The 42 mile North Country Trail through Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is full of surprises and quite an adventure. One would think the trail would be one gorgeous overlook after another featuring Lake Superior and outstanding cliffs. There are tons of these types of views, especially as you get farther west towards Munising, but the trail and the park is more than just a scenic shoreline. Pictured Rocks Spray Falls is one of the highlights.
Related: Pictured Rocks is more than just a lakeshore
Pictured Rocks Spray Falls is a park highlight
I pointed this fact out in a previous post about the park. One place is so cool that it deserves its own 500 words and a separate URL. Spray Falls was the coolest point of interest on the trail outside the mind boggling views of Lake Superior, cliffs, and fall foliage. That is because the falls had all those aspects plus a ridiculously beautiful waterfall thrown in. The fact that it tumbles into arguably the most beautiful lake in the world is another perk.
I had seen pictures of the falls, and I was looking forward to checking it out. Something as beautiful as an impressive waterfall wows more in person. Spray Falls was no exception.
There is a sign on the trail for the overlook, so you cannot miss it. The trail is right next to the lake at this point, so it is a short jaunt to the viewpoint. I was greeted with a cascading shot of water exploding into Lake Superior over colored rocks topped with fall colors. The view just does not get any better than this.
Spray Falls from above
After taking your fill of the falls, you then cross over Spray Creek about a half mile later. You can walk right up to the edge if you follow the creek, but be careful. I have seen too many reports of fatalities at waterfalls in national parks lately. I would hate to see someone get foolish and try and get too good of a view of the edge of the falls. Do not become a part of the spray.
Spray Falls views from the North Country Trail east and west
The great thing about the Pictured Rocks Lakeshore Trail (part of the North Country Trail) is you see the same thing from different vantage points. There are countless views from the lakeshore, and first you get the views from the east and then you come up to the object, then you get views looking back from the west. This of course depends on the route you walk. I walked east to west. This is helpful because the sun may not be at an optimal place at one view, but then when you get on the other side, the sun might be perfect.
The best view of Spray Falls is from the east, but there are views of it from the west too although farther away. Don’t forget to look for it from the west because it is so far away you will not hear the crashing of the water. Cruise ships monitor this part of the park, and from the ships or from a kayak would be an awesome way to view these falls. You can also kayak or canoe the whole length of the shoreline.
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Fantastic photos Ted! I would be so tempted to engage in a little bit of cliff jumping – lol that waterfall looks amazing!!
Meg @ Mapping Megan recently posted..Inspiring Children to Discover and Learn About the World in Which They Live
You would get a might rude surprise when you splashed into Lake Superior. Lake Superior is icy cold. If it was really, really hot though, it would feel great.
Hilarious that you note that one of your shots was taken from a ‘safe vantage point atop the falls’!! It looks pretty precarious to me! Looks like a great hiking trail to explore.
Charli recently posted..Is Global Weirding Affecting Your Travels?
I was on the side of the creek with a zoom lens, and I zoomed in a bit. I am not going to be the next person to go over a falls in a national park. You here about that happening all too much especially in Yosemite.
wandering educators recently posted..Frommer’s EasyGuide to Chicago
Thank you WE 🙂
Dang, Spray Falls looks awesome! The colors, the waterfall, the view around it… Love that top picture you have there. Now I want to go there, seriously.
Pola (Jetting Around) recently posted..Book giveaway: Tales From the Cross [Ends 10/30/2014]
Pictured Rocks is only 6-7 hours away. I think you should check it out sometime.
The cliff and the falls – such perfect scenery. The hike looks worth it all. 🙂
Nichelle recently posted..Travel Blogger Interview – A Luxury Travel Blog
You definitely should. I highly recommend.
I’m pretty sure I didn’t see Spray Falls on my one and only trip to Pictured Rocks. I think I’d remember if I did. Glad you captured it so beautifully; it really is stunning!
Francesca (@WorkMomTravels) recently posted..Halloween traditions around the world – past and present
The only way to see Spray Falls is by hiking in or taking the boat cruise. I recommend both.
What an amazing waterfall! I had never heard of this place…truly amazing!
Margherita Ragg recently posted..Top Wellness Retreats in Europe
Pictured Rocks is in a remote place, so not very well known or popular, but quite a beautiful place.
You’ve really helped throw gasoline on my growing fire of interest in the Great Lakes. I know I’ve mentioned it already, but I’m really loving all the unique discoveries along the inland lakes.
Trips By Lance recently posted..Travel in Books: Finding Inspiration on Page
You cannot go wrong on a Great Lake.
Fantastic photos! Looks like this would be a lovely trek.
Sprays Falls is a beautiful destination.
Wow, it’s so beautiful! I wish I could go there one day! xXx
Agness recently posted..Christmas Traditions In Poland
I hope you make it Agness. It is beautiful park.
Wow, always wanted to go to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and it looks like you not only found the right place in the UP to go but went at the precise right time of year. That picture of Spray Falls with the burnt orange foliage is almost screensaver material, lol! Nice post.
I love the UP. First time to Pictured Rocks, and I cannot believe it took me so long to finally come. Fall was a good choice, and I got thoroughly lucky with the weather.
What river is Spray Falls, and how do fish i.e. brookies, browns, and rainbow trout, migrate to and from the source..if there are any?
It is Spray Creek. I do not know if there are any trout in this creek. It is pretty shallow at the source, so probably not worth fishing.