Fort Mackinac - Mackinac State Historic Parks | Mackinac State Historic Parks

Fort Mackinac


This is Mackinac. 

The cannon blasts, the rifles fire, the soldiers march and history comes alive. The oldest building in Michigan and 13 other historical structures boast exhibits explaining everything from military training and battles to medical treatments to family life within the fort.

More than just a military outpost, Fort Mackinac served as a home for soldiers and their families and eventually the headquarters for Mackinac National Park, where tourists to the island visited the great fortress on the bluff, much like they do today.

A link to a page for information to fire the Fort Mackinac cannon.


Live Programs and Tours

Click to enlarge.

Demonstrations and tours by costumed interpreters are scheduled throughout the day. Exciting programs taking place throughout the 2023 season include cannon and rifle firing demonstrations, the popular drill program, a tour exploring the army of the 1880s, a detailed look at Mackinac during its time as a national park, a “Gear and Quartermasters’ Storehouse” program exploring what a soldier would have been issued in the late 1880s, a program exploring how the fort has changed over time, and a program dedicated to the women who called Fort Mackinac home, among others.

Click the links below to find out what will be happening during your visit.

June 3 – September 3, 2023
September 4 – October 8, 2023
October 9 – October 22, 2023


All fourteen buildings in the fort are restored and open to the public. They are furnished with period settings highlighting the building’s particular function or a themed exhibit. Special exhibits include:

      • Mackinac, An Island Famous in These Regions on the second floor of the Soldier’s’ Barracks presents the full history of Mackinac Island. 
      • Military Medicine at Mackinac: 1780-1895 in the Post Hospital explores medical care at the fort and changing nineteenth-century medical practices. 
      • Kids’ Quarters features hands-on displays and interactive games.
      • Post Guardhouse explores 19th-century military justice with actual cases tried at the fort.
      • North Blockhouse plunges visitors back in time to the War of 1812 to experience the confusion, fear, and drama of the British capture of Fort Mackinac on July 17, 1812.
      • Office features period settings and gallery spaces interpreting the training and duties of Fort Mackinac’s officers.
      • Reading Room is an immersive space that allows you to explore popular titles of the 1880s, read the latest newspaper or periodical, and get a better understanding of what it was like to be a soldier in the 1880s and why the U.S. Army felt it was a good idea to have reading rooms within its forts.


The Heritage of Mackinac is featured in the Soldiers’ Barracks, providing an overview history of Mackinac. It repeats every 20 minutes.

Watch the video below to learn more about Fort Mackinac!