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Mackinac Island State Park 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 the Mackinac Island State Park Visitor’s Center. 
  • 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, grass, sand, wood chips, and concrete. 

Getting to Mackinac Island State Park

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.

Miles of island trails offer a variety of experiences and connect many areas of interest. Natural conditions can make access to trailways difficult. All trails have at least one length of steep slope. Watch for carriages and horses on paved roads, and bicyclists on bike paths. Walking trails have gravel or wood chip surfaces. For more information, consult the Historic Mackinac Visitor’s Guide or Guest Services Representative at the Mackinac Island State Park Visitor’s Center, across from Marquette Park.

Difficult Access

Five to eight entrance steps to these buildings may make access for visitors with mobility impairments:

  • Mission Church (H)
Moderate Access Locations
  • The restrooms in the Mackinac Island State Park Visitor’s Center (G) are functionally accessible.

Sensory Considerations

Below are some things to consider during your visit:
  • General:
    • Visiting Mackinac Island State Park is a mostly outdoor experience. 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 the park.
    • Food and drinks can be enjoyed throughout Mackinac Island State Park.
    • Some spaces in the park, especially the Mackinac Island State Park Visitor’s Center and Marquette Park, can become crowded. 
  • Sights
    • At the ticketed sites museum staff will wear historic clothing, including military uniforms from the 19th century.
    • Some exhibit spaces are purposefully kept dark. Others are brightly lit. 
    • Cannon and rifle demonstrations from Fort Mackinac will produce sparks and smoke.
  • Sounds
    • Cannon and rifle demonstrations include firings of those weapons, which will be loud. This may come unexpectedly if not in the fort. Click here for a schedule of events for Fort Mackinac.
    • A loud siren will sound from the downtown area every day at 12:00 noon to mark the time.
    • Loud noises from various places on Mackinac Island can be heard throughout the park. These include boat horns, low flying aircraft, and horse-drawn carriages. 
  • Smells
    • Some buildings may smell musty.
    • Wood smoke may occasionally be produced from the Biddle House and Benjamin Blacksmith Shop.
    • The smell of horses is prevalent around the island.

All Accessibility at Mackinac State Historic Parks

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