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Closed trails due to harsh winter in Michigan’s UP parks prompt clean up

broken bridge at the lakeshore
Heavy winds and high tides from a serious storm in October caused severe damage to a stairway leading to Miners Beach at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Park. The stairway along with part of the trail will remain closed until early July. (courtesy of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Park)
  • The North Country National Scenic Trail at Pictured Rock National Lakeshore Park was closed after a harsh storm last fall
  • The River Trail of Tahquamenon Falls State Park has been closed due to reports of missing walkways and downed trees

Many Michiganders may be cleaning out their closet, doing some extra dusting around the house and other tasks related to spring cleaning. While park rangers in the Upper Peninsula are doing their own cleaning: picking up fallen tree limbs and clearing obstructed paths caused by heavy storms last fall.  

A hiking trail at Pictured Rock National Lakeshore Park will reopen in early July after being closed for nearly a year. 


Part of the North Country National Scenic Trail at Miners Beach was damaged during a gale, a tropical wind storm that can reach up to 54 mph, last fall. The storm caused large waves to crash into the trail resulting in fallen tree limbs. A stairway leading to Miners Beach off Lake Superior was also severely damaged during the storm, park officials announced in a press release.  

While visitors still have access to the beach through a staircase at the west end of the beach, the hiking trail had to be rerouted to a path south of the original trail. 

About one mile of the North Country National Scenic Trail was rerouted directing hikers south and onto the main road. They will be reconnected to the main trail on either end of the beach, Zachary Gostlin, acting chief of education and interpretation at Pictured Rock National Lakeshore Park told Bridge. 

Visitors hiking along the North Country National Scenic Trail at Miners Beach will be directed south for a mile of the trail onto the main road. They will be redirected to the trail on either side. (courtesy of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Park)

The eastern part of the parking lot at Miners Beach will also be closed to non-commercial vehicles to direct the flow of traffic to the west parking area which will remain open to the public while repairs are being made.

“Minor damage is usually fairly common,”  Gostlin said. “In the spring time we usually have to clean up … and pick up the pieces from the last winter.” 

That isn’t the only park that has to do some spring cleaning. 



The River Trail at Tahquamenon Falls State Park will be closed until May 26 due to reports of missing walkways, downed trees and underwater platforms, according to a social media post from the park.  

A crew will begin working on the trail starting next week. 

The 4-mile trail between the upper and lower falls is considered the most scenic in the park but it is a difficult trail because of the exposed roots and rustic, hilly terrain. 

Hikers are advised to bring lots of water, snacks and insect spray before walking this trail. 

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