Mackinac State Historic Parks is a family of living history museums and nature parks in northern Michigan’s Straits of Mackinac and is an agency within the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Its sites—which are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums—include Fort Mackinac, Mackinac Island State Park, Historic Downtown Mackinac, and The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum on Mackinac Island, and Michilimackinac State Park, Colonial Michilimackinac, Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park, and Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse in Mackinaw City.
Visit them on the web at https://www.mackinacparks.com.
Treasures from the past come to life at this 18th-century fort and fur trading village. As you walk through the site, you are stepping back in time to 1775, when the American Revolution began. Reconstructed based on historic maps and more than 50 years of archaeological excavations that continue today, Colonial Michilimackinac offers a one-of-a-kind experience from cannon and musket firings to hearth cooking and crafts. Located on the shore of the Straits of Mackinac, visitors can enjoy stunning views of the Mackinac Bridge, the straits, and the Upper Peninsula.
The cannon blasts, the rifles fire, the soldiers march and history comes alive. The oldest building in Michigan and 13 other historical structures boast exhibits explaining everything from military training and battles to medical treatments to family life within the fort.
More than just a military outpost, Fort Mackinac served as a home for soldiers and their families and eventually the headquarters for Mackinac National Park, where tourists to the island visited the great fortress on the bluff, much like they do today.
Visitors can witness the power of the creek harnessed to cut timber into lumber at one of the oldest industrial sites on the Upper Great Lakes and soar like an eagle on the zip line during the Adventure Tour.
A point in the storm and a guiding beacon since 1889, Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse helped passing ships navigate through the treacherous waters of the Straits of Mackinac. There’s just as much to see from the top of the tower as inside the original buildings. Authentically restored quarters and exhibits, including the original lens, a movie, Shipwrecks of the Straits, and the Straits of Mackinac Shipwreck Museum make this “Castle of the Straits” a true gem of the Great Lakes.
Mackinac Island State Park was established in 1895. For twenty years before that it had been Mackinac National Park, the United States’ second national park. Today, over eighty percent of Mackinac Island is State Park property, and most of this park land remains in its natural condition to be enjoyed. A great variety of historic and natural resources provides something of interest for every Mackinac Island visitor. Historic landmarks, breathtaking vistas, spectacular rock formations, quiet forests and inspiring nature trails are just minutes away. The sites are accessible by foot or bike, rented horse or buggy, sightseeing carriages or horse-drawn taxi.