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, Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, and Colonial Michilimackinac.
– Wheelchairs are available for loan at most admission areas on a first-come, first-served basis.
– Motorized wheelchairs are available for loan at Colonial Michilimackinac and Historic Mill Creek 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.
– An adult changing table is available at Fort Mackinac.
Below is information on accessibility. The numbers or letters refer to the building’s location on the individual site map. Click for a PDF of the printed Mackinaw City Guide to Access. Click here for PDF of the printed Mackinac Island Guide to Access.
Mackinac Island State Park
Outdoor surfaces are gravel, grass, sand, wood chips, and concrete.
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 and paved roads, and bicycles on bike paths. Walking trails may have gravel or wood chip surfaces – many are natural trails. For more information, consult the Historic Mackinac Island Visitor’s Guide or a Guest Services Representative at the Mackinac Island State Park Visitor’s Center (G) located on Main Street, across from Marquette Park.
Five to eight entrance steps to these buildings may make access difficult for visitors with mobility impairments:
Outdoor surfaces are wooden boardwalks and grass.
Getting to Fort Mackinac
Passenger ferries and airplanes take visitors to Mackinac Island. Two 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 motorized devices are allowed with permission. Please contact us for more details.
Fort Mackinac’s most accessible entrance is located 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. The road is very steep and may be difficult for some visitors. Other less direct roads also lead to the north entrance.
The ramp leading to the south entrance has 27 steps at the top. This entrance is NOT accessible for visitors using wheelchairs. Horse-drawn carriage tours and taxis leaving from downtown locations will transport visitors to the north side of the fort. A taxi with a lift may be available; contact 906.847.3323 for taxi information.
– Post Bathhouse (4)
– Reading Room (9)
– North Blockhouse (10) Alternate program(s) provided
– West Blockhouse (12)
– Tea Room (15) Alternate service area provided
– South Sally Port Entrance/Exit (18) Alternate entrance/exit available
– Upper Gun Platform (19) Alternate program(s) provided
– East Blockhouse (20) Alternate program(s) provided
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).
Alternate Building Entrances
The following buildings have alternate ramped entrances:
– Enter the Office (2) through the Quartermaster’s Storehouse (3).
– Enter the Officers’ Stone Quarters (14) through the back porch of the building.
– The ramp leading to the South Sally Port (18) entrance is very steep and there are 27 steps at the top. This entrance is NOT accessible for visitors using wheelchairs. Please use Fort Street to connect you to the Avenue of Flags (8).
– A small elevator in the Soldiers’ Barracks (7) connects the two levels of Fort Mackinac. The elevator accommodates only smaller motorized wheelchairs. Elevator entrance locations: Parade Ground Level: Near Restrooms (6); Avenue of Flags Level: Barracks rear porch, second door (7).
– Alternate North Sally Port (5) entrance to lower level.
– 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, featuring alternate programs for the North Blockhouse (10), Reading Room (9), and East Blockhouse (20).
– Auxiliary aids are available for various demonstrations – cannon firing, rifle firing, and walking tours.
Outdoor surfaces are paved sidewalks.
– Follow the ramp to the rear of the building (F).
– An elevator provides access to the second floor.
– A staff member can provide access to the restrooms and art studio. Inquire with the Guest Services Representative at the admissions window.
Outdoor surfaces are gravel and stone pavers.
– The Biddle House (A) is fully accessible, but does have some narrow door openings due to the historic nature of the house.
Outdoor surfaces are gravel, stone pavers, and wooden boardwalks.
– The Benjamin Blacksmith Shop (B) is fully accessible, but does feature a narrow space to view demonstrations.
Outdoor surfaces are gravel and wooden boardwalks.
– The McGulpin House (D) door is 31” wide.
– The American Fur Co. Store & Dr. Beaumont Museum (C) has narrow door openings.
Outdoor surfaces are paved sidewalks, grass, and sand.
Pathways throughout the park can sometimes become covered with a layer of sand. Restrooms in the park are fully accessible. Beach areas are rocky, and there is no accessible area to enter the water. Swimming is not recommended, and no lifeguards are on duty.
– The Bridgeview Gazebo has one entrance step.
– Picnic tables and grills are located throughout the park on grassy areas.
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 – 22) is recommended.
Five to eight entrance steps to these buildings and exhibits make access difficult for visitors with mobility impairments.
– Stairs lead to the Powder Magazine (19). Entrance is from the South Southeast Rowhouse (18). Alternate program(s) provided.
– Interior stairs in the Northwest Rowhouse (7) lead to the Archaeology Exhibit. Alternate program(s) provided.
– South Southeast Rowhouse (18) has one entrance step.
– The Southwest Rowhouse (11), which includes the Merchant’s and Soldier’s Houses, as well as the Attack! at Michilimackinac theater, has doors that are 29.5″ wide.
– The Priest’s House (8) has two sets of entrance steps and a 3” level change within the building.
– Artillery Firings (2) (3) are located on a packed gravel surface that is sometimes covered with a layer of sand.
– The path leading to the Native American Encampment (23) is packed gravel. Areas of the encampment are on grass.
Alternate Programs and Entrances
– A video on the underground exhibit Treasures from the Sand is available at the entrance in the Northwest Rowhouse (7).
– The north door to the Church of Ste. Anne (10) is not accessible; use the main south entrance.
– A video of the Powder Magazine is available in the South Southeast Rowhouse (18).
– An auxiliary aid is available for the musket demonstration.
Outdoor surfaces are paved sidewalks and grass.
Access may be difficult for some visitors with mobility impairments in this area:
– The Marshall Gallery (3) on the second floor of the Keepers’ Quarters (2) is only accessible via stairway. Alternate program(s) provided.
– A confined curved staircase leads to the tower (4) in the lighthouse, and an 11-rung ladder leads to the top. Alternate program(s) provided.
– The Oil House (7) is on grass.
– An in-depth tour of the Tower (4) is located in the Barn (5). A shorter video can also be found in the Keepers’ Quarters (2).
– A video of the Marshall Gallery is located in the Keepers’ Quarters gallery (2).
– A ramp leads to the south door of the Barn (5). Ask for assistance for access.
– Auxiliary aids are available for the Fog Signal Demonstration and Tower Tour.
Outdoor surfaces are gravel, grass, sand, and wooden boardwalks.
Natural conditions make access on these trails difficult for visitors with mobility impairments:
– Beaver Pond Loop
– Mill Pond Spur
– Treetop Discovery Tower (17)
– Mill Pond Loop and Evergreen Loop 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.
– A ramped boardwalk (11) near the David A. Armour Visitor’s Center (1) leads to the west side of the Mill Pond Loop, near the Overlook (12). Another ramped boardwalk (11) near the Sawpit (9) leads to the trail on the east side of the Mill Pond Loop.
– The British Workshop (8) has a ramp located on the east side.
– An auxiliary aid is available for the sawpit and sawmill demonstration.