NPS photo / Gregg Bruff
Kayak Safety (pdf)
Lake Superior is unpredictable! Kayakers must be prepared for cold temperatures, high winds, fog, and rough seas that may occur at any time. Be constantly alert to changing conditions and consult the current marine forecast before starting any trip (NOAA 1-906-475-5212 or Marine Band Radio Channel 16).
Within Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, put-in points for kayaks are Sand Point, Miners Beach, Twelvemile Beach and Hurricane River. Additional put-in points in the Munising area include Grand Island Landing, Munising City Marina, Munising/Brown's Addition boat ramp, and the Anna River. In Grand Marais, you may launch at the Grand Marais harbor beach and marina.
The Pictured Rocks extend for 15 miles and include sheer walls all the way to the water line. These exposed cliffs offer no way off the water if wind and waves increase.
Be aware of boat tours that leave Munising on a regular basis during the summer months. They run fairly close to the shoreline with a turnaround point at Chapel Beach or Spray Falls. Give them plenty of room and allow for their wake.
Hypothermia occurs when your body's core temperature is reduced below normal levels. Cold water conducts heat away from your body 25 times faster than cold air. Uncontrollable shaking, slurred speech, or difficulty moving are all warning signs -- you must be warmed immediately. If submerged in Lake Superior, it is important to conserve body heat to increase your chances for survival. Wear your flotation device, huddle with others or pull legs together and up to your chest to help conserve heat. Do not attempt to swim long distances.
Be prepared with provisions for at least one extra day. In your gear include PFDs, wet suit, spray skirt, whistle/emergency signal device, bilge pump, lighting device, self-contained stove, extra paddle, compass, maps, first aid kit, insect repellent, tow line, rain gear, waterproof matches, and dry storage containers.
Camping and Kayaking