Munising: Michigan's Upper Peninsula's best kept secret (United States)

The great lakes region in the United States is perhaps Mother Nature’s favorite scenic area; her pet canvas in which she randomly splashes different shades of color all through the year. Shades of blue on the lakes and sky, purple and mauves on flowers, variety of grey and browns, oranges and yellows that I did not even know had existed and greens that can instantly bring peace to the mind.
I had once made a bucket list of places and things that I wanted to see and believe it or not, Lake Superior did feature on that list. So, when we planned our long weekend trip to the lakeshore town of Munising in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, I was excited. If I want to quote what geologists say, Lake Superior is the largest, coldest and the deepest of all the five in the great lakes region. And for me being the next door neighbor of Lake Michigan, it was difficult to admit that Lake Superior was perhaps worth its name, the Superior of all and the most beautiful.
As our car zoomed through the city of Gaylord on Interstate 75, I was excited to have a feel that we were very close to North Pole and when I told this to my family they were surprised, ‘North Pole’? Exclaimed my daughter, ‘how on Earth are we even closer to that’? ‘That depends on how well you’ve done your homework.’ I chuckled. And I showed her the notes and the photo of the board that I had found during my research on Michigan’s famed UP; the one that said that the 45 degrees latitude passed through that area and it was exactly half way between the Equator and the North Pole. I really don’t mind if people think me to be crazy about North Pole but one can never enjoy a place if imaginations are not allowed to run high!

The closest attraction from the city center was the Munising Falls; the pretty cascade that tumbled down over sandstone cliffs into a mini canyon was truly breathtaking. It is a short walk from the visitors’ center and we walked on the paved trail that ran through the woods and reached the viewing platform. It wasn’t a great waterfall so far as the height was concerned, just 50 ft but it looked nice anyways. Miners Falls was the next in line and the ambience was very different. It was a long walk from the parking lot but on a dirt road that snaked through a spectacular forest, sometimes so dense that the sun tried hard to sneak through the branches and leaves to touch our skins. We heard the roar of the water long before we saw it. There are two viewing areas of Miners; the first one is at the same level with the path and the view is what anyone would expect from a beautiful waterfall, the second one went down a long flight of steps to a viewing gallery and the cascade was just magnificent. Interestingly, this too fell from a height of 50ft, same as the earlier one but somehow had a better appeal so far as the surrounding forest and the volume of the frothy water was concerned. Doing a couple of more waterfalls in the region we left to explore the Miners castle from an overlook.

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Known to be the most famous formation of the Pictured Rocks, it was obvious that the place was a bit crowded. A neat and paved trail led us to the overlook and we were just spellbound. Everyone who stood there silently watched the priceless beauty. We were on top of the high cliff and the view from the top is always the best; it was only the vast, never ending blue lake shimmering in the afternoon sun and on the shore a huge curved cliff jutted into the lake with the unique rock formation on the tip. The water near the rock was shallow and hence had a green color and these mind blowing combinations of blue and green just left us gaping at it for hours and click numerous shots of this beautiful piece.