Accessibility

The historic and natural environments of the Straits of Mackinac sometimes present impediments to accessibility. Blowing sand, natural trails and steep grades can make traveling difficult. Many 18th and 19th century buildings have entrance steps, narrow doorways and other physical barriers.

Continuous effort is made to make all aspects of Mackinac State Historic Parks accessible. Where possible, physical changes have removed barriers. Alternate programs or services provide additional access opportunities and future projects will continue to improve access.

Museum and Park Services 

• Accessible parking spaces are located at the Visitor’s Centers at Historic Mill Creek Discovery Center, Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, and Colonial Michilimackinac. Wheelchairs are available for loan at most admission areas on a first-come, first-served basis.
• Site maps are available in large print format at admission areas.
• Scripts of some site demonstrations are available for loan at admission areas.
• Captioning is provided for audiovisual programs at all sites.
• Service animals are permitted at all sites and in all buildings.

Below is information for each of our sites on accessibility issues. The numbers refer to the building’s location on the individual site map. Click for a PDF of the printed Guide to Access.

Mackinac Island State Park

Miles of island trails offer a variety of experiences and connect many areas of interest. All trails have at least one length of steep slope. Watch for carriages and horses on paved roads, and bicyclists on bike paths. Walking trails have gravel or wood chip surfaces. For more information, consult the Historic Mackinac Visitor’s Guide or guest service representatives at the downtown Mackinac State Historic Parks’ Visitor’s Center. Outdoor surfaces are hard-packed gravel, grass and sand.

Fort Mackinac

Getting to Fort Mackinac

Passenger ferries and airplanes take visitors to Mackinac Island. Three private companies operate boats to the island from St. Ignace and Mackinaw City. Air-taxi service from Pellston and St. Ignace is also available. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on Mackinac Island, however, personal assistive mobility devices are allowed.

The ramp leading to the south entrance has 27steps at the top. This entrance is NOT accessible for visitors using wheelchairs.

Fort Mackinac’s most accessible entrance is located on Huron Road on the north side of the site and can be reached in several ways. The most immediate route from downtown is to follow Fort Street up the west side of the fort. This road is very steep and may be difficult for some visitors. Other less direct roads also lead to the north entrance. Horse-drawn carriage tours and taxis leaving from downtown locations will transport visitors to the north side of the fort. The taxi service has special horse-drawn vehicles equipped for wheelchairs and available by contacting the dispatch office at 906-847-3323.

Outdoor surfaces are wooden boardwalks and grass.

Alternate Fort Entrances

  • Adjacent to the north entrance, a small elevator in the Soldiers’ Barracks (7) connects the two levels of Fort Mackinac. The elevator does not accommodate most motorized wheelchairs. Elevator entrance locations: Parade Ground Level: Near Restrooms (6). Avenue of Flags Level: Barracks rear porch, second door.
  • North Sally Port entrance to lower level may be used by those with larger motorized wheelchairs. Staff at entrance booth will grant access.

Moderate Access Locations

Access may be limited for some visitors with mobility impairments in these buildings:

  • The Officers’ Hill Quarters (11) has narrow hallways, thresholds and stairs to the second floor.
  • Two entrance steps lead to the Guardhouse (17).

Difficult Access Locations

Five to eight entrance steps to these buildings may make access difficult for visitors with

mobility impairments:

  • Post Bathhouse (4)
  • North Blockhouse (10) Alternate programs provided
  • Schoolhouse (9)
  • Tea Room (15) Alternate service area provided
  • East Blockhouse (20)
  • Upper Gun Platform (19) Alternate programs provided

Alternate Building Entrances

  • Enter the Post Headquarters (2) through the Quartermaster’s Storehouse (3).
  • Enter the Officers’ Stone Quarters (14) through the back porch of the building.

Alternate Programs

  • Accessible service for the Tea Room (15) is available on the covered piazza at the rear of the Officers’ Stone Quarters (14).
  • The cannon demonstration, located up a flight of stairs on the Gun Platform (19), is shown live on a television monitor at the Water Well (21). All other scheduled programs are held in accessible areas.
  • A video program is available west of the North Blockhouse (10) exhibit.

The Richard & Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum

Alternate Entrance

  • To enter main floor, follow ramp around building to north entrance. Elevator access inside to second floor.

Historic Downtown Mackinac

American Fur Co. Store & Dr. Beaumont Museum

Biddle House

Benjamin Blacksmith Shop

McGulpin House

Mission Church

Moderate Access

Access may be limited for some visitors with mobility impairments in these buildings:

  • McGulpin House has one entrance step

and the door is 31” wide.

  • A steep ramp leads to the Blacksmith Shop.
  • Restrooms at the Visitor’s Center are functionally accessible.

Difficult Access

Access may be difficult for some visitors with mobility impairments in these buildings:

  • Stairs lead to the Mission Church.

Alternate Exits

  • Biddle House/Blacksmith Shop yard: A turnstile may necessitate exiting this area through the house. Contact staff for assistance.

Colonial Michilimackinac

Outdoor surfaces are gravel, grass and sand.

Path to the Fort from the Visitor’s Center

  • A 500 foot path leads from the Visitor’s Center to the fort. A layer of sand sometimes covers the hard packed trail. The inland route to the land gate (left path) is recommended.

Moderate Access

Access may be limited for some visitors with mobility impairments in these buildings:

  • South Southeast Rowhouse(18) has one entrance step.
  • Merchant’s, Soldier’s and Trader’s houses (11) doors are 29.5” wide.
  • The Priest’s House (8) has two sets of entrance steps and a 3” level change within the building.
  • Cannon Firings (2) are located on a packed gravel surface that is sometimes covered with a layer of sand.
  • The Native American Encampment (1) area has a grass surface.

Difficult Access

Access may be difficult for some visitors with mobility impairments in these buildings:

  • Stairs lead to the Powder Magazine (19). Entrance is from the SSE Rowhouse (18).
  • Interior stairs in the Northeast Rowhouse Unit C (7) lead to the Archaeology Exhibit. A video is available – see Alternate Programs below.

Alternate Programs and Entrances

  • A video on the underground exhibit “Treasures from the Sand” is available at the entrance in the Northeast Rowhouse Unit C (7).
  • The North Church door (10) is not accessible; use the main south entrance.

Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse

Outdoor surfaces are paved side-walks and grassy surfaces.

Difficult Access

Access may be difficult for some visitors with mobility impairments in this area:

  • Confined curved staircase leads to the tower in the lighthouse.

Alternate Programs

  • A video on the tower tour is located in the lighthouse gallery.
  • A ramp leads to the south door of the Barn. Ask for assistance for access.

Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park

Outdoor surfaces are gravel, grass and sand.

Alternate Entrances

  • A ramped boardwalk near the Visitor’s Center (1) leads to the west side of Loop 1, near the Overlook (12). Another ramped boardwalk near the Sawpit Area (9) leads to the trail on the east side of Loop 1.
  • A ramp is located on the east side of the British Workshop (8).

Moderate Access

Access may be limited for some visitors with mobility impairments in these areas:

  • Loop 1 (Mill Pond Trail) and Loop 2 (Evergreen Trail) are hard-packed gravel but natural slopes and gravel surfaces may be difficult for some visitors.
  • The Picnic Area (3) is covered by grass.
  • Surfaces around the unexcavated building sites (10) are covered by grass.

Difficult Access

Natural conditions make access on these trails difficult for visitors with mobility impairments:

  • Loop 3 (Beaver Pond Trail)
  • Eagle’s Flight Zip Line  Adventure Tour element
  • Treetop Discovery Tower & Climbing Wall  Adventure Tour element
  • Forest Canopy Bridge Adventure Tour element
  • The Adventure Tour is a separate ticket and price. All elements of this tour are difficult access for those with mobility impairments.