Hiking the Pictured Rocks – really hiking – is amazing. It is one of the trips that will stick with me forever. Two hundred foot cliffs, numerous waterfalls, lake shore as far as the eye can see and mountainous dunes.
As usual, Steve and I were eager to seek out the supposedly impressive waterfalls in our visit to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. One such waterfall was Rainbow Falls. However, we were both a bit disappointed with this waterfall.
Michigan’s Waterfalls really put those in the Great Smoky Mountains to shame (I’m a bit bias though), but there is one that stood out from the rest. Grotto Falls. Grotto Falls is a 25 foot waterfall that has one major drop. This drop falls over a ledge, providing visitors the chance to walk in behind the waterfall for a different perspective.
Inspirational vistas is what to be excepted when hiking the 8.2 mile round trip hike to Charlies Bunion. The trail begins on the Appalachian trail at the Newfound Gap Parking lot. The first 1.5 miles is all up hill and extremely rocky but the reward is a view of the North Carolina Smokies.
Sheer rock cliffs, unruly waves, miles of forest and wild waterfalls. Who could say no to that? That’s the scenery you can expect to see when you hike the North Country Trail in Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore. The trail follows, literally, along Lake Superior from Munising to Grand Marais and offers some spectacular views.
This year I’m finally seeing the Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore how it was meant to be seen; by hiking. On our annual memorial day weekend trip, Steve and I hiked to Spray Falls, something we had never done before. After experiencing this hike, I couldn’t wait to get back out on the trails and see what other magnificent sights I could discover.
This was my first trip to the Grand Canyon, Steve’s second. Honestly, I wasn’t very impressed. I’m not sure what it was exactly but it lacked the appeal of other National Parks that we had been to. Still, it looks pretty impressive on paper. Nearly 5 million people visit every year and it is a 1 mile down from the rims to the floor of the canyon. We were on the South Rim and ended up seeing the Desert Hermit, Hopi House, the Grand Canyon Train, The Watchtower and a few other nice spots along that rim.
See the rugged snow-covered peaks stretching up towards the heavens above. The lake valleys that reflect those mountains and are surrounded with wildflowers in the spring. Imagine the wildlife; elk, bear, moose and wolves. The crisp morning air, fresh and energizing. The Grand Teton Mountain range is exactly that. I haven’t seen many mountains in my life but so far I have yet to find any that are more majestic and magical than these.
I’m not sure if it’s just a Michigan thing but whenever we go anywhere we always look for the best place to see a sunset. And a place with water is where we always look first.