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.

Fort Mackinac is now closed for 2020, and is tentatively scheduled to reopen for the 2021 season on May 1. 

Fire the Cannon Web Button 3


Live Programs and Tours

Click to view a larger version.

Demonstrations and tours by costumed interpreters are scheduled throughout the day. Exciting programs taking place throughout the 2020 season include a daily Mackinac Parks: 125 program, an updated Soldier’s Life program, an expanded People of Fort Mackinac Timeline Walking Tour, and an exciting Drill, Tactics and Firearms Program. The 2021 daily event schedule will be posted soon.


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 – reimagined for the 2021 season! 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 into an immersive, multimedia presentation allowing guests to step back in time to the War of 1812 and experience the confusion, fear, and drama of the British capture of Fort Mackinac on July 17, 1812.
  • Office features two updated period settings and two completely new gallery spaces interpreting the training and duties of Fort Mackinac’s officers. New exhibit panels and interactive elements will help visitors explore officers’ roles in the fort’s daily operations as well as the administration of the Mackinac National Park.


Heritage of Mackinac is featured in the Post Commissary, providing an overview history of Mackinac. It repeats every 20 minutes.

Watch the video below to learn more about Fort Mackinac!