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Lake Superior Agate and Rock Hunting Beaches
Upper Peninsula, Michigan

Muskallonge Park Beach
Agate Festival attendees agate hunting and rock picking on the Beach at Muskallonge State Park


Best Lake Superior Rock Picking & Agate Beaches - Michigan's Central & Eastern Upper Peninsula

Guides to
Lake Superior Agate Beaches

- North Shore Agate Beaches
- Wisconsin & Western UP Beaches
- Keweenaw UP Agate Beaches
- Eastern UP Agate Beaches (here)

red triSuperiorTrails Agate Hunting & Rock Picking Directory (Pictures and Guides to Identifying Lake Superior Beach Rocks, Minerals, and Agates)

The beach pictured above was taken during the 2013 Rock On Lake Superior Agate Festival. For us picking was pretty good; Jo found four agates in two days of rock picking. Several others who attended the festival also found agates. What helped our success were storms and very high winds the four days before we arrived that dumped lots of fresh rock material on the beach.

The shoreline from Grand Marais, Michigan going east to Whitefish Point offers some of the best agate finding opportunities around Lake Superior. We've profiled some of the most accessible beaches, which while loaded with fine specimens aren't necessarily the best for finding an agate - because they are accessible and many rock hounds troll them. But for those willing to drive many miles down sand and gravel forest roads and do some hiking, there are many isolated beaches along this stretch of Lake Superior that will give you better odds.

For a complete list of Upper Peninsula Lake Superior beaches get Susan Robinson's illustrated guide entitled "Is this an Agate" listed in the books section at the bottom of this page.


Bay Furnace Beach

Bay Furnace Campground Beach

The beach in front of the historic blast furnace that produced pig iron in the 1800s offers opportunities to find slag samples left over from the operations of the furnace. But for agate hunting and rock picking, you've got to walk north and west from the campground beach. Eventually you'll run into some private homes fronting the beach, but the beach itself may remain in the public domain.

grand marais beach and grand sable dunesgrand marais beach

Grand Marais & Woodland Park Beach

One of our favorite rock hunting beaches for its length and its convenient access from the Woodland Park campground. Across the street from the park is another attraction for rock and agate hunters - the Gitche Gumee Agate Museum. The Grand Marais beach is extensive stretching from the Sable River in adjacent Pictured Rocks National Park all the way to the breakwater by the Coast Guard Station.

Lake Superior State Forest Beach

From Grand Marais, go east on Highway H58 about 10-12 miles. Unfortunately the road changes from pavement to sand/gravel before you get to the State Forest Beach. You can access the beach at the campground or further down the road there are several parking areas where H58 comes quite close to the lake. Generally you should find good rock picking here and because H58 is unpaved the beach won't have the competition for prized specimens that other top beaches have. And if you have come this far on a rougher road, you can continue on east to another top rock picking beach at Muskallonge State Park.

Muskallonge State Park Rock Picking Beach

Muskallonge State Park Beach, Deer Park

The most comfortable access to the Deer Park (on paved roads) is from Newberry, via Highways 123 and 407 (27 miles). Muskallonge State Park is the site of the annual Rock On Lake Superior Agate Festival so is well known among Lake Superior Rock Hounds. But the lack of a paved road between Grand Marais and Deer Park puts this off the usual beaten path of the Lake Superior Circle Route. So not as heavily picked as some other top beaches. There's at least 3 miles of accessible beach. The downside of its remoteness is unless you want to handle the mostly sand road to Grand Marais, you'll have to retrace your path 27 miles back to Newberry.

Whitefish Point Beach

Whitefish Point Beach

While we've visited Whitefish Point a few times (to tour the lighthouse and migratory bird observatory) we didn't realize there was good rock picking and agate hunting here because the beach at the point itself is primarily sand with few rocks. But fellow rock hounds have clued us in to its potential. You take the trouble to walk several hundred yards west of the Lighthouse observation deck to run into some good rock picking territory. And more adventuresome rock hounds can drive along West Wild Cat Road to access some good rock beaches even further west of the point.


Books on Lake Superior Agate Hunting & Rock Picking

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Understanding and Finding Agates
Lake Superior Rocks & Minerals: A Field Guide to the Lake Superior Area

Recommended by a SuperiorTrails friend & rock hound, this new guide has actual photographs of various rocks and minerals found on Lake Superior beaches. Co-author Bob Lynch is owner of Agate City Rocks and Gifts in Two Harbors Minnesota

Agate Hunting DVD
DVD: How to Find Agates

Karen Brzys. Director, Gitchee Gumee Agate & History Museum, has created this comprehensive tutorial to finding agates. Includes over 750 photographs and diagrams.

Is this an AgateIs this an Agate?: An illustrated guide to Lake Superior's beach stones Michigan

This is required handbook for rock pickers who love to comb Lake Superior beaches looking for pretty rocks and hoping to find an agate. Identifies some of the UP's best rock picking beaches.

Lake Superior Rock Pickers GuideLake Superior Rock Picker's Guide

Here is another book recommended by a Superior Trails reader and rock hound who was able to identify over 50 rocks found on the beach using this guide by Kevin Gauthier and Bruce Mueller. Also included are tips for polishing the stones and rock. Kevin and Bruce also publish a similar guide for Lake Michigan rocks.

Agate Hunting on Lake Superior BeachesAgate Hunting Made Easy: How to Really Find Lake Superior Agates

My wife Jo found this agate hunters book while traveling in the UP and thought it would help her find her first Lake Superior Agate. It is full of tips for agate hunting (and rock picking) and has some very good color photographs of a number of agate variations as well as photos of the other kinds of rocks you'll find on Lake Superior beaches.

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rock pickers guide to lake superiors north shore Rock Pickers Guide to
Lake Superior's North Shore

Sparky's guide covers what north shore beaches to comb, a bit of history on the formation of the various rocks found on beaches, and helpful information and pictures on identifying beach rocks and minerals.

Agate IdentificationAgates of Lake Superior

See more recommendations on guides and books on Lake Superior Rocks, Minerals & Agates

 

 

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Lake Superior Agate Links

red triMinnesota's State Gem: The Lake Superior Agate

red triRock Identification Key - By Don Peck on Rockhounds.com

Gitchee Gumme Agate Museumred triGitche Gumee Agate Museum
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See more on the Museum and Rock Picking/Agate Hunting on Grand Marais, Michigan beaches.

Rock On Agate Festival

 

The 2015 9th Annual Rock On Agate Festival will be held held Sept 10 & 11th at Muskallonge Lake State Park.

What last year's agate festival was like:
Pictures & Story from the
2014 Rock On Agate Festival
.


Continuing your Travel & Trekking
  Around Lake Superior
Superior Trails Lake Superior Circle Tour


 

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lake superior road map of the circle tour
Lake Superior Circle Tour Road Map & Guide to Travel Attractions around Lake Superior.

How to recognize Lake Superior Agates and Beach Rocks.Lake Superior Agate?

See our Directory of our favorite Upper Peninsula Scenic and Recreation areas.Upper Peninsula Porcupine Mountains

Walking along Canal Park Drive Duluth's Canal Park, Shopping and Entertainment District

Understanding and Finding Agates
Our Reviews of the best guides to Lake Superior Agates and Beach Rocks

basalt with quartz band
Agate Imposters - Agate Wanna-bees

pictured rocks
Pictured Rocks National Park and Boat Cruises

Weather &
Snow Depth Reports

Regional Snow Weather from the Weather Channel

Golf Courses Around Lake Superior
See our
Reviews of golf courses around Lake Superior






Mobile-Friendly Lake Superior Circle Tour Travel Planner

bay furnace campground
Lake Superior Camping
& Campground Directory

Camping along the Lake Superior Circle Drive.

Visiting the amazing Bayfield Ice Caves and
Lake Superior Ice CavesBayfield Lake Superior Ice Caves

Color Tour Map
Color Tour Travel Map

Piorcupine Mountains Lake of the Clouds

 

Porcupine Mountains State Park



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Madeline Island Big  Bay Park
Enjoying the great swimming Beach Big Bay State Park on Madeline Island

Devils Island Lighthouse Apostle Islands
See the lighthouses on an Apostle Islands Cruise.

Tahquamenon Falls State Park
Tahquamenon Falls is one of the most impressive waterfalls around Lake Superior. Tahquamenon Falls State Park

books and guides on hiking and camping
Hiking and Camping Guides & Books

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