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.
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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