Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Waterfalls and Scenic Views

This post is part four of a travel series to Michigan's Upper Peninsula.   To start at the beginning go  HERE.  The remaining posts in consecutive order are HERE , HERE, HERE, and HERE!

On day four of our visit to Michigan's Upper Peninsula, we planned to have one of the biggest highlights of our trip:  a boat ride to see the Pictured Rocks!  The boat ride wasn't until 2:00 pm so we needed something to fill our morning and we decided it was a good time to explore Munising's waterfalls and other scenic views.  All the waterfalls and views were in relatively short driving distance and involved short, easy hikes, so it wasn't difficult. 

But before I show you all of that, I wanted you to see the view from our hotel.  This hotel didn't have a private beach like our hotel in St. Ignace did, but it still had great views and you could eat breakfast outside and enjoy these views too!  This hotel is the "Holiday Inn Express Munising-Lakeview".

Miners Falls

The first waterfall we went to was "Miner's Falls".  It's an easy .6 mile one way trail that ends at the falls.  There are 77 steps leading down to the viewing platform  at the falls.  Pictured below shows the first part of the hike which offers a nice flat gravel path through the woods.

I saw a lovely field of blue flowers.

The falls cascade fifty feet over a sandstone outcrop.

I have a short little video showing Miner's Falls in action.  Sorry for the sideways video.  For some reason I thought I could turn the camera sideways while operating it, but I guess not.

Miners Castle Overlook

Next, we got a taste of what this area is known for:  it's Pictured Rocks.  We will be seeing a lot more on our boat ride, which is the best way to see the Pictured Rocks, but it was nice to see them from above too.

This view is from Miner's Castle Overlook.  The rocks are colored from mineral stains.  Miner's Castle is located about 5 miles from Munising and is the only cliff area in the park accessible by vehicle.  So if you want to see the Pictured Rocks without boating or hiking, this is the way!

There are two breath taking views overlooking Lake Superior and the Grand Island.

Miner's Castle got its namesake from the rock formation below.  There used to be two points, but one fell off in 2006.

This trail is an easy 0.5 mile with some stairs to the overlooks, but the stairs are so pretty you don't mind!  There is also a trail to Miner's Beach from here, but we didn't take it.

Munising Falls

Next, we went to my favorite waterfall in Munising:  Munising Falls.  This waterfall is just a short walk from the Visitor's Center, but it is such a beautiful, magical walk it was almost more enjoyable than the waterfall!

Once again, I was greeted by these beautiful blue, spring flowers.

A lovely bridge leads across a creek.

The trail is only 1/4 mile and is fully accessible to the central falls viewing platform.  From there, there are two sets of stairs that lead to elevated platforms enabling views of the 50 foot waterfall which drops over a sandstone cliff.

These falls aren't as dramatic as Miner's Falls, but they are located in such a peaceful, lovely glen.  I kept expecting a fairy to pop out at any moment.

One of the advantages of traveling in the spring is seeing all the spring flowers;  like these Marsh Marigolds.

Wagner Falls

We next went to see Alger Falls, which is a roadside waterfall.  Sorry, no photos of that one as it was hard to get while driving on a busy road.

Wagner Falls is nearby Alger Falls and that one we were able to park and hike into.

This is another short 0.2 mile trail that leads to a boardwalk and eventually a viewing platform of the falls.

Wagner Falls is 20 feet tall.  When we were there, fallen trees ruined the view of the falls.  The falls looks much prettier on the U.S. National Park Service website without the trees.

Here's another short video showing you the falls in action.

After viewing Wagner Falls it was about time for lunch.  The area is known for its "pastys", you will see signs advertising pastys everywhere.  We decided to try the local cuisine at this local establishment, which is a grab-and-go.

A pasty is sturdy crust folded over meat and veggies.  It is said that miner's took one to lunch everyday.  The pasty was wrapped in a napkin and fit nicely inside the miner's pocket.

I'll be honest, we didn't particularly care for them.  My husband felt it needed gravy, and the locals must hear that a lot because you also saw a lot of signs that said "Pastys don't need gravy".  😀. Apparently, they refuse to even sell them with gravy.

Grand Island Harbor Scenic Overlook

Not far from our hotel were signs for a scenic overlook so we decided to check it out.  The road takes you to the top of a hill and a small parking lot.  From there it's a short 0.1 mile hike to this view.

The map below shows where I was standing when I took the photo and all the sights to see.

By now, it was time for our Pictured Rocks Boat Tour!  We were so excited!  But I will share that part of our day next week.  See you then!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!



  1. Wow, that is such a super beautiful hike. So amazing.

  2. Such beautiful pictures and wonderful views! I'm also not sure that I would like those pastys... But really love seeing all the green and pretty flowers right now when the world is covered in so much snow and we are dealing with these arctic temps!! Thanks for reminding me of warmer days ahead!!

    1. Thank you! Yes, it is nice seeing warm weather activities in the brutal cold of winter. Writing these posts now helps my readers plan for their summer vacations too!

  3. Wow, what amazing sights! This looks like a wonderful area to explore. I love the photos. Thanks for sharing this post at the Will Blog for Comments #21 linkup. Hope to see you there next week, too, sharing more of your posts, either new or old. :)

    1. Thanks Jennifer. You're welcome, I will definitely be sharing at Will Blog for Comments.

  4. Wagner Falls sounds like a place I should visit for some reason. Great outing. Beautiful trails and vistas!

    1. Ha ha! Yes, you should visit and take your picture next to the sign.

  5. Amy, I always love visiting your blog and seeing what new adventure you will share with us. Beautiful sights for sure! Thank you so much for sharing with us at The Crazy Little Love Birds link party #20. It's always a pleasure having you share with us.

    1. Thanks Stephanie. You always leave the sweetest comments.

    2. Aw, you're very welcome! We enjoyed your post so much. I'm happy to feature your post tomorrow at The Crazy Little Love Birds link party. I hope you will join us.

    3. Oh that's awesome news! Thanks so much!

  6. Amazing scenic hike and photos. Love to see cascading waterfalls and I got to see them without even having to travel. there. Saw this post SSPS#293, where I shared #69through 73.

    1. Thank you! I'll be popping by to visit you soon!

  7. Congratulations, Amy! I'm stopping by again to let you know that this post was one of the most-viewed at the Will Blog for Comments #21 linkup. So, it will be in the spotlight all week at linkup #22! You're welcome to save the "this post was a featured favorite" image from there and share it here with your readers if you like. Will Blog for Comments #22 will open shortly and will be open through Saturday morning--hope to see you there. :)

    1. Wow! That's a wonderful surprise. Thanks so much!


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