‘Day Trippin’: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore – Eastern Edition

After our adventures near Paradise it was time to continue our travels westward. Our home for the next week, Blind Sucker #2 state forest campground. The campground is located on the Blind Sucker Flooding area, a 1,050 acre lake. With public access to Lake Superior just 1 mile away (either by car or by a footpath) this was the perfect choice for us. The campground is situated roughly 6 miles west of Muskallonge Lake State Park and 13 miles west of Grand Marais. However to access this campground from either direction you must travel via a dusty gravel road for 6 miles. It’s slow and steady wins the race but worth it for it’s close proximity to Lake Superior and the eastern side of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

We moved to another campsite after one night due to our first drunk asshole neighbor. The second site was much better. Our neighbor, Don (very nice gentleman) recently retired in January 2021 after working for Ford for 35 years.

While we were here we explored Grand Marais and the eastern portion of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Most of the photos you see online are from the western side. But I must say the eastern side is also quite beautiful.

We opted to do lunch in Grand Marais and explore this small and quaint little town right on Lake Superior. With only one place open for lunch, our choice was easy, Grand Marais Tavern. On our way back through after our day of exploration we enjoyed a few more tasty brews and the sunlight hitting the bay in Grand Marais.

Driving along H58, a fantastic and scenic road, we stopped at the first place we found. Sable Falls turned out to be quite an unexpected treat. We expected the usual, walk down a boardwalk and maybe some stairs. See the falls from a platform and turn around to go back up. There was a boardwalk and stairs (168 to be exact – according to the sign) but the trail continued on past the falls all the way out to Lake Superior. With amazing views of the Grand Sable Dunes, which we would not be able to check out, as dogs are not allowed on the dunes. Josie played in Superior and we watched as children climbed the steep dunes just to slide back down. While their parents watched with trepidation.

I snapped a photo of where Josie was allowed for reference as we continued to explore further. Our rule, if she isn’t allowed we aren’t going.

From there we briefly stopped in Grand Sable Lake, a brilliant blue lake. Much too windy that day to kayak but it was nice to enjoy it.

The highlight of the day came at our next stop, the Au Sable Light Station Trail. After venturing out to the beach to admire Lake Superior again (because one cannot appreciate this majestic lake too much), we opted for the 1.7 mile (one-way) trail out to the light station. It was worth it for a variety of reasons.

1) The trail follows a ridge overlooking Lake Superior. The shoreline goes from sandy beach to large rocky shore. Right before the trail a stream flows into Lake Superior.

2) The light station was pretty cool with nice views of the sand dunes east of that location. (Due to COVID the lighthouse museum was closed, as are all visitor centers)

3) Stairs lead down from the trail to a portion of the beach where there are actual shipwreck ruins. (Way cool but unfortunate for the captain and crew!)

As if that wasn’t enough for one day, we topped it off with sunset on Lake Superior and watched the Perseids Meteor Shower on the beach. The night sky was filled with stars and we were treated to plenty of meteors with a short 1 mile drive back to camp.

Our last day we attempted to kayak the lake at our campground. However, the wind had other plans. We were able to get out on side of the lake but sadly could not explore the other side. It wasn’t worth the fight with the wind. Instead we enjoyed what I call nature’s lazy lake (sitting back in the kayaks and floating where the wind takes us) and admiring the free aquarium with so much plant life and small fish right below us. Topping off our evening with sunset and stargazing on the beach at Lake Superior.

Finally some Josie photos. She was obsessed with the squirrels here. I swear they messed with her on purpose. She would sit looking up at the tree they were in for long periods at a time. Then sometimes relaxing in the sun, contemplating how do I get those fast little critters. Click on the middle photo to bring up a larger one – can you spot Josie’s elusive squirrel?

Note: As always, click on any photo to view a larger version.

UP NEXT: Day Trippin: Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore – Western Edition

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