I’ve experienced a lot of “wow” moments while hiking. Usually these come after a long, hard climb to the top of a hill, bluff, or mountain. Rarely are these moments gifted to you after a short walk from your car. In this case, it is. I am so excited to write this post, mostly so I can relive the experience. Welcome to one of my all-time favorite views, Log Slide of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
Before this recent trip to the Pictured Rocks I had been to the area once before. While I hold a variety of memories from the initial trip, none of them stand out in my mind the way my visit to Log Slide does. When considering to make the trip a second time, remembering Log Slide was a big part of the reason for returning. I simply wanted to see it again. I wanted to see if I remembered it’s grandeur correctly. Boy, did I ever.
How to get there: The Log Slide Overlook is 43 miles from Munising. Everything is a drive when visiting the Pictured Rocks and coming from Munising, Log Slide is on the other side of the park. It’s worth the drive. The overlook area has a large parking lot and bathrooms.
After parking, walk the short trail to the overlook site. This trail brings you by old logging equipment and historical signs. The trail is dirt and sand, before changing over to all sand.
Let’s talk a little history before we get to the dune. Log Slide is aptly named for being the location of a log slide that lumberjacks would use to get lumber from the forests above down to the shore. While it’s gone today, there used to be a wooden chute down the length of log slide to help guide the logs. Legend has it that logs going down the dry chute would roll fast enough and cause enough friction that the chute would occasionally catch fire. Logs would end up in the lake where they were gathered and brought to the mill.
When you get to the base of the overlook, a short climb will bring you to the top of the dune.
What’s on the other side of the sand, you ask? A 200 foot drop to the shore of Lake Superior. In places, this drop is vertical.
Now for the view that hooked me years ago. If you walk to the edge of the dune and look to your right…
Simply stunning. The white Grand Sable Dunes and the blue of that water. While log slide is one part of the dunes, these dunes stretch for miles and reach 300 feet above the water. Even in the pictures, it’s a breathtaking view. It’s even better and more awe-inspiring in person.
There used to be a wooden viewing platform here which allowed for even better views of the dunes. Sadly, the platform was no more when it fell 100 feet down the dune. It has not been rebuilt yet.
If you look to your left, you can see the Au Sable Lighthouse a few miles in the distance.
It’s that white little dot on the land. Oh, and the blues of the water.
If you zoom in further, the water starts to look just like the sky. We will get up close and personal to the lighthouse in a later post.
You might be wondering how else can I experience this natural beauty? Well, some people like to climb down the dunes to Lake Superior. While there is nothing stopping you from doing this, do so at your own risk. There are plenty of horror stories of people climbing down and not being able to climb back up. It’s a quick climb down but climbing up can be quite the challenge, especially if you aren’t in great physical shape. Have you ever tried to climb sand? It resists being climbed. So fair warning.
So while this isn’t a hike on it’s own, it can be added to a longer hike courtesy of the North Country Trail, which runs right by the overlook. This place is amazing. Not just the overlook, but the entire area. I’m excited to share more with you.