Mackinaw City: The waters edge at Fort Michilimackinac to town: 1 mile
The Mackinaw Bridge is most imposing, crossing the straits to the Upper Peninsula, five miles long. It was built in 1957. I can remember my family talking about it when I was a kid about 12 years old. It can only be walked over on Labor Day. I did it about 20 years ago but would love to do it again. It is an interesting place to be in my life where I can not only read history but remember when it happened and see evidence of it.
Today we drove 200 miles from our home to Mackinaw City and checked into the Best Western Hotel. I took the afternoon to seek out the trail head and put my hand in the water walking about one mile from the water’s edge to the trail head.
Upon arrival one immediately notices the fudge shops (since 1887), tourist traps, and it’s idyllic history. Fort Michilimackinac is a historically accurate and authentic reconstruction of the original 1715 fur trading village and military outpost. Because of the strategic location at the “tip of the mitten” the Old Machinac Point Lighthouse is a historic landmark. Before the bridge was completed ships could see the light from 16 miles out. Machinac Island can be seen over the water where an 8.5 walk will take you around the entire island.
In the late 1700s this area was populated by 7,000 +/- Indians. Although this location has lots of history it does not have a lot of economic activity, the exception being Summer time tourists, skiing and snowmobiling in the Winter. The entire area was lumbered off in the late 1800s.