The Legend of Lovers Leap
Native Americans have cherished Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for thousands of years, and in the last century alone their stories have been shared with millions of visitors from around the world exploring the rural landscape.
Pictured Rocks is known for its sculpted sandstone cliffs and formations, brilliant waterfalls, and incredible sand dunes. One of the most stunning formations in the park is Petit Portal – mostly famously known as Lovers Leap.
The Native American Lore of Lovers Leap
Legend has it that the moniker “Lover’s Leap” was inspired by a Native American woman who, heartbroken after her lover failed to return from a hunting trip, flung herself from a cliff to her demise.
Alternative Theory: Leaping for Love
Another tale reflects on a couple who wanted to display their affection by leaping off the archway, unaware that the water beneath was a mere two feet deep.
Paddling Lovers Leap
While you can cruise by the formation by boat, the most striking way to see Lovers Leap is by paddling underneath it.
With Pictured Rocks Kayaking you’ll explore the awe-inspiring archways, formations, and sea caves of the Pictured Rocks. For kayakers, Lovers Leap is an idyllic spot, surrounded by green and blue waters. Glide under the archway on the ultimate kayak tour, the outfitter’s most popular experience.
Pictured Rocks Kayaking is located in Munising – the western gateway to the Pictured Rocks. As the only kayaking outfitter in the area that provides offshore launching, enjoy a relaxing boat ride before your kayaking journey begins while the boat trails closely behind in case anyone needs a break or an emergency situation arises.
Grand Portal vs. Lovers Leap
Although often confused with the partially collapsed Great Portal, Lovers Leap is a smaller but still intact structure. Although, we’d hardly consider 250-feet small!
Towering at 300-feet-tall, boats used to sail through the archway of Grand Portal before it collapsed in the early 1900s. If you recall from above, the water beneath Lovers Leap is only 2-feet deep. While a motorized vessel couldn’t cruise underneath the archway unscathed, it’s perfect for a kayak.