For paddlers, an even better alternative to really experience the grandeur of the Pictured Rocks  shoreline is in a sea kayak. Safety warnings cannot be overemphasized, however. Only experienced paddlers should venture out on their own, and only in a closed cockpit (i.e., no canoes) and after scrupulously monitoring weather conditions.
Paddlers can get themselves into serious trouble along Pictured Rocks, caught in sudden summer squalls along the 15-mile rock wall with nowhere to hide. Having said that, sea kayaking along Pictured Rocks ranks as one of the finest paddles on all the Great Lakes.
Kayak rentals (and longer trips to Grand Island and Isle Royale ) are available. Great Northern Adventures (906/225-8687, www.greatnorthernadventures.com ) also offers guided paddling trips, from one-day excursions along Pictured Rocks to multi-day trips that combine kayaking with hiking and mountain biking on nearby Grand Island .