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Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is on Lake Superior in the US. In 1820 Henry Rowe Schoolcraft called the area "some of the most sublime and commanding views in nature. It extends for 42 miles (67 km) along the shore between Munising and Grand Marais, Michigan, and covers 73,236 acres (114 sq mi; 296 sq km). It is named after the 15 miles (24 km) of colorful sandstone cliffs northeast of Munising; they are up to 200 feet (60 m) above lake level and have been naturally sculptured into shallow caves, arches, formations that resemble castle turrets, and human profiles. The colors are created by the minerals in the rock. The cliffs are composed of the Munising Formation of 500-million-year-old Cambrian Period sandstone. The Munising Formation sits atop Precambrian sandstone of the Jacobsville Formation. The mottled red Jacobsville Formation is the oldest rock in the park. On top of the Munising Formation is the younger Au Train Formation from the Ordovician Period. The Au Train Formation is a hard sandstone and acts as a cap over the other layers. Streaks on the face of the cliffs come from the groundwater leaching out of the rock. With it come iron (red), manganese (black-white), limonite (yellow-brown), copper (pink-green), and other minerals. As the water evaporates, these minerals leave streaks of color. The sandstone cliffs are dangerous to canoes and other open boats skirting the coastline; when fur trader Pierre Esprit Radisson made this risky passage in 1658, he noted that his Native American companions offered tobacco to the spirit of the cliffs. After the lumbering era ended around 1910, much of the land reverted to Michigan due to unpaid property taxes, and in 1966 Congress elevated the shoreline's status to become the nation's first officially designated national lakeshore “in order to preserve for the benefit, inspiration, education, recreational use, and enjoyment of the public, a significant portion of the diminishing shoreline of the United States and its related geographic and scientific features.” In 2009, the Omnibus Public Land Management Act protected 11,740 acres (47.5 sq km) of Pictured Rocks as the Beaver Basin Wilderness.
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