The other week I took a tour of the shoreline along the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, visiting several sites between Grand Marais and Munising. My first stop was at the Log Slide, high atop the Grand Sable Banks.
Here a wooden chute once ran down the face of the banks during the heights of the pine lumber industry in the 1880s. Felled timber was hauled by horse to this location, where it was slid down a dry chute. Once at the bottom, the logs were tied together into large barges and tugged to Grand Marais mills.
The top of the bank sits 500 feet (300 vertical feet) above the surface of Lake Superior. Brave visitors are welcome to journey down the bank. It takes only a few seconds to reach the bottom, but up to an hour to climb back up. I did not make the run. Perhaps when I bring my son and daughter for a visit…I’ll watch them do it.
From the top of the bank, easily reached by a short hike from the parking lot, you are afforded some of the most stunning views of Lake Superior. I considered making the 3+ mile hike out to the Au Sable Lighthouse (seen in the photograph above), but my schedule for the day was a bit too tight. Next time.
To find the Log Slide, travel 7 miles west of Grand Marais on Alger County Road H-58. Turn right on Log Slide Road. There is ample parking at the Log Slide overlook is only a short hike along sand trails. There is plenty of interpretive signs and even an audio tour accessed via your cellphone (if you have a signal…I did not).