When historic Mackinaw City, Mackinac Island sites open in 2021 Posted May 11, 2021 Fort Mackinac endured a hostile takeover by the British. Held captives during the Civil War. Survived a seamless transition from national park to state park. And its 14 original buildings have been repaired and restored all along the way. Now, one of the most popular Mackinac State Historic Parks attractions has weathered the COVID-19 pandemic, too. After a year of uncertainty when the opening of historic sites was delayed or even cancelled, Fort Mackinac is open for tours in 2021. So are The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum, Biddle House, featuring the Mackinac Island Native American Museum, Colonial Michilimackinac, Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park and most other Mackinac State Historic Parks sites. With COVID-19 health precautions at Mackinac State Historic Parks, you can safely visit and enjoy any or all of the sites in Mackinaw City and on Mackinac Island this year. Here’s a rundown of when each Mackinac State Historic Parks attraction opened or will openMay 1, Historic Fort MackinacMay 1, The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art MuseumMay 1, Biddle House, featuring the Mackinac Island Native American MuseumMay 1, Benjamin Blacksmith ShopMay 5, Colonial MichilimackinacMay 6, Old Mackinac Point LighthouseMay 7, Historic Mill Creek Discovery ParkJune 5, American Fur Company Store & Dr. Beaumont MuseumThings to keep in mind as you plan your 2021 visit to Mackinac State Historic Parks One Mackinac State Historic Parks site, the 200-year-old McGulpin House, is not scheduled to open this year due to ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic. A few other attractions have activities or areas that are not expected to open in 2021 including the Kids’ Art Studio at The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum, the tower tour at Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse and the Treetops Discovery climbing wall at Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park. With the exception of the climbing wall, the Adventure Tour at Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park will be open this year including the thrilling Forest Canopy Bridge and the Eagle’s Flight Zip Line. And even though you can’t climb the tower, you can take the stairs to the top and enjoy a stunning view of both Mackinac Island and the Mackinac Bridge. While the tower tour is closed this year, you can experience several new exhibits that have opened at Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse. The second floor of the lighthouse has been restored to how it looked in 1910 and gives a great sense of what life was like for George Marshall and his family when he was the first lightkeeper. The lighthouse also is the site of the Straits of Mackinac Shipwreck Museum and features a new exhibit devoted to lighthouse optics and lenses as well as sound and fog signals. In fact, you can hear a demonstration of the lighthouse’s Fog Signal Whistle several times each day. The new historic tours and demonstrations at Colonial Michilimackinac this season will focus on the year 1778, when rumors swirled about whether the Revolutionary War would reach the Upper Great Lakes. Demonstrations and tours led by costumed interpreters take place throughout the day, with several programs being moved outdoors to provide more opportunity for social distancing.A new Mackinac State Historic Parks experience for 2021 Starting June 5 and continuing daily through Sept. 5, one lucky visitor will be able to fire all of the black powder weapons at Colonial Michilimackinac as the fort closes. That includes the Short Land Musket, Wall Gun, Coehorn Mortar and cannon. “Guns Across the Straits” is available to one Colonial Michilimackinac guest each day for an extra fee, and reservations are now being taken for this first-time-ever opportunity. Colonial Michilimackinac also will host a special “Fire at Night” exhibition on July 7, welcoming guests to visit at dusk and watch the fireworks of the fort’s black powder weapons being shot. Tickets to all Mackinac State Historic Parks sites for the 2021 season are now on sale, with money-saving combo packages available when visiting more than one attraction.