Photo Gallery Friday: Glass Bottom Shipwreck Tour in Munising, Michigan
Photo Gallery Friday is a regular feature on Travel the Mitten that will help showcase photos from places where one post just isn’t enough to show off everything.
Lake Superior’s beauty is on full display in the Munising area, and visitors come every summer to see the towering and colorful cliffs to the east in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, or to explore the trails an rustic camping on Grand Island. There is a dark side to the power of the lake, as its fierce waves and powerful storms sank many of ships in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Glass Bottom Shipwreck Tours in Munising gives visitors a glimpse into the past by visiting the remains of two ships near the eastern shore of Grand Island. In addition to the shipwrecks, passengers will learn about the early settlements on Grand Island, likely see bald eagles and their nests, and pass by the picturesque and historic East Channel Lighthouse. You’ll also be able to take in distant views of the Pictured Rocks cliffs and see the Munising Range Lights and harbor from the water.
The two shipwrecks that can easily be viewed from the glass pods on the bottom of the ship are the Herman H. Hettler and the Bermuda. The Hettler was a 200-foot wooden steamer that sank in November of 1926 at the north end of the east channel. It was making a trip from Ludington, Michigan to Duluth, Minnesota when it sank with its cargo of salt. The Bermuda has an interesting story: it was a 150-foot wooden schooner that sank in Munising Bay, was raised and towed to Grand Island’s Murray Bay where it now lies in water 25 feet deep. Three things help keep these wrecks visible on the glass bottom shipwreck tour – the cold water of Lake Superior has helped preserve them incredibly well, the water is usually very clear, and the wrecks are in shallow enough water that they can be seen without needing to scuba dive.
The trip with Glass Bottom Shipwreck Tours takes about two hours and covers nine miles. This is an awesome experience that we’ve been on twice, and we definitely recommend it to anyone interested in maritime history, Lake Superior, or unique Michigan experiences. Find out rates, hours, and reservation info at: http://shipwrecktours.com/. Tours depart from 1204 Commercial St. in Munising.