The village of Mackinaw City, established in 1868, and incorporated in 1881 is located at the northernmost tip of Michigan's Lower Peninsula in both Cheboygan and Emmet counties.
The city has an average elevation of 590 feet above sea level. The terrain is gently rolling and quite heavily forested. The village is known as the "Crossroads of the Great Lakes" because the nearby Straits of Mackinac is where Lakes Huron and Michigan meet. The climate is temperate, but with a wide variation in temperature between -30 to 90-degrees F.
The Recreation Center is located on the Village's West Side on Central Avenue. The complex has an indoor skating rink, locker rooms, a weight room, and walking track.
We also have outdoor ball fields, tennis courts, and a playground at the Center.
The Mackinaw City Marina is a full service marina with showers, restrooms, offices, laundry facilities, and a recreation area. Boaters can go online to browse for lake conditions at the Marina's information center. We are open from May 1st to mid October and within easy walking distance of downtown shopping, theaters, fine restaurants, churches, and banks.
The Mackinaw City Public Library is located at 528 W. Central Avenue and is open Mon, Tues, Thurs. & Fri from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Wed. from 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
In addition to the large adult and children's book collection, the library features 135 magazine and newspaper subscriptions, books on tape and video rentals, a children's summer reading program, and a special Michigan history room. In the heart of Mackinaw City, there are many parks ranging from educational to just plain fun. Starting at Colonial Michilimackinac, take the "Walk of History". This walk will take you around the lakeshore and through town while sharing in 300 years of history and milestones that have molded our community; approximately 1.5 miles.
Located in the main residential area, Old School Park offers a gazebo and extensive outdoor playgrounds to entertain, challenge and amuse children of all ages.
The Headlands boasts 600 acres of land containing Lake Michigan shoreline and trails. Once a private retreat, it is now a County Park where residents and visitors alike can hike, bike and walk in a quiet and scenic forest setting. The Headlands is located approximately 3 miles west of Mackinaw following Central Avenue.
Catch some sun and enjoy a swim at Mackinaw's Municipal Bathing Beach. Located approximately four miles west of Mackinaw City, it's known as "First Beach" and is a great place to enjoy a sunny day on a quiet sugar-sand beach or a beautiful sunset on Lake Michigan.
Just eight miles west of The Headlands lay Wilderness State Park. It contains some of the most pristine Lake Michigan beaches. Whether you like to camp, hike or just enjoy the beach, Wilderness Park is worth the drive. An extensive 12 mile trail system winds through the park giving both nature lovers and hikers an enjoyable outing. Stop and ask a park ranger for a trail map and trail conditions.
Two small inland lakes, Paradise (Carp) Lake and French Farm Lake, will test your fishing skills. Paradise Lake is located just five miles south of Mackinaw City and boasts a marina, lake access and boat launch and some of the best walleye, bass and pan fish fishing around. The entrance to French Farm Lake is located just one mile beyond the Headlands. You'll experience nature in its most peaceful state as motors are restricted. There are picnic and launch sites available.
Other free activities in the area include the spectacular laser light show at dusk every weekend in the Mackinaw Crossing. The Mackinac Bridge Museum located on Central Avenue is free and open May through October. View artifacts and a movie on the making of the Mighty Mac.
Stop in at City Hall and pick up a map of our Historic Pathway. You will be guided around town to kiosks describing a part of our broad history from shipping to colonial battles. This guided walk will let you enjoy the great outdoors and stretch your legs. It winds its way through the Village and includes nearly 40 detailed markers recalling much of Mackinaw's history. Most of the markers are located along Mackinaw City's main thoroughfares.