Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore could possibly be Michigan’s most beautiful – but deadly – places to visit. These sandstone cliffs are 200 feet high on the shores of Lake Superior, and, according to geologists, date back over 500 million years.

Why are they called ‘pictured’ rocks?

Thanks to massive amounts of minerals in the rock, the cliffs present a rainbow of colors. Streaks on the cliffs are caused by groundwater leaking out of the rock, drying, and leaving red streaks of iron, black & white manganese, yellow & brown limonite, pink & green copper, among others.

As for the deadly part…canoes, kayaks, and other boats should steer clear of the cliffs, as chunks of the cliffs occasionally break off and fall into the water. Take a look at pictures and a video below of a chunk breaking off dangerously close to a group of kayakers. These rockfalls are more likely to happen in spring and fall, when the weather changes dramatically.

Pictured Rocks is America's first National Lakeshore. It’s an awesome place to visit, but don’t get too close to the cliffs, in or out of the water!

 

 

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