Walking the Mighty Mackinac Bridge

“Knowledge of other people’s beliefs and ways of thinking must be used to
build bridges, not create conflict.” ~Kjell Magne Bondevik

The Mackinac Bridge, which connects Michigan’s Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula, was built in November, 1957.  The entire length of the bridge is 5 miles.  The bridge is a suspension type of bridge, and while certainly not a “Galloping Gertie”, it does have some movement.  When walking, this movement can be felt in the center section, between the two towers.   At first it’s an odd feeling, but you get used to it.  It’s rather fun trying to walk a straight line in that section!  This year there were 45,000 people who walked the bridge during the Annual Labor Day Bridge Walk.  They keep the two south-bound lanes open for N/S traffic and the walkers get the northbound lanes for walking…from 7 am-2 pm.

This is the third year in a row we’ve walked the bridge and the weather was gorgeous.  We saw a beautiful sunrise from the bridge and the temperatures were 60-70 degrees F.   We finished at 8:30 am, had breakfast in Mackinaw City on the mainland (lower peninsula), and headed by ferry to Mackinac Island.

Visiting Mackinac Island is like going back to the turn of the century.  No cars are allowed, only foot traffic, horses, horse-drawn carriages & sleighs (in winter), and bicycles.  The pace is delightfully slower here.  A few hundred people live on the island. The governor has a residence, and there are many B&B’s.  The most famous of the hotels is the Grand Hotel.  It is a massive building and very grand, as its name implies.  It sits prominently on a hill overlooking the Straits of Mackinac.  A long porch catches the breeze and one of the rockers is a perfect place for a nap!  We love to go to the very top, to the Cupola, where wide windows on three sides offer views of the bridge, Round Island, ferries, and the Straits. If you’re lucky, you can see a huge barge pass by.  If you’d like to see the Grand Hotel, check out the movie: “Somewhere in Time”.  It was filmed on the island.

Mackinac Bridge taken from Mackinac Island

Capturing a slice of water between two buildings in town. Note the bikes!

This is Main St. on Mackinac Island.  If you look closely you can see all types of traffic~  Horse-drawn, bicycles, and foot traffic.  Try clicking on this image to see if it will enlarge.

This carriage will take you to and from the Grand Hotel. It’s on Huron St. with private residences in view.

This flower bed is below the hotel in the garden, fountain, pool and labyrinth area.

Enjoying a lemonade and the views from the Cupola.

Looking at the Grand Hotel’s Cupola….the curved windows at the very top. The perfect place to relax! ~~Besides the lovely porch!

The next day I awoke to find this sunrise over the Straits of Mackinac. A pretty way to end a nice weekend!

If you’d like more information on the Mackinac Bridge, check out this site:
Mackinac Bridge Authority.

Thanks for visiting and viewing!  Come back! 😉


34 thoughts on “Walking the Mighty Mackinac Bridge

    • Merci pour vos commentaires, Thierryjan. J’aime la paix dans la dernière photo aussi. I try with my French, but it’s not good! I need help with Free Translation.com! 😉 Merci encore.

  1. Just beautiful…makes my heart yearn for my home state of Michigan. Can’t wait for the opportunity to return to the Island for another visit.

  2. What an amazing weekend. Each image is a celebration of a beautiful, happy, relaxing day that refreshes the mind and heart. From the bridge with the still waters to the sunrise that creates a perfect ending, this post is a journey that leads to self rediscovery. Thanks.

    • Thank you, Island Traveler! I love your words: “refreshes the mind and heart”. It certainly did. We had a good time with laughter and memories of past visits. Another perfect word for our weekend: “a journey that leads to self-discovery”. You are spot-on with that one, too. Thanks again, my friend!

    • Hi Tess! Sometimes we get so busy we take our surroundings for granted. Your words are wonderful: “We should appreciate it (our beautiful world) much more than we do.” Very well said, my friend.

    • Hey Julie! I love seeing your name here! Thanks for the compliment! It is a very special place. We make a visit after the bridge walk every year…it’s the carrot that gets me over the bridge…lol Not really, but I do love to stroll around the island…such a treat. And it keeps the joints oiled to keep moving after walking 5 miles!

    • Thank YOU, Meg! It was a lovely day all around! I love going to the island for the laid-back, slow pace! I adore the way things were at the turn of the century, and I would have loved to live then…but I think I’d miss modern conveniences and technology! 😉

  3. Nice post, nice place and lovely images Judy. Don’t know about the walk, but I’d love to visit Mackinac Island and the Grand Hotel. I can even hear John Barry’s music from the soundtrack of the movie, while looking at your images.

    • Oh you are so kind, Jim! When I mentioned the movie I was thinking of you….as you had spoken about it before! I know you and your wife would like it there. I love the slow pace and getting away from the busy world! The walk isn’t too bad. But my joints are a little stiffer the next day! lol

  4. When I saw Grand Hotel and was reading your description of it and especially when you wrote “it sits prominently on a hill” , I instantly had this image in my head of the Grand Hotel in Somewhere In Time, but at the same time I didn’t realize you were talking about this marvelous hotel. What a surprise when I read it was this hotel ! Somewhere In Time is one of my very favourite movie, I think I saw it 15 times ! How marvelous this hotel is, it’s superb ! I didn’t know it was on Mackinac Island and I would really love to go there. It would be so special to me, I adored the movie and seeing this hotel for real would be awesome.
    The island looks so beautiful, I love these kind of houses and I love the fact that cars aren’t allowed. I would really love to visit ! Your photos are beautiful, I love the shot of the flowerbed. And your last photo, oh…..it’s a superb photo. It is so serene. And the greys of the clouds and water with the hues of the sunrise blend together so perfectly !

    • Thank you so much, Jocelyne! I loved that movie also, and it fits right in with the flavor of the island life. Sometimes I think I was meant to live at that time. (but I’d surely miss indoor plumbing, computers, etc etc!)
      It really isn’t tremendously far from you, is it? I’m not great with geography and distances. It’s not far from Sault St. Marie, Canada, where the Soo Locks are. I know you’d love it. The rooms at the Grand are pricey, but there are beautiful, delightful Bed & Breakfast places on the island in gorgeous homes. What we do is pay $10 at the Grand Hotel, and that gives you the “run” of the place (ex for private rooms) for a day. You can sit on the porch, order a lemonade while sitting there, you can eat in the restaurants, purchase gifts in their stores, go to the Cupola at the top, walk the lovely grounds, all for $10! Of course you can ride the carriages, rent bikes, walk, take a horse-drawn tour of the island, too, for nominal fees.

      • I would love to go for a week-end ! Sigh… 🙂
        I’m not very good with distances too, my boyfriend always say I’m geographically challenged !
        I looked at an online site for distances and it says it’s 800 miles and a 16 hours and 27 min. drive. I’d have to go for more than a week-end and first go to Point Pelee to see the birds migration in spring, a 14 hours drive from my home, then go to Mackinac Island, another 5 hours drive. It would be a great trip !

      • Oh dear…it’s that far? 😉 See, I’m geographically challenged too! No one gives me a map to figure out where we’re going! It would take me too long! Something about Point Pelee rings a bell. I wonder if I’ve been there in my past life! Your Paris trip is getting closer! I’m sure you’re thinking of that! I would be!!

      • Lol ! No map for me too ! And I have absolutely no sens of direction. When I go shopping and got out of a store, I always take the wrong direction !
        Yes Paris ! There’s still many months to wait, we’re suppose to go in May 2014, but maybe it’ll be in October 2014. It will depend if my sister can have a vacation in May. I’m often thinking about it, I didn’t start any research on the net, I’ll look more this winter. I just can’t wait, it’ll be a dream come true !

      • OH! I thought it was Spring of 2013. Yes, you’ll have a delicious amount of time to read books, research, look at maps!! My kind of city maps (and perhaps they will be yours too!) are called “City Flash” maps. I have City Flash maps for Rome, Florence, Siena and Paris. They are simple, thick, coated card stock. They show streets, many hotels, major landmarks, rivers, etc. They are about 10″ tall and open up like an accordion to about 2 feet. They are stiff and simple to hold, you can easily fold them back to look at one area and they easily fit in a backpack, purse or tote. It’s not like dealing with a massive paper map! As good as these maps are…I still have trouble! 😉

        It will be a dream come true! I’ll bet you have a Pinterest board for Paris like I do too! I do think that researching and preparing, making lists, and reading about where you’re going is half of the fun of the trip! I’m knee deep in that now and thoroughly enjoying it!

      • Thanks Judy, I still have to buy a guide/city map book. I’ll check for the one you mentioned, it looks great !
        Ha ! Ha ! I already have a Paris board on Pinterest, but with only 2 or 3 pins, I’ll have to check your’s 🙂
        I saw one of your comments on Jim Reed’s blog, you’re going to Italy ? WOW WOW !

  5. Just got back from Michigan and you’re making me want to go back there again! Haven’t made it to Mackinaw lately – maybe one of these days – you make it look so beautiful.

    • Oh you were here! I hope you had great weather. It’s starting to feel like fall, with cool mornings and evenings, and warm-ups during the days. Were you in the lower peninsula? Thank you, Sheila.

      • It was great weather – we were around by Manistee so really should have at least gone to Sleeping Bear Dunes, but usually after driving from here we don’t want to move around too much. 🙂

      • Oh I’m with you! Just stay put, get your feet up and enjoy! We came close to Manistee yesterday on our way home from Traverse City. A couple of years ago we took a ride down the Manistee River with friends, and out into Lake Michigan. What a pretty ride that was; it’s a lovely area. Glad you had a good time and great weather!

  6. Wow! The last picture of the Straits of Mackinac is trully a beautiful picture! We live in such a beautiful world 🙂 seeing pictures like these reminds me everyday to give thanks to God for being alive!
    What a beautiful place!! I must visit someday 🙂 thanks for sharing Judy!

    • Thank you, Adri! Your words are so important. Sometimes we get so busy we can take things for granted. I totally agree with you. We must Thank God for the beauty around us. As much as I love to travel abroad, we have so much beauty in our own country too!

  7. Mackinac Bridge? I do believe I traveled that bridge when I was about nine years old. My family took a vacation and saw Mackinac Island. What an amazing place that was! I would love to go back someday. Thanks for sharing these amazing photos. Brings back great memories for me. 🙂

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