FATMAP by Strava

Chapel Loop

A stunning 10-mile trail run along Picture Rocks NL with 2 waterfalls and cliffside views.

Trail Running Moderate

16 km
334 m
334 m
2-3 hrs
Low Point
182 m
High Point
249 m
Chapel Loop Map

The Chapel Rock Loop (or simply, the Chapel Loop), is a hidden-gem trail run—and one of the best runs anywhere in the Upper Peninsula. It's even considered one of the best day hikes in the state by mymichigantrips.com. The 10-mile circuit includes two beautiful waterfalls, unique rock formations, remote beaches, and over four miles of lakefront and cliffside trails on Lake Superior.


A challenging day hike by most standards, this trail run includes only 1,200 feet of climbing. Still plenty to get your heart rate up, set aside plenty of time to stop and soak in the views along the way. Following the North Country Trail along the lake, the trail "offers a spectacular view almost every step of the way, but you must also watch your step." At times, you may be mere feet from the edge of the sandstone cliffs, the author warns.

The trailhead on Chapel Road offers vault toilets but no potable water or visitor center. A handheld water bottle should suffice for most runners, though others may prefer a hydration vest, especially during the summer months. With proper filtration or treatment, water found along the trail could also be made safe to drink.

Though there is no preferred direction to hike the loop, clockwise seems more common due to the traffic heading to Mosquito Falls, a popular day hike from the trailhead. In an effort to avoid the crowds, clockwise allows you to see the falls at the beginning of your run, instead of at the end.

If you choose counter-clockwise, you will first arrive at Chapel Beach Campground and the trail's namesake, Chapel Rock. A pillar of eroded sandstone topped by a lone tree, a large root spans the void between the perch and the mainland so that the tree can get what it needs to survive. According to some sources, at one point, the root may have run across or through an arch, though it has since collapsed.




Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

between April and October

Guidebooks in this area