Where: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Trail: Lakeshore-North Country Trail
Distance: 14 miles one-way
Adventure Rating: 4 Stars
Pets: Allowed on some trails, see website
Prior to driving to Michigan's Upper Peninsula for camping and hiking, I made reservations with Alger County Transit to have them pick us up at Little Beaver Campground (where we parked our car) and drop us off at Miner's Castle. This allowed us to hike back to our car (since the trail isn't a loop).
We got to Miner's Castle between 8:30-9 AM. Even though it was August,
the morning was quite chilly--good thing we dressed in layers. We hiked
to Miner's Beach and spent a lot of time exploring the beach, rocks, and
The hike along Miner's Beach was a bit rough (hiking in soft sand always
is), but we weren't in a hurry. At Mosquito Beach, we took the trail
inland to see Chapel Falls, except we took the wrong trail and missed it
completely and arrived back on the lake at Chapel Beach. Between the
Mosquito Falls trailhead and Chapel Beach, the forest thins out and
becomes very sandy--which made hiking a lot tougher, especially this
late in the trip.
It was about that time that we realized that we were way behind
schedule. It was also about this point that I realized that I may have
miscalculated the length of our hike. I still don't know how I did
this, but prior to the hike, I thought the trip was 7 miles. If you read
the info above, you know the hike was actually 14 miles. This posed a
problem for us since we were planning to take a Sunset Cruise.
We really started pushing hard at this point, trying to get back to the
car in time. The last two miles were exhausting. Every rise/hill we
came upon, we were sure the car would be on the other side. The
disappointment when we couldn't see it was devastating.
Eventually, we made it back to the car, completely and utterly
exhausted. At the time, it wasn't all that fun, but it has become a
funny story... Remember that time we accidentally hiked 14 miles? And my
brother refuses to ever go hiking with us again.