Mackinac Island State Park

Mackinac Island State Park

Mackinac Island State Park is located in one of the
country’s most beautiful natural settings, the Straits of Mackinac.

centerpiece of the Park is Mackinac Island, located east of the Mackinac
Bridge. Over 80% of the Island is owned and maintained by the State

Surrounded by pristine sparkling water the Island has a vibrant
forest full of natural wildflowers, groomed nature trails and mystical
geological formations. The Mackinac Island State Park is one of the
popular parks in the entire country.


The Beauty Is the
Mystery of the Landscape

One of the unique characteristics of the Park is the
absence of motorized vehicles. All cars and trucks (with the exception
of emergency vehicles) were banned from the island in 1898.

The primary
modes of transportation are horse drawn carriages and bicycles. As a
result the Mackinac Island State Park is perfect for bicycling, walking,
jogging and riding horseback.

Mackinac Island State Park | Michigan

There are seventy miles of roads and trails within the Park to explore.

Many interior eastern trails are groomed during the winter for cross-country skiing.


Among the many natural wonders to see in the Park are:

Mackinac Island State Park on Mackinac Island ·

Arch Rock is situated on the eastern shoreline of
the Island. It is a geologic limestone formation created during the
post-glacial period. The arch was formed by the action of water and
winds eroding the soft rock leaving a fifty feet span soaring a hundred
and forty feet over the Lake Huron Shoreline.

Native Americans saw Arch Rock as a place of mystical power. The
Island itself is sacred to the Ojibwa and Odawa Great Lakes Native
American tribes. They believed that Mackinac Island is where life began.

The Legends of Arch Rock, Mackinac Island

Sugar Loaf is another large limestone structure that is
located in the center of the Island. Sugar Loaf was formed when the
glaciers receded and rises 75 feet above the ground. Point Lookout
provides a breathtaking view of the ancient formation and provides a
revealing perspective of the dramatic effect the glacial movement had on
the geology of the Straits area.

Devil’s Kitchen is a large breccia sea cave formation
located on the western side of the Island. The cave was formed during
prehistoric time when lake levels were much higher than they are today.
The compelling name came from a Native American legend which says that
the devil himself used to roast the bodies of lost souls on the rocky
floor of the cave!

Devil's Kitchen Historical Marker

Skull Cave is another cave formation located near the
center of the Island at the juncture of two main inland roads. The cave
was used by a local tribe as a burial place for tribal leaders.

In 1763 a
successful Indian uprising resulted in the destruction of Fort
Michlimackinac on the mainland. One of the few survivors of the attack
was Alexander Henry, a British merchant.

He was befriended by an Ojibwa
chief and taken to Mackinac Island for his safety. Henry was hidden in
Skull Cave.

Accounts of Henry’s exploit reveal his horror at discovering
the following morning that his bed in the cave was lined with human

Historic Places Not to Miss

Best Historical Places Not To Miss In Croatia 2022

On Mackinac Island State Park

There are a number of historic sites located within Mackinac Island
State Park. Many of the sites have active interpretative programs that
provide visitors with a comprehensive understanding of what life was
like in the colonial era.

Read about
historic British Landing
which is significant for being the site of the first American land battle of the War of 1812.

Fort Holmes,
situated on the highest point of the Island.

Mackinac Island Battlefield of 1814 is located near the center of the Island.

Scout Honor Troops
serve every summer in the Mackinac Island Scout Service Program. They
perform many duties and serve as the Michigan Governor’s Honor Guard.

Be sure to visit the
Michigan Governor’s Summer Residence
when you visit the Island. It is open to the public on Wednesday mornings.

Michigan Governor's Summer Residence - Wikipedia

Fort Mackinac is located on the bluff overlooking
the harbor of Mackinac Island and towers 150 feet above the Straits of
Mackinac. The fort was established by the British in 1781 and later
occupied by the American forces until the late 19th century.

Click here to read more about this military compound which is the jewel of Mackinac Island State Park.

Both young and old will enjoy visiting this impressive site. Located
inside the fort are fourteen original buildings with interactive
displays and furnishings. Interpretative tours with rifle and cannon
displays and military music are conducted several times daily.

Insider Tip: Be sure to wear comfortable shoes so you can enjoy all the mystical and magical places throughout Mackinac Island State Park.

Return to Michigan State Parks from “Mackinac Island State Park”

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