Portion of Pictured Rocks cliff falls into Lake Superior

Aug 14, 2019

MUNISING, MI--   A huge chunk of cliff fell into Lake Superior, narrowly missing some kayakers at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Monday.

Credit Jon Smithers

WLUC-TV reports the group was between Miners Beach and Mosquito Beach. Smaller rocks had fallen near the 18 kayakers and their guide thought they were far enough away when the section of cliff plummeted into the water. No one was injured, but everyone was more than a bit stunned.

Professional nature photographers Jon Smithers and Craig Blacklock just happened to record the incident with a drone they were operating from a pontoon boat. Smithers said he heard screams and saw the rock fall. He thought the kayakers were trapped underneath the stones until he flew the drone closer.

An NMU geologist says waves pounding against the bottom of the cliff made the slope too steep. Eventually gravity took hold and the top of the cliff tumbled into the lake.