Rock Picking in Michigan

A rapidly growing hobby in Michigan is rock picking. Many will comb the beaches of Michigan this summer looking for specialty stones and rocks. A few that many will look for include:

The Petoskey Stone

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Petoskey Stones are most commonly found on the beaches of Lake Michigan in Northwest Michigan near the town of its namesake, Petoskey. These beautiful stones are classified as both a fossil and a rock. They typically have distinct, connected pattern markings on them.

Where is the Best Plae to Find Petoskey Stones?

Petoskey Stones are best found in some of the following areas of the southern shore of Lake Michigan, including at Petoskey State Park, Fisherman’s Island State Park in Charlevoix and the Point Betsie Lighthouse in Frankfort as well as in the rocky shore areas of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park.


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Agates are beautiful, sought after rocks found typicall in Upper Michigan. Agates have a specific characterstic called “banding” where the rocks do let some light through, which reveals visible layers on the rocks. These layers can be thin, and can be consistent and concentric or be spirally.

Where is the Best Place to Find Agates?

The shore of Lake Superior in the Upper Peninsulate is the best place to hunt for agates. A very popular area to look is the Beach at Whitefish Point, just north of Paradise. (the famous Whitefish Point Lighthouse is located here) Additionally, the Mouth of the 2 Hearted River, Muskallonge State Park, the Lake Superior State Forest Campground and Grand Marais all provide great opportunities for agate hunting.


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The latest craze in rock picking are Yooperlites®. These are stones that are best found at night with an ultraviolet light. When shined on, the stones give off a rare orangish/yellow glare. The difference between this rock hunting and other forms of rock hunting is that you need to search for Yooperlites® at night and with a black light. Yooperlites were discovered by Erik Rintamaki, who accidentally found Yooperlites early one morning before dawn while traversing the shoreline of Lake Superior with a UV/flashlight. Specialty UV flashlights are offered by Mr. Rintamaki, as well as other insightful information on Yooperlites at his site at

Where is the Best Place to Find Yooperlites®?

Like agates, Yooperlites® can be found on the Upper Peninsula shores of Lake Superior. Whitefish Point can have Yooperlites® but also beaches to the western end of the U.P. as well. Beaches in the Marquette area, as well as up into the Keweenaw Peninsula such as by Eagle Harbor and Copper Harbor can be great place to look for Yooperlites®

So depending on the rocks that you are looking for, the beaches of Michigan are great places to spend time hunting for all kinds of rocks and stones. So find a beach and start hunting this summer. And if you’re looking for a Michigan beach to find rocks or just relax, check out this list here.