• Indianhead Point stands tall along the Pictured Rocks. Photo copyright Craig Blacklock

    Pictured Rocks

    National Lakeshore Michigan

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  • Grand Sable Dunes temporary closure to all public entry for visitor safety

    Grand Sable Dunes are rapidly eroding into Sable Creek and Lake Superior. The area from the Ghost Forest Trail north to Lake Superior then along the shoreline to the west side of Sable Creek is temporarily closed. Follow closure signs for your safety. More »

Nature & Science

Bridalveil Falls cascades over the Pictured Rocks cliffs in a lovely springtime display.

Bridalveil Falls

NPS photo

Towering above Lake Superior are the most prominent of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore's geographic and scientific features, the multicolored sandstone cliffs for which the lakeshore is named. These cliffs reach to a height of 200 feet above the lake and extend 15 of the 42 miles of shoreline within park boundaries.

Equally important as these cliffs in geographic and scientific significance are the Grand Sable Dunes, sand dunes perched atop five square miles of high sand bluffs at the eastern portion of the lakeshore. Miles of unspoiled beaches are a third prominent feature of the lakeshore.

The scientific features of the park reach far beyond the visually spectacular. Because of its location within the transition zone between the boreal and eastern deciduous forest biomes, Pictured Rocks has elements of both forest types. Hardwood forests of maple and beech are prevalent, but conifers dominate some sites. Soils range from well-drained sandy soils to hydric soils. Aquatic habitats, including streams, ponds, marshes and bogs are abundant. Lake Superior wields a powerful climatic force over the region; by keeping adjacent lands warmer in winter and cooler in summer, it greatly influences physical conditions and hence biotic communities.

Along with university researchers and other partners, the national lakeshore's Science and Natural Resources Division conducts studies on resource management issues involving wildlife, water quality, invasive species, and forest health. For more information on the park's science mission and activities, go to:

Pictured Rocks NL Science Strategy Plan (pdf)
Pictured Rocks NL Forest Vegetation Monitoring (pdf)
Pictured Rocks NL Water Quality Monitoring (pdf)

Great Lakes Inventory and Monitoring Network - NPS website

 

Did You Know?

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and the Hiawatha National Forest share a visitor center at 400 E. Munising Ave. in Munising, Michigan.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore shares a visitor center with the Hiawatha National Forest. The interagency visitor center was dedicated in 1988, and serves over 40,000 people annually. Other federal interagency visitor centers are located in Alaska, Utah, California, and Idaho. More...