Hoosier Canoe & Kayak Club

SK Michigan Upper Peninsula - Pictured Rocks & SE UP

  • September 12, 2020
  • September 20, 2020
  • Munising & St. Ignace Michigan UP


Saturday September 12, 2020 to Sunday September 20, 2020

We will base camp in two different locations in the Upper Peninsula, Munising and St. Ignace near Mackinac, and explore these fascinating areas.

Trip Sponsor and Technical Leads: 

Linda Decker lsdecker@att.net   Trip Sponsor

Angela Henley angela.henley@gmail.com

Nate Strong strong.nathan@att.net

Trip Itinerary:





Pictured Rocks  National Lakeshore

Sat     Sept 12

Sun    Sept 13

Mon   Sept 14

Tues   Sept 15

Destination Options:

Paddle Pictured Rocks Lakeshore,Spray Falls, Grand Island, Marquette Presque Isle, Scott Falls, Grand Marais, Au Train

Bay Furnace Campground

Munising Michigan

Campground is very nice. Pit toilets only


Wed   Sept 16



Short Optional Paddle


Bay Furnace to Straits State Park

Southeast UP

Thur  Sept 17

Fri     Sept 18

Sat    Sept 19

Destination Options:

Narnia, Les Cheneaux Is, Mackinac Bridge, Wilderness State Park

Straits State Park

St. Ignace,  Michigan

Electric and Showers


Sun    Sept 20



Munising Area

In the Munising area there are many options 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. 

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.  

Southeast Upper Peninsula   

We will be camping on the north side of the Mackinac Bridge.

e. This is a good centralized location that we can use to explore the area with an easy drive to multiple launch sites. Some of the destinations we are considering include:

Drummond Island

Wilderness State Park, Lake Michigan

Narnia near the Dolomite Mines (my favorite paddle of 2019)

Les Cheneaux Islands

Trip Requirements:

We will be paddling in open water in Lake Superior, Huron and Michigan therefore intermediate skills and experience is required along with the following:

 Rescue Training - Must have training in self and assisted open water rescue skills prior to the trip

 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 at a 3.2-3.6 mph pace.

 Paddling Equipment:  Sea Kayaks only – 16 foot or longer.  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  Will need to dress for the water/ air temperature. We will monitor water temperatures as we near departure date.

Registering for Trip

Register for trip or questions:  Contact  Linda Decker lsdecker@att.net

Participants will need to make reservations for campsites




Additional Information

Pictured Rocks

Sept 11-16

 (5 nights)

Bay Furnace Campground Recreation.gov

I am on site 41

Very nice campground but no electric or water at sites, pit toilets

Straits State Park

Sept 16-20

(4 nights)

Michigan State Parks

I am on site 106 in Lower West Campground

Electric and showers

Covid-19 Safety:

To minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19, we will be following the HCKC Corona Virus Guidelines which includes maintaining social distancing. All participants should bring personal protection items such as face mask and sanitizer.

Please complete the Waiver/ COVID Screening Form the day prior to the event and submit to the Trip Sponsor/Lead ( include TEMPERATURE). Anyone experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 or direct exposure as detailed on the form, should not attend the event.

Links to the Corona Virus Guidelines and the Waiver/COVID Screening   can be found on the Sea Kayaking page on the HCKC site.

Hoosier Canoe & Kayak Club

Background image provided by Karl Zemlin www.zemlinphoto.com

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