Hoosier Canoe & Kayak Club

SK: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and Grand Island, MI

  • August 11, 2019
  • August 17, 2019

Please RSVP for this trip click here on  Julie SInclair to send an e-mail to her since space is limited and first-come/first serve.

Sea Kayak Trip Announcement – 
                Pictured Rock National Lakeshore  -   August 11 – August 17, 2019
                Optional Trip to Sault Ste. Marie (August 18-20)

Ahoy, Fellow Sea Kayakers! This August,  we will trip up to the UP to the beautiful Picture Rocks National Lakeshore.   There is an optional add-on trip to Sault Ste. Marie Locks. 

Paddlers from the club visited Pictured Rocks in 2011 and a link to pictures from that trip is at:https://www.flickr.com/photos/merlin3d/albums/72157627566198598

Trip Sponsors: 
            Julie Sinclair and Jim Sprandel for Pictured Rocks
           Angela Henley for Sault Ste. Marie

Pictured Rocks High-Level Schedule:

               Arrive on Saturday, August 10th  at Bay Furnace Campground in Munising, Michigan. We have already reserved 4 campsites. Max per site is 4 tents, 8 people and 2 cars. This will be our base camp through the week with checkout on the morning of  Saturday, August 17th.

Pictured Rocks Day-Trip Paddling Options:

We will be camping at Bay Furnace campground in Munising and there are many day paddles within an easy drive. The list below shows some options that look promising and we will investigate others.  Bottom Line:  Plenty of interesting paddling to do in the area independent of Lake Superior’s disposition. We can also through in an optional hike.

·         Miner’s Beach – Chapel Rock (Spray Falls) – On this trip, we will paddle along the cliffs that Pictured Rocks is famous for.   This paddle is very dependent on lake conditions due to limited shoreline access after leaving Miner’s Beach.   It is about 7.5 miles from Miner’s Beach to Chapel Rock and Spray Falls is 1.5 mile further east from Chapel Falls.  Going to Spray Falls and back may too far for one day (20 miles) but we have identified  an interesting,  shorter alternative (see Beaver Lake below).

·         Grand Island-East Side – Paddle from the Sand Point Park Office up to Trout Bay on the East Side of Grand Island.  It is about 5.5 miles from the Park Office to the camp sites in Trout Bay.  The crossing from the mainland Park Office over to Grand Island is only about 1 mile and largely protected.   The east side of Grand has rocky and only has a few landing spots until you get to Trout Bay.

·        Grand Island-West Side– Paddle from Sand Point Office to the west side of Grand Island  It is about 3.3 mile to get to paddle across Murray Bay and get to Williams Landing on the south tip of the island.   The west shore is about another mile from Williams Landing so we can choose how far up the west side of the island we want to paddle.  Alternatively, we could just explore Murray Bay on the South end of Grand Island if the open lake is too rough.

·         Grand Marais Options – Grand Marais Harbor is about 75 minutes from Bay Furnace Campground and gives us several options.  First, the harbor is very protected if open lake conditions are rough and you can pick conditions that satisfy where you want to play.  If you go out of the harbor to the east, there is a surfable beach given north or west winds.  You can pick more moderate conditions to play in within the harbor.  If the lake is cooperative, we could paddle from Grand Marais to Sable Falls and Grand Sable Dunes (6 miles one-way).  

·         Beaver Lake or Au Train Lake – If Lake Superior is too rough, we could drive to Beaver Lake (45 minutes from Bay Furnace) or Au Train Lake (22 minutes) – both lakes are about 2 miles long.  Beaver Lake is completely within the National Lakeshore so it would undeveloped.  One interesting open-lake possibility would be to launch at Little Beaver Lake, paddle through Beaver Lake–Beaver Creek to Lake Superior, and then west 3 miles to Spray Falls .   This would make for a 10-mile round trip visit to Spray Falls - short enough that people could explore Beaver Lake on the way back if they wanted.

·         Au Train River – We could also paddle the Au Train river if conditions preclude going out on Lake Superior.  This is not far from Bay Furnace and would be a river view of the area.     

The following link provides a map of the area: https://www.nps.gov/piro/planyourvisit/maps.htm .   I’ll send out a link to Navigation Charts to participants before the trip as well as additional campground information. 

Trip Requirements:

·           Rescue Training - Must have training in assisted open water rescue skills prior to course – We want people along who can rescue me if we capsize.

·           Pod Discipline – Attendees will be expected to paddle with the group.  We will always have a sweep and lead – people need to stay together.  This is big water and things do happen.  The water does get rough and is cool even in August.  Life jackets must be worn while paddling.

-       Paddling Skills -   Must feel comfortable and have experience paddling in 2-foot wave conditions from all directions including broach and rear quartering.     

-       Must be able to paddle 10-12  miles per day for the 6-day trip at a 3.2-3.6 mph pace.

·           Paddling Equipment:  Sea Kayaks only – 16 foot or longer. Lake Superior is really big.  Spray skirt required, tow rope, pumps, paddle float,  If you have a GPS, compass, map, VHF radio and/or SPOT, please bring them (if you don’t, don’t buy them since we should have one or two for the group.)

·           Wet Suit/Dry Suit:  Sometimes, you can get by without a dry suit or wet suit in August.  Sometimes, you can’t.   We will monitor water temperatures and get back to people as the summer progresses.

 Sault Ste. Marie Locks High Level Schedule August 17 – 20th

Arrive on Saturday, August 18th  at Sherman Park. campground on the St. Mary’s River in historic Sault Ste Marie, Michigan. 

Paddling options:

  1. From Sherman Park upriver to Round Island to visit the  gulls and cormorants, then stop for a lunch on the Sand Islands at the beginning of the river;
  2. From Sherman Park downriver through the locks  and back across the river to Sugar Island and lunch on Voyageur Island Park, a small island dedicated to paddle access only;
  3. Or we can drive to Sugar Island, put in on the north shore and look for moose in the wetlands along the shore; If the weather is nice and everyone has a passport, we’ll cross the river into Canada and paddle at Gros Cap: full on exposure to Lake Superior, granite cliffs (maybe we’ll see the peregrines that nest there; we will certainly see eagles). From Gros Cap we paddle to a nice granite arch and a little waterfall. On the way back we will stop at Alan’s Rock for lunch; 
  4. On the last full day we can break camp early, drive to the Les Cheneaux islands, set up camp there and spend a day paddling in the islands. We’ll have a farewell dinner in Hessel and you’re almost at the Mackinac Bridge to start your journey home
Hoosier Canoe & Kayak Club

Background image provided by Karl Zemlin www.zemlinphoto.com

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