Thursday, October 15, 2009

Chapel Beach to Mosquito Beach

The hike from Chapel Beach to Mosquito Beach is perhaps one of the prettiest hikes I've ever made. It follows the Lake Superior shorline above the most picturesque part of the Pictured Rocks. The young forest is thick here, lots of cedar, balsam fir and maples.

Here's me standing on the bluff above Chapel Beach at the start of the hike.

The trail is 4 to 4.5 miles long, depending on what sign or trail map you read. Although I was sore from the hike the day before (mostly from where things rubbed) my spasming back had magically repaired itself overnight and I could actually stand upright. Who knew sleeping on the ground could make your back feel better?

The shoreline was not always visible from the trail, but now and then a side trail would lead to some spectacular views. I don't know what this formation is called, or even if it has a name, but I love how you can see into the water to the shelf below the bluffs.

About halfway through the hike you come to Grand Portal, seen here at the end of this promotory. Look at that water! We again had to laugh that we were not kayaking the shoreline--what perfect weather for it!

The top of Grand Portal was wide open and flat and offered some great views of the lake. We took off our packs and hung out for as long as we could stand the black flies. Here Karin's composing a shot.

Another view of Grand Portal. Warnings abound about not getting too close to the edges of these formations as they are not necessarily stable. There were cracks running all along this rock shelf and you could see where the sand was sifting through.
Here are some kayakers as seen from the bluffs. We were jealous!

We took our time on this hike, stopped frequently, made lunch on the trail. In all it probably took us 3 or 4 hours to hike, although neither one of us had a watch (and isn't that a wonderful thing!). But finally we reached our destination--Mosquito Beach!

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