Visiting all of these points, and the many more that aren’t mentioned, are free of charge. With the exception of the Visitor’s Center, park restrooms, and the Summer Governor’s Residence, Mackinac Island State Park is open year round.
Location: East side of island near the shoreline, Located by taking Lake Shore Road, Arch Rock Road, Arch Rock Bicycle Trail, or Huron Road Rising 146 feet above the water, Arch Rock is a natural curiosity which spans fifty feet as its widest point. It was formed over thousands of years by wind and water eroding soft rock below, leaving only the hard breccia rock which forms the arch.
East side of island a short distance inland from the shoreline,on Sugar Loaf Road at Point Lookout.The dramatic breccia mass rises 75 feet above the ground and is the largest of Mackinac Island’s many limestone stacks. Centuries ago a huge lake that geologist call Lake Algonquin covered all but the center of Mackinac Island. Sugar Loaf was then a small, eroding island cut off from the surrounding land area. When the water receded, the stack was left standing as a tower of rock.
Bicycle, walk, ride horseback, or take a carriage around the island exterior on scenic M-185Stretching eight miles around the island's perimeter, M-185 is a scenic shoreline road and the nation's only state highway without motor vehicle traffic.
Located throughout Mackinac Island
There are 61 miles of roads and trails within Mackinac Island State Park, most of which are wooded inland trails for hikers, bikers and horseback riders in spring, summer and fall. Many interior eastern trails are groomed and excellent for cross-country skiing during the winter.
Location: West side of island on Lake Shore Boulevard. This is a large breccia sea cave formation that eroded at some prehistoric time when lake levels were higher.
Location: Garrison Road behind Fort Mackinac The three historic island cemeteries are located near each other. The Post Cemetery dates to the mid 1820s. The cemetery contains about 108 burials including officers, enlisted men, military family members, and a few civilians. There are only 39 identified interments, and the rest are unknown. The cemetery was closed to burials soon after soldiers abandoned Fort Mackinac in 1895. The island’s earliest Protestant and Catholic cemeteries were originally located near churches downtown. By the mid-19the century the village burial grounds were closed and many of the bodies were disinterred and moved from town t o this location. Inscribed tombstones from the early 1800’s make interesting reading.
Location: Center of the island on British Landing Road. This site bears great historical significance. The Americans regretted the loss of Fort Mackinac to the British in 1812, and so invaded the island two years later. They landed at British Landing and advanced to the edge of the woods at the north side of the present day Wawashkamo Golf Course. However, the British garrison and artillery from Fort Mackinac occupied high ground just beyond the present clubhouse. After an exchange of gunfire, it became obvious to the American that the British and their Indian allies were well entrenched. A battle ensued, costing the American’s over a dozen lives. The English held Fort Mackinac until 1815, when the Untied States regained control by treaty. The fortification at the top of the island was renamed Fort Holmes after American Major Andrew Hunter Holmes, who died in the battle.
Order War 1812 Book
Location: Northwestern edge of island, near the corner of Lake Shore Boulevard and British Landing Road.It was here that British soldiers landed during their successful attack and capture of Fort Mackinac on July 16 and 17, 1812, the first American land battle of the War of 1812. Public restrooms are available nearby.
Location: Southeastern interior of island on Fort Holmes Road, located after Point Lookout. When the War of 1812 broke out, the British moved quickly to capture American-held Fort Mackinac. The British regulars and hundreds of Indian allies landed secretly during the night and moved to high ground overlooking the fort. After the Americans surrendered the fort, the British built a small outpost on this high ground and called it Fort George. It was later named Fort Holmes when Americans regained the fort by treaty at the end of the war. It was named after American Major Andrew Hunter Holmes, who died during an unsuccessful attempt to retake the fort from British hands in 1814.
Location: Inland from the northeastern section of the island, located on Garrison Road before the historic cemeteries.When a successful Indian uprising took place at Fort Michlimackinac in 1763, located in what is now present day Mackinaw City, one of the few British survivors was merchant Alexander Henry. He was befriended by an Ojibwa chief, Wawatam, and hidden in this cave until passions cooled. Henry, although grateful to be alive, recalled in this memoirs that he had spent a very uncomfortable night sleeping on a bed of human skulls. The local tribe had once used the cave to bury its dead.
Location: Main Street across from Marquette Park, which is below the bluff of Fort Mackinac. To obtain information and maps about Mackinac Island, visit the Visitor’s Center/Museum Store.
Location: Annex Road near the center of the island.The Mackinac Island Airport, operated by the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, has a 3,500-foot paved runway for propeller plans and small jets. It is open year round, and is the only link with the mainland during the coldest months of the winter.
Location: Corner of Fort Street and Huron Road. Constructed in 1902 as a private summer cottage, this residence has served as weekend getaways for Michigan governor’s since July 1945. (The nearby Major's Quarters was used as the official "Governor's Cottage" between 1935 and 1945.) Every Wednesday between June 9 – August 25, the governor’s summer residence is open to the public between 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.