Trip #2: Chapel Trail
The Chapel area is the sum of four spectacular parts: Chapel Falls, Chapel Lake, Chapel Rock and Chapel Beach–a quintessential Pictured Rocks spot where Chapel Lake tumbles down rock ledges to a sandy Lake Superior beach.
Arrive at the Pictured Rocks Visitor Center in Munising before 4:30 p.m. to pick up your backcountry permit for the Chapel campground. (Late? Get your permit first thing the next day.) Check out Munising Falls before you head west on M-28 10 miles to Au Train and the Pinewood Lodge B & B for a night of rustic relaxation. Dinner is at Foggy’s Bar and Steakhouse (906-387-3357) where you choose your steak and have the option of grilling it yourself or letting the experts do it. Rooms at Pinewood start at $120. Reservations recommended. 906-892-8300. www.pine woodlodgebnb.com
Stuff yourself at Pinewood’s full breakfast (think omelets, Finnish pancakes … ) then head to the lakeshore and park your car at the Chapel trailhead. Backpack in the 3 miles to Chapel campsite–your rest spot is the wooden overlook on these, the longest falls in the lakeshore. After lunch, pull yourself away from the glorious beach and river mouth that are just steps from your campsite, and throw snacks in a day pack for a 3-mile there-and-back atop cliffs to Grand Portal Point–one of the lakeshore’s more prominent outcroppings.
Pack out to your car. If you have time, drive west and explore the short and easy trails of the Miner’s Castle area.