Stable Falls Trail, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Directions

Today we take a short hike in the sandy woods with beautiful views of Stable Falls and Lake Superior. Stable Falls is located in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, MI. This park is massive. The normal method of exploring this park is starting in a town called Munising. However, I’m not normal so I woke up in Grand Marais, MI. This is a peaceful town with two hotels, a gas station, and a couple of restaurants. We headed North on M-77 which is essentially main street through Grand Marais. There is a sign for the park that directs you left on H-58 (Carlson St.). Take this road for a short distance up a hill heading West. The area is well marked and look for Stable Falls Road on right hand side. Find a place to park and enjoy nature! More information and maps can be found at the National Forest Parks website: NPS Pictured Rocks

The Trail

During the summer I’d imagine this half mile trail to be an easy hike. I hiked this trail the first week of May. Left over ice and snow from the harsh winters still remained scattered about the trail. Occasional jumps onto ice blocks was a bit exhilarating and well worth the risk. The above video was taken at the end of the falls but the trail will continue out towards the lake. The falls itself is fairly long and you wouldn’t want to end up in Stable Creek for sure. Mother nature provides conveniently located wooden stairs, railings and platforms for your safety. How those park engineers managed to build such platforms and stairs is beyond my comprehension! The soil is sandy with lose dirt, with the snow melt water this was perfect conditions to create landslides. Yet the trail was unaffected and in good condition aside from the ice and snow.

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Sunrise at Lake Superior and Stable Creek

Combine stops for pictures, jumping over ice, pulling boots out of snow we made it to the shore in 25 minutes. Just in time to snag this beautiful picture of the sun rising over Lake Superior. It was a peaceful, brisk morning on the lake. Offering my first glance down the shore of Pictured Rocks, making for a memorable experience. The mouth of Stable Creek connecting the falls and lake blends with a beautiful beach, edged with huge sand dunes that tower the entire shore.

Ratings

  • 4/5 Amenities: Many amenities such as bathrooms, trail information and more exist in the parking lot area. I did not come here during tourist season, but it looks as it was built for a higher capacity of people and buses that come through during the summer. This trail lost one point because the trash cans were locked!
  • 5/5 Trail: The trail was perfect. Designed and engineered to give the best vantage points of the falls and lake shore. It’s a straight to the point kind of trail. It isn’t meant for a long challenging hike, rather just a quick view of the falls and shore. If starting the park from Grand Marais, this is a great introduction to Pictured rocks.
  • 0/5 Backpacking: This trail is not designed/intended for backpacking.
  • 5/5 Maps: There is information at the trail head. This is an out and back trial well marked and easily visible. Map for this trail isn’t a necessity.
  • 3/5 Wilderness: While this is in the north woods, civilization is always at the trail head. It is a short hike and you are never far from help and amenities. You can also easily walk to Grand Marais along the shore.
  • 4/5 Enjoyment: I very much enjoyed this trail especially within my time frame. I visited before tourist season and we had the trial to ourselves. The falls were gorgeous and the shoreline was beautiful.