Grand Ledge

rocky trailWhen we think of wilderness pathways, islands in the river and soaring cliffs we usually think of northern Michigan or, perhaps, the upper peninsula. On the other hand, there is a place in southern known to Native Americans as “Big Rocks” that has all of these features and a few others as well. The tribe led by Chief Okemos made their way to “Big Rocks” each spring to tap the maple trees for sap to make syrup. Settler histories tell of the caves that were scattered through the area known as the Robbers Caves by some and Counterfeiters Caves by others. Tales were told of stolen horses being hidden in the caves. Other stories claimed that runaway slaves were hidden there as they made their way to Canada along the underground railroad.

The “Big Rocks” area is now known as Grand Ledge. Along the Grand River are picturesque sandstone ledges and seven islands in the river. The ledges have been a local favorite for nearly a century. As high as 60 feet above the river, the combination of the great rock cliffs and the explosion of colorful leaves in autumn on the surrounding hardwoods, make this a color tour that is perhaps the best in southern Michigan.