The picturesque town of Grand Marais is only forty-nine miles from Munising by way of H-58, but I can guarantee that the trip and all of the great stops along the way will take several hours. In fact, you could easily spend a few days checking out all of the points of interest.
Explore Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
The vast majority of H-58 takes you through the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Your cell phone will have little to no service on H-58, and that is totally fine because you can #latergram all the pictures, I promise. But, make sure you pack an extra memory card because you will be taking lots of pictures.
Upper Peninsula Waterfalls Near H-58
Perhaps one of the best parts of H-58 is that many of the attractions are only a short walk from the parking lots that are just off the road. Case in point, the first stop on H-58 should be Munising Falls, and the trail out to the base of the falls is only a five-minute walk. Make sure that you pick up the “Day Hikes” brochure from the ranger station before you leave Munising Falls; it’s going to be your guidebook for the rest of the day.
Make sure that your next stop is the Miners Castle overlook, with the iconic Munising landmark only a few steps from the parking lot, you’re sure to find lots of natural beauty. There is even a pathway that will lead you almost out to the top of the “castle.” Near the end of the summer, a quick trip to Miners Beach (just east of the Miners Castle overlook) will afford you the opportunity to wade almost to the base of the sandstone cliff and tower.
After Miners Castle and its beach, H-58 curves inland and gives you a great sense of just how diverse the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore really can be. You will travel through great hardwood forests, stands of pine trees, peats and bogs, and along several lakes.
Eventually, your trip will lead to the Log Slide, which is a relic of Michigan’s logging industry. Lumberjacks took advantage of gravity and the proximity to the lake where they built a chute to easily get the logs to the transport boats waiting below.
Brave visitors can bound down the dunes to the icy waters below. Beware of the temptation to tear down the dunes to the lake, though, the return trip will take over an hour and requires great physical condition.
Standing atop the log slide and looking east provides wonderful views of the Grand Sable Dunes. Those same dunes are visible from below at the mouth of Sable Creek, just downriver from the beautiful Sable Falls.
Best Places to Eat in Grand Marias
The final stop on H-58 is Grand Marais where visitors should check out some of the best Grand Marais restaurants:
The West Bay Diner has awesome from scratch home-cooked meals (but be prepared to wait for them), the Lake Superior Brewing Company is one of the oldest brew pubs in the state, and folks love their blueberry wheat, stout, and other beers. The Sherpa Shack has some awesome made-to-order grab-and-go items and gourmet ice cream. The Grand Marais Tavern is a big open family-friendly place to snag a great pizza.
This day trip through Pictured Rocks is the perfect path for leaf-peepers, those looking for the perfect secluded beach, or anyone looking to take things slow and enjoy the ride. When you get back into Munising, grab a burger and some libations while pouring through the pics of your day with your traveling companions.
What are your favorite places to explore on H-58?