners Falls.
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
The trail led us through a hardwood forest.
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
This deer was just as curious about us as we were about her!
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
Miners River drops about 50 feet over the sandstone rocks creating a beautiful waterfall.
Thing 3 may ride in the backpack while we hike, but back at our campsite he practiced for the day he gets to walk on his own hiking adventures.
Thing 3 may ride in the backpack while we hike, but back at our campsite he practiced for the day he gets to walk on his own hiking adventures.
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
The ranger who we talked to about paddling to the falls assured us we would be safe kayaking off one of the beaches as long as we avoided the cliffs. We took advantage of our beachfront site and took the kayak out.
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
Thing 3 waving goodbye!
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
What a treat to camp right on the beach where we could walk along and play in the sand.
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
Thing 3 loved it!
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
It was also the perfect spot to watch sunsets of Lake Superior each evening.
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
This was our backyard for the week! We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful campsite, and to think we only got this one because we asked about cancellations.
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
Before leaving Munising, we had to stop and try an Upper Peninsula specialty, the pasty. Pasties consist of a crust filled with diced vegetables and meat. Muldoon’s in Munising is supposed to have some of the best pasties in the U.P. Not only do they have tasty pasties, Bigfoot hangs out in their front lawn!
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
After our time in Munising, we headed south to Manistique to meet up with some other RVers. One family we met our first year on the road in Pennsylvania and the other we met the winter before last in Florida. Meeting up with other families all over the country is one of the best parts of traveling full time in an RV and it is especially fun when we get to visit our friends’ hometowns.
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
There are plenty of places to explore near Manistique. Our friends took us to Palms Book State Park.
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
Palms Book State Park is home to the largest freshwater spring in Michigan, Kitch-iti-kipi. A self-guided raft takes you across the spring where you can view old tree trunks, branches covered in lime, swirling sand, and fish darting through the clear emerald and aqua colored waters.
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
Over 10,000 gallons of water gush from the 200-foot wide and 40-foot deep spring.
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
Legend says that the spring is named after a young chieftain whose girlfriend asked him to prove his love by canoeing to the middle of the spring where she would jump from an overhanging branch. Tragically, he drowned when his canoe overturned in the cold waters and the spring was named after him.
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
What a lovely place to spend and afternoon walking through the forest and enjoying the unique spring.
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
Our friends also suggested we visit Fayette Historic State Park which was perfect because it was also a suggestion from the Go RVing audience!
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
We started in the visitor center to get some background on the area.
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
Then we spent the afternoon walking around the area learning about the history of this old company town.
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
In the mid-1880s iron ore was being shipped from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to the foundries on the lower Great Lakes. It was a costly operation, and to cut costs, two blast furnaces were built close to the mine where the ore could be smelted into pig iron before it was shipped.
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
The Jackson Iron Company chose this site and named it after Fayette Brown. The town, which grew to nearly 500 residents, existed solely to make pig iron. Changes in technology eventually led to the shut down of the smelting operation in 1891. Many residents left the area in search of work but a few stayed in the area taking up farming.
Up Up And Away Part 2 More Adventures In Michigans UP
Today Fayette Historic State Park is a living museum where you can wander the paths looking at old residences and the stabilized ruins of the furnace while imagining what it might be like to life in another era.

With summer all too quickly coming to a close we have one more stop on our Great Lakes summer tour, Door County, Wisconsin. Be sure to check back. Thanks for all the suggestions for the Upper Peninsula. We will remember our visit to Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore for years to come. We had a great time and look forward to coming back someday!

Have you ever been to Pictured Rocks Nationl Lakeshore? What has been one of your most memorable places to Go RVing? What sorts of local food have you tried?

family of five

Newschool Nomads

Jenn and Brent

In 2011, the Newschool Nomads sold almost all their stuff to hit the road for a full time RVing adventure. They intended to spend one year traveling but fell in love with the RV life so much that one year turned into four! Now settled in Colorado, they enjoy RVing every chance they get and look forward to returning to the full time RV life once “the Bigs” fly the nest. They are passionate about encouraging families to get out and explore, connect, and make memories that will last a lifetime.