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Hiking and Bicycling in Mackinaw City

Mackinaw City is a mecca for trail enthusiasts. The North Western, North Central Iron Belle, and North Country Trail Systems converge in a popular tourism community touted for history, recreation and leisure opportunities, scenic vistas, and walkability. Mackinaw City is also known as “The Gateway to Mackinac Island,” with ferry service running seven days a week throughout open water months.

The Headlands International Dark Sky Park-   An Emmet County Park on the Straits of Mackinac,The Headlands preserves over two miles of undeveloped of nearly 600 acres of forested lands, 6 miles of trails, and 2 miles of beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline. Lake Michigan shoreline south and west of McGulpin Point Light in the Straits of Mackinac.You will experience breathtaking sunsets, pristine lakeshores and natural surroundings full of wildlife. St. Helena’s Island, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, the Mackinac Bridge, Waugoshance Point, Wilderness State Park, Cecil Bay and Trails End Bay are all visible from the shores of the Headlands.

Phone: 231-348-1702
15675 Headlands Rd

Mackinaw City, MI 49701


There are 140 miles of roads and trails on Mackinac Island with many of them designated for foot traffic only, as there are no motor vehicles allowed on the Island. The majority of them are paved roads that are shared by bicyclists, carriages and pedestrians.

The longest walk is the “Round the Shore” trip. The round the shore is an 8.2 mile journey along Lake Shore Road. This route takes you by many natural features of the Island and shows off the breathtaking scenic shoreline.

Other popular walks are “Across the Turtle’s Back”! A Tranquil Bluff Trail and British Landing Nature Trail. For detailed trail maps you may want to purchase a Historic Visitor’s Guide to Mackinac Island, on the ferry boat or at the Mackinac Historic Park Visitor Centers, for $1.00


Mill Creek State Historic Park is situated on over 600 acres that contain beautiful forests, wildflowers, and scenic views, in addition to the reconstructed sawmill. The park has 1.5 miles of trails including a half-mile nature trail that borders the creek and passes two scenic overlooks from where the Straits of Mackinac and Mackinac Island can be viewed.

Departing from the nature trail is a mile long spur to a beaver pond. Interestingly enough, Mill Creek has a one of a kind mile loop nature trail that is totally handicap accessible.

Phone: 231-436-7301
P.O. Box 873
Mackinaw City, MI 49701


Wilderness State Park has 12 miles of designated foot trails that weave throughout the park. Marked trails include Sturgeon Bay Trail, Swamp Line, Boundary Trail, Nebo Trail, Pondside Trail, Red Pine Trail, Hemlock Trail and Big Stone Trail.

Check with the DNR staff first, as parts of the shoreline are closed in the spring and early summer when the endangered Piping Plover is nesting. It is also suggested you request a complete hiking map to fully enjoy the sites and trails. This is a wonderful area to explore the ecosystem of the Great Lakes meeting the great hard woods of Northern Michigan.

Phone: 231-436-5381
Wilderness State Park
Carp Lake, MI 49718