Lots of pretty rocks and a few agates can be found along the beach
of the Black River Scenic Recreation Area - Michigan Upper Peninsula
Black River Harbor's beach is one of our favorite Lake Superior Rock Hound beach. Lots of interesting rocks that make attractive gemstones for tumbling and there are a few agates to be found here as well. In fact this is where I found my first agate.
The Scenic Rec Area also has a nicely laid out USDA Forest Service campground with sites suitable for RVs and Tents. Other attractions include hiking trails and five attractive waterfalls along the Black River National Scenic River. Learn more about Black River Harbor camping and recreational attractions here.
On the way to the Beach
You park at the picnic area parking lot and cross the river to the beach via the historic suspension bridge.
The North Country Trail runs adjacent to the river and crosses the suspension bridge near the mouth of the river. The trail goes by the eastern side of Rainbow Falls before turning east towards Porcupine Mountains State Park.
Hunting for Agates on the Beach
Our spring rock hound trip was made the Monday following the 2018 Mother's Day weekend. Some snow was still piled along the beach against the hillside. In the pictures below you can see the 2018 winter ice deposited lots of trees on the beach; we hoped some agates were among the deposits!
Almost Agates or Agate Imposters we found
Two years ago, also in May, we also found some agates (see our photos) along the beach and recorded a video from our hike to Rainbow Falls
Learning More about Identifying Lake Superior Beach Rocks Plus Finding and Polishing Agates
Recognizing & Identifying Beach Stones & Agates around Lake Superior
Part 2 - Recognizing Rocks & Agate Collected on Lake Superior Beaches.
Tumbling and polishing Agates - Includes Agate pictures & some tips on using tumbling pellets
Lake Superior Agate Festival - Annual Festival of Lake Superior Rock Hounds
See our Guides to the Best Agate Picking Beaches around Lake Superior.
Books on Lake Superior Rocks and Agates
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
Karen Brzys. Director, Gitchee Gumee Agate & History Museum, has created this comprehensive tutorial to finding agates. Includes over 750 photographs and diagrams.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ottawa National Forest Website - Info on Recreation & Camping
Camping and information on Black River Harbor Recreation Area
SuperiorTrails.com - Reinhold Development - 2017
Lake Superior Camping
& Campground Directory
Lake Superior Circle Tour Route
was voted #2 best US State Park by USAToday-10Best readers.