Hunts' Guide to The Upper Peninsula
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Grand Marais Agate Beach

Agate Beach Grand Marais

Go west along the shore from the harbor breakwater pier, or go down the bluff at Woodland Park, to come to another beach extending miles to the west. (You will pass by Donahey Woods, a little 25-acre piece of wilderness, now owned by the Nature Conservancy, where the Teenie Weenie creators had their summer home.) At this well-known agate beach, you might find the variegated, translucent stones of quartz while strolling along the shoreline looking through the clear water, especially in spring or after a storm.

Banded agates are formed by liquid quartz in cavities of preexisting rock. Their exterior may have a pitted, potato-skin texture. Most common are shattered pieces with distinctive agate banding. (The colors are formed by different impurities.) Some people find more agates where the bank meets the beach. Other interesting stones like jasper, puddingstone, and banded chert can also be found here. For more on rockhouding basics and agate identification, go early in your stay to the Agate Museum and take an impromptu lesson. This gets kids motivated, says a local grandmother. More serious? Buy Karen Brysz's books or plan a group class.

A one-mile walk down the beach and you're at the mouth of Sable Creek. A short path along the creek leads up to the delightful Sable Falls.
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GRAND MARAIS
POINTS OF INTEREST
Grand Marais Agate Beach. Prized for their interesting patterns of concentric bands of translucent red and clear or white, agates attract rockhounds to Lake Superior's northern shore. This long stretch of beach is a convenient place and thus more picked over, but a storm may bring up fresh rocks ... more

Grand Sable Bank & Dunes. Vast dunes seen from the trail here create a dramatic view, especially when the sun is low ... more

Harbor entrance, range lights, pier & beach. Fish from the long stone pier jutting far out into Lake Superior, protecting the harbor. Or walk the long beach and enjoy the range light, & 2 museums, one in the old Coast Guard station, draw people to Coast Guard Point ... more

Wreck of Mary Jarecki. See a 130-year-old shipwreck lying on the shore of Lake Supeior ... more

The Marketplace. A showroom for a members of Grand Marais Cottage Industries. You'll find photographs, handknits, lamps, novelties, art glass, carvings ... more

Grand Marais Maritime Museum. In the former Coast Guard station the National Parks Service installed this spare museum with photos and a few artifacts ... more

Old Post Office Museum. The 1882 Grand Marais post office still has the old postal boxes and clerk's window up front and historical photos and items in back ... more

Light Keeper's House Museum. Built by the Coast Guard in 1908, This 1908 Coast Guard keeper's house houses a hands-on local museum strong on stories. ... more

Goewey’s Garage. Lee and Betty Goewey make very popular fish carvings as well as art glass windows ... more

Crystal Pine Cone. Beach stones become landscapes and maritime scenes, or animals and people. The Woropay family’s studio/gallery is in a cabin among pine trees ... more

Pickle Barrel Museum. A summer house in two giant barrels for the creator of the long-lived Teenie Weenie cartoons. Now saved from rot and open to the public with historical displays and period rooms circa 1930. ... more

The Campbell Street Gallery. A spiffy collection of many media in Grand Marais' oldest building ... more

Gitche Gumee Agate & History Museum. Agates, rockhounding, geology, commercial fishing, and the self-sufficient local lifestyle after the lumber company left Karen Bryzs's heartfelt museum tells these stories ... more

Grand Marais Wi-fi Hotspot. Bayshore Market has wi-fi 7 a.m.-11 p.m. daily. ... more

Sable Falls. Take a walk through the woods to the top of this delightful waterfall. Go down a stairway to a rocky agate beach and wander east for awhile ... more

Grand Sable Visitor Center. A good place for information on the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, regional nature and history books, and a 2-mile trail through a shady beech-maple forest ... more

North Country Trail/Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Hike the trail connecting the lakeshore's prominent sights to experience them more fully than a drive-up-and-go-on view. Plan your hike so a shuttle bus can take you back ... more

Log Slide Overlook. Almost 300 feet above Lake Superior, there are splendid views to the Au Sable Lighthouse and the immense expanses of the Grand Sable Dunes. Exhibits show the scene when loggers rolled logs down for loading on ships ... more

Au Sable Point Lighthouse. A picture-perfect lighthouse on the rocks, a tower to climb on scheduled tours, shipwreck skeletons in the sand ... more

Twelvemile Beach & White Birch Trail. Walk the long beach or head inshore along a 2-mile nature trail through an unusual forest of old white birches ... more

Kingston Plains Burns. The best-known of the U.P.'s eerie stump fields or ghost forests created when forest fires across the cutover were so hot they burned off the soil's humus and the forest couldn't grow back. Pine resin preserved giant stumps. Some still remain ... more

Our new interactive map to U.P. motels that offer exceptionally low rates. See also our useful detailed maps to U.P. TOWNS. These custom-made maps locate landmarks and attractions.
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Michigan's Upper Peninsula - Hunts' Guide to the U.P.

 
Michigan's Upper Peninsula - Hunts' Guide to the U.P.
 
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