12 miles – Sand and Rocky Beach – Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Michigan.
Highlights: 300 foot tall sand dunes, Sable Falls, Lake Superior shoreline.
The Ride: This out and back beach ride starts in the sweet little town of Grand Marais in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It follows west along the shore of Lake Superior and below the Grand Sable Sand Dunes that are part of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.
To start hop on your fat bike and head west along the sandy beach with low dune bluffs. As you approach the mouth of Sable Creek at about 1.5 miles the shore starts to change to a mix of rocks and sand. Before crossing the creek you will see a hiking trail that leads up to Sable Falls in about a 0.25 mile. The water cascades off from several different cliffs that total about 75 feet tall. Right after the creek the main dunes begin and this was also some of more difficult riding of the day. You will have to navigate your fat tires over piles of small loose rocks and also a few spots with rock up to the size of baseballs. The waves and ice are continully changing the shoreline so the conditions will very from year to year. After the short rocky section it was smooth riding the rest of the way right along the base of the impressive dunes. At about 6.5 miles a was forced to turn around by a sand slide that took some trees right down into the water with it.
This ride gives you an up close view of the Grand Sable dunes that few get to see and is one of my favorite beach rides I have done on my fat bike.
Post Ride Beverage: Lake Superior Brewing Company is one of our favorite “up north” restaurants and we always make at least one stop here when we are in the area. The food is good, the beer is good and the atmosphere is perfect for relaxing after a day exploring Pictured Rocks. If it is a busy weekend they may be out of some of the beer and a couple things on the menu, but I think this is just part of the charm of a small town brewery.
In the Area: Check out the Log Slide Overlook for an awesome view of the Grand Sable Dunes and the shore that you just rode.
A GoPro time-lapse video of the ride.
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