A Visit to Chapel Rock, at Pictured Rocks Near Munising
If you’ve never been up to the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, you are missing so much. It’s equally both beautiful and dangerous. Beautiful for the rock formations, thick woods, sandy beaches, rolling waves off Lake Superior, hidden caves and more.
Some of the area’s rock formations go unseen by many who sail by the cliffs in their motorboats, speedboats, pontoons, etc…..Sure, you see a lot that way, but there is much more hidden beauty and breathtaking scenery; you must walk the trails above the cliffs to see what you’re missing. Of course, don’t get too close to the cliffs, because they do tend to break off unannounced and you could end up a carcass at the bottom of the lake.
One of the sights worth visiting is Chapel Rock, along Chapel Beach and next to Chapel Falls. Yeah, you can see it just fine from the water, but that’s just a start. If you wanna hike to it, I hope you like to walk…because it’s a 2½ mile trek from the parking lot at the end of Chapel Road.
But your walk is not just an anticipatory journey to Chapel Rock…the trail takes you to some incredible views high above the lake…also to Chapel Falls, which looks like a huge wet slide!
The area was named a few hundred years ago by French explorers as “La Chappelle”. There used to be a connection between the rock and the mainland, but time and erosion has caused this arch to diminish and finally collapse in the 1940s. Now there is a single tree that juts out of the top, completing the picture.
Take Chapel Road to the Chapel Basin parking lot. Get out and start your walk. The trail will take you by Chapel Lake, Chapel Falls, Chapel Creek, Little Chapel Lake, Chapel Beach Campground, Chapel Beach, Chapel Beach Falls, and finally to Chapel Rock. You might be all ‘chapeled’ out by then, but I doubt it.
If you make it there, you will be impressed with the sights you’ll witness. They are truly awe-inspiring. Take a look at the gallery below for some great photos and see what I mean!
MORE TO EXPLORE: Michigan Ice Caves
MORE TO EXPLORE: Michigan's Grand Canyon
MORE TO EXPLORE: A Look Inside the Devil's Ice Box