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Biddle House Accessibility

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. The sites are mainly outside, feature loud noises, various smells, and people in period costumes. 

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

  • Guides to Access are available at admission sites. 
  • Captioning is provided for movies at all sites. 
  • Service animals are permitted at all sites and in all buildings.
The letters correspond to the letters on the site map. Click here for a PDF of the Fort Mackinac site map. Click here for a PDF of the Mackinac Island Guide to Access.


Outdoor surfaces are gravel, stone pavers, and grass. 

Getting to Biddle House, featuring the Mackinac Island Native American Museum

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.

General Access Notes

  • The Biddle House, featuring the Native American Museum (A), is accessible, but does have some narrow doorways due to the historic nature of the house. 

Sensory Considerations

There is a schedule of programs available by clicking here and posted at the admissions window. Below are some things to consider during your visit:
  • General
    • Visiting the Biddle House is a mix of indoor and outdoor experiences. The weather can change quickly in northern Michigan, ranging from hot to cold, calm to very windy, and dry to humid and rainy.
    • While usually not too bad, a variety of insects may be present while visiting.
    • Snacks and drinks can be enjoyed throughout at the Biddle House.
    • Some spaces may become crowded. 
  • Sights
    • Museum staff wearing historical clothing are stationed at the Biddle House.
    • Some exhibit spaces are purposefully kept dark. Others are brightly lit.
    • The Biddle House includes two large TV screens with nearly life-sized recordings of people.
  • Sounds
    • Museum staff will loudly announce the beginning of all programs.
    • Metalworking demonstrations at the Benjamin Blacksmith Shop, located next door to the Biddle House, include the sounds of repetitive hammer blows as well as a variety of hand tools.
    • A variety of street noises, including those produced by horse-drawn carriages, can be heard.
    • A loud siren will sound from the downtown area every day at 12:00 noon to mark the time.
    • Loud noises from elsewhere on Mackinac Island can be heard throughout the site. These include ferry boat horns, artillery demonstrations at Fort Mackinac, and low flying aircraft.
  • Smells
    • Buildings may smell musty.
    • A fireplace is used at the Biddle House producing wood smoke. Cooking demonstrations will also produce a variety of food aromas.
    • The forge at the Benjamin Blacksmith Shop produces coal smoke.

All Accessibility at Mackinac State Historic Parks

Click here for access concerns at all Mackinac State Historic Parks sites.