Headlands, The, an International Dark Sky Park

The Headlands was established in the late 1950s when Roger McCormick hired a helicopter and dropped 50lb. sacks of flour to mark the boundaries of a property he desired to purchase.

The Park contains approximately 550 acres of pristine woodlands, more than two miles of undeveloped Lake Michigan shoreline and many species of rare and endangered plant life. Visitors to the Headlands may experience sightings of the many wild animals native to the area including: bald eagles, osprey, white tail deer, wild turkeys, coyotes and occasionally a black bear. Marked nature trails guide hikers, bicyclists, cross-country skiers, and nature photographers to experience the park throughout the changing seasons.

The Headlands offers two facilities for rental by the public. The Guest House provides accommodations for 22 people in four bedrooms on three levels. There are 3 floors with 3 full baths (one per floor), a complete kitchen and a conference area. Linens are provided. the Waterfront Event Center is available for rent as well, with information available on the “About” tab.

The vision and cooperation of the following organizations and government units made this property available to the public: The McCormick Foundation, The Village of Mackinaw City, Emmet County, The Schott Foundation, The Little Traverse Conservancy, and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Becoming an International Dark Sky Park

The Headlands became one of the first 10 International Dark Sky Parks in the world in 2011, a prestigious designation bestowed by the International Dark Sky Association in Tucson, Arizona, after a rigorous application and review process. What it means in a nutshell? The Headlands will stay dark and protected, forever, thanks to a commitment by the Emmet County Board of Commissioners.

7725 E. Wilderness Park Dr.
Mackinaw City, MI 49701 

Mackinac Island State Park

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.

Mackinac State Historic Parks

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 MackinacMackinac Island State Park, Historic Downtown Mackinac, and The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum on Mackinac Island, and Michilimackinac State Park, Colonial MichilimackinacHistoric Mill Creek Discovery Park, and Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse in Mackinaw City.

Visit them on the web at https://www.mackinacparks.com.

Colonial Michilimackinac

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.

Fort Mackinac

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.

Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park

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.

Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse

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

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.

 

P.O. Box 873
Mackinaw City, MI 49701 

Mackinaw Area Historical Society/Heritage Village

In partnership with the Village of Mackinaw City, the Mackinaw Area Historical Society is well underway in their development of Heritage Village.  On approximately 143 acres of land just west of Mackinaw City, visitors can enjoy discovery trails, historic buildings, a covered pavilion, a restored log home, a sawmill and much more. Heritage Village’s period is from 1880 through 1917, a time of unparalleled changes in lighting, transportation, communication, housing, health care and nearly every other aspect of Straits-area living. It also reflects an era from which a precious few buildings are still standing, and stories told by parents, grandparents and great grandparents abound.

The Mackinaw Area Historical Society offers lively local monthly programs featuring informative presentations on historically significant topics. ​

1425 W. Central Ave.
Mackinaw City, MI 49701