“This is the most beautiful thing I’ve seen so far in the Upper Peninsula,” said my wife in amazement as she caught her first glimpse of the blue waters below the Log Slide scenic overlook.
I believe she followed that up with stunned silence and then, “Wow.”
And it’s true. This is a truly gorgeous spot. Part of Pictured Rocks, Loggers used to slide logs down this steep slope and into Lake Superior, where they were then hauled away and turned into toilet paper. Or, you know, boards and stuff.
The actual log slide is long gone, but the sand that has been there for centuries remains. This area is part of the fantastic Grand Sable Dunes. Yes, we have sand dunes in the Upper Peninsula!
It’s fun to run down the steep slope, but be warned, it’s hard work getting back to the top. A nearby sign warns that it can take as little as five minutes to reach the lake on your way down, but up to an HOUR to get back up. It also warns not to do this if you have a heart condition or generally aren’t in good shape.
From the top of Log Slide’s vista you’ll see Au Sable Point (and lighthouse) to the west and the Grand Sable Banks and Dunes to the east.
We popped into Log Slide Scenic Overlook on a sunny Saturday in July as we headed east past Munising on our way toward Grand Marais. It turned out to be a great little stop.
We followed the well-marked interpretive trail toward the overlook and did the “self-guided” call-in option. (You call a number from your cell phone and a voice gives you information about the area as you walk the trail.)
We took our shoes off before setting foot on the sugar sand trail and strolled toward a point where the trail appears to vanish. And as we reached the peak of the trail we were rewarded with that view I mentioned early. It’s something else.
A family from Ohio showed up not long after we did, and their wildly energetic teenage son was quick to dash down the slope to the lakeshore. He found out the hard way that getting back up wasn’t as easy as he thought, so we all had a good laugh as he finally reached the top, huffing, and puffing.
I’d been to Log Slide once as a kid, so this was only my second time there. And man, I’ve been missing out. This is one of the places I’m positive I’ll return to regularly from here on out. Next time we’ll bring the kids and beach towels, then hike down to the lake and stay awhile.
If time allowed I also would have really liked to hike out to the Au Sable Lighthouse, and generally, just stay in this area longer. There’s much to see here and either Grand Marais or Munising is a good jumping-off point for all of it.
As it stood, we couldn’t hang out too long because we needed to find a campsite before dark. Luckily, we found one and ended up camping at Blind Sucker #2, east of Grand Marais.
Bottom line: Log slide is one of the best scenic overlooks in the U.P. You need to see this place.
Time required: Twenty minutes to several hours, depending on how much time you want to spend here. If you’re in a hurry, the lookout is only a couple of minutes from the parking lot.
Other things to note: There are two trails here, the sandy trail and then a handicap-accessible boardwalk to a separate viewing platform (but with pretty much the same view).
How to get there: About 8 miles west of Grand Marais or 24 miles east of Munising on H-58. Road signs on H-58 clearly mark the turnoff.
guest post by Jesse Land