When I think of trails that encompass everything a hike in the backcountry should offer, one of those that come to mind is the Lakeshore Trail in Pictured Rock National Park. Talk about some breathtaking photo opps, this has got to be in the top 10 of awesome views. The Lakeshore Trail is a 42 mile trail that treks between Grand Marais and Munising Michigan in the Upper Peninsula.
Backpacking on the Lakeshore Trail, you will find some of the best hiking in the Midwest. The Lakeshore Trail, part of the North Country Trail, provide spectacular vistas of the lake, cliffs, dunes, and waterfalls. Old logging roads take you deep into the forest. However, one of the true unknowns when hiking is what the weather is going to be like. Hiking along Lake Superior can be somewhat daunting. When I hiked this trail in the end of June, the tempature the first day was 58 degrees, rainny, and foggy. Two days later, 83 degrees, sunny, and hot. Thats hiking along Lake Superior.
Campgrounds like, Chapel Beach, Mosquito Beach, and Seven Mile offer clean and rewarding nights on the trail. In fact, if you plan your hike carefully, you should be able to see natures best in Sunsets. Sunsets along this trail are some of the best I have ever seen. If you like hiking along cliffs, then this is the hike for you. The Lakeshore Trail offers some of the best views from 300-400 feet you will find. And yes, you can walk right out there to the edge. Take a side trail, and you are sitting on a cliff watching a georgous waterfall spilling down a 100 feet into Lake Superior.
I have hiked this trail in the mid summer and it’s never been too crowded. However, Campsites are first-come, first-served; and there is a fee. You must register upon arrival at either Grand Sable, or the Pictured Rock National Park Headquaters in Munising. There are 13 hike-in campgrounds and seven group sites. Just make sure you bring some Mosquito repellent. They can carry you away if your not careful.
If you going to spend a few days to see the sites, be sure to stay at the Munising Motel. You won’t meet better people to meet and greet you when you arrive.
Checkout the Backpacker TV Page for a full video on the Lakeshore Trail.