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Mackinac Island State Park Visitation Tips

Visitation Tips & Courtesies 

Getting Around

Please keep in mind that Mackinac Island State Park is an outdoor experience so prepare accordingly for various weather conditions. Automobiles were banned on Mackinac Island in 1898. The absence of cars has created a unique, charming and historic ambiance. But, how do you get around?

Most visitors travel by foot power, either walking or pedalling. Many of the prominent sites are less than a mile from the Visitor’s Center. Other popular sights are for more adventurous hikers. Even though there are no cars to contend with, walkers need to be cautious, watching out for horses and bikes, using sidewalks and foot paths where they are available.

Aside from walking, visitor transportation is via horse or bicycle. Mackinac Island is a bicyclist’s paradise, especially the road around the island. Eight miles in circumference, Lake Shore Boulevard (M-185) is the only state highway where cars are banned! Another great way to see the island is by horsepower. Horse-drawn carriage tours of the island’s scenic and historic sites are very popular. Click here for further information on biking and horse transportation. 

While the park includes over 80% of the island’s land, park boundaries meander irregularly, particularly near the downtown area and the west end. Non-park areas are under the jurisdiction of the City of Mackinac Island. Visitors should be respectful of private property, leaseholds and city regulations.

Road Safety

Remember that with hundreds of horses and more than 2,500 bicycles sharing the road, following traffic rules is a necessity. When walking, always use sidewalks, foot paths and crosswalks where provided. Cyclists ride to the right, yield to horses and pedestrians, park only in designated areas and observe all traffic safety signs.

Pet Friendly

Well-behaved pets are welcome in Mackinac Island State Park. Please clean up after your pet.

Prohibited Activities

It is unlawful to do the following in Mackinac Island State Park:

  • Camp
  • Hunt
  • Build Fires
  • Use land for commercial operations without proper permission
  • Use a loudspeaker or public address system without proper permission
  • Hold or participate in a road race without proper permission
  • Engage in any disorderly conduct
  • Possess or consume alcoholic beverages in Marquette Park between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.
  • Conduct excavations, diggings, or surveys without proper permission
  • Carry or possess a metal detector without proper permission
  • Fly a drone

See Mackinac Island State Park Commission General Rules for a full description of all park regulations.