Superior Shoreline Chapter

Au Sable falls by Kenny W., Pictured Rocks by Lindsay E.

About the Chapter:

Shoreline Trail

Shoreline Trail, photo by Kenny W.

This geographic region of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is sparsely populated.  With the exception of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore our trail sees a paucity of hikers and backpackers.  More than 50% of our membership resides more than 200 miles distant.  Our emphasis is not, therefore, on monthly meetings, large group work sessions or get togethers and fundraisers.  Rather, our emphasis is on maintaining through a small group of dedicated trail workers access to the beauty and power of the big lake, Lake Superior, via a trail on which one’s mind, body and spirit meld with nature, not on a computer screen or by cell phone.  This is a trail and experience that one makes personal.

We invite you to join us. Use the links below to connect with us and learn more.

Connect:

Please contact us to find out about upcoming events and volunteer opportunities:

Maps:

View this area of the Trail on our online map here

Purchase Retail Maps MI-09, MI-10

Current Volunteers:

Trail Report Form (pdf)

Emergency Card

Events:

Click on an event to see more detail.

Grand Marais – Trail Town

Kayaking in the bay

Grand Marais is a beautiful, quaint village located on the south shore of Lake Superior at the eastern end of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

Grand Marais has become a four-season destination for hikers, campers, fishermen, winter sports enthusiasts and those who are looking for an outdoor adventure in a peaceful setting. Learn more about the Trail Town of Grand Marais.

Trail Overview:

MUNISING AND WEST

Munising, photo by Sara C.

The trail is blazed with blue markers (both blue diamonds and rectangular blue blazes).  Numerous road crossings make convenient trail access points to the different sections of the trail.  Leave no trace camping is permitted anywhere along the trail in this section; however, drinking water is not readily available.  Pets are permitted but must be on a lead.

A very pretty hike can be found starting at Valley Spur (map link).  

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Drive 4 miles south and west from Munising on M-94 to the Valley Spur Trailhead where ample parking is provided.  Go back across M-94.  The trail soon goes downhill and across two plank bridges. It then traverses a series of climbs through beautiful mixed forest, the large fir trees and Canadian Yew being a wonderful part of this section. The trail passes The Ponds where a campsite with fire pit can be found. Less than 50 yards beyond the campsite and between the two ponds for which the site is named there is a critter crossing between the two bodies of water. Time spent here especially in the evening may result in animal sightings.  Turtles are often seen on the logs in the pond on the north side of the trail.

The trail undulates thereafter for its entire length.  Roughly 2.5 miles west of The Ponds after crossing FR-2274 one arrives at the site of a WW II POW camp, Camp AuTrain.  There are many remnants of the camp. Continuing on can be found a section of large deciduous trees with minimal undergrowth, then back into a deeper, beautiful forest including lovely rest areas to be found under large fir trees. At Buck Bay Creek there is a short path along the east side of the creek leading to a beautiful unimproved campsite on the bank of the creek; this campsite is preceded by another approximately 200 yards east that overlooks the creek and this campsite. The next road access H03, approximately 4.25 miles offers another end point. From H03 to H01 is a pleasant up and down trail through mostly deciduous forest with a distance of approximately 4.4 miles. The town of Chatham a few miles south on H01 offers an ice cream stand during the summer months. North on H01 is beautiful Lake Superior.

Contact the Chapter via email, ssc@northcountrytrail.org, for more detailed information.

GRAND MARAIS AND EAST TO THE TWO HEARTED RIVER

Blind Sucker Ford

Blind Sucker Ford, photo by Kenny W.

The west end of our trail is approximately 35 miles in length commencing in northern Luce County and extending to the very wonderful and hiker friendly community of Grand Marais in eastern Alger County.  Numerous road crossings make convenient trail access points; however, it is recommended that one utilize local maps that show road names and numbers.

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Starting from Two Hearted River State Forest Campground (map link) the trail crosses the river by means of a suspension bridge. From this point west to Grand Marais the trail is relatively flat and generally follows along the bluff overlooking Lake Superior.  The first 3 miles west is an interesting hike where Mother Nature in her fury can be witnessed. This area was hit by the 2012 Duck Lake Fire. The hottest point in the fire may be found in these 3 miles.  It is in the process of re-growth.  The Two Hearted Campground is a nice, no frills place to spend a few days. Even though the large trees that once populated the trail are now gone, hiking along the cliff over Lake Superior is awesome. The panoramic views of the Big Lake, as referred to by locals, are showstoppers. Many places exist along the trail with ready access to the lake. It is an area populated by bear, wolves and the occasional moose.

Approximately 17 miles west of the Two Hearted River mouth brings one to Muskallonge State Park, a very hiker friendly park, where the trail leads directly through the campground before resuming its course along the bluff overlooking the lake.  The winter months in this region are often brutal with snow remaining on the trail into May.

Continuing west to Grand Marais, an additional roughly 17 miles, the views of the lake remain unspoiled.  Currently, approximately 7 miles west of Muskallonge State Park one fords the Blind Sucker River before continuing on to Grand Marais.  The river has a solid bottom and is just over knee depth.  In high water times it can be swift.

The entire shoreline from the Two Hearted to Grand Marais is known as a rock hunter’s paradise with a large display kiosk at the road entrance to Muskallonge State Park.  Other than in the immediate area of the Two Hearted River mouth, Muskallonge State Park and where the trail crosses or is adjacent to the roadway, one is not likely to see another hiker.  This area adjacent to the shore is also classified as Critical Dunes where construction activity is strictly limited and regulated.  Logging operations are prevalent in several areas along the trail, all with prior notice by the Michigan DNR to NCTA after both parties weigh the benefits of the proposed operation.  The logging is beneficial to the health of the forest.

Contact the Chapter via email, ssc@northcountrytrail.org, for more detailed information.

Area Links:

Suggested Hikes:

Show Suggested Hikes

Grand Marais Segment:

Beginning at the mouth of the Two Hearted River and continuing through Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore. Hike the entire section, or just a part of it. Use the information below and view this on our online interactive map here.
Map
Sections with Chiefs
View Segments and Mileage Chart

Munising Segment:

From Munising Falls to Rock River Road. Hike the entire section or just a part of it. Use the information below and view our online interactive map here.

Munising Segment Brochure
Munising Segment Map
Munising Segment Coordinates
Commentary on Trail Sections
View Munising Sections
View Munising Waypoints