Attractions & Historical Sites
This 1770s-era fort and fur trading village feature reenactments, whether on the drill field or in the kitchen. Live interpreters make this history come alive. You can witness an ongoing archaeological dig, tour the indoor tunnel of history, and inspect the 13 authentically reconstructed buildings. And every day is kids’ day. Kids can immerse themselves in special children’s programs like marching in uniform, participating in games, and washing laundry with a washboard and tub. With interactive displays, and demonstrations such as open hearth cooking, Native American crafts, and cannon and rifle firings, the entire family--and especially kids-- will be engaged.
In a rural setting reminiscent of the 1880 to 1917 era, the Mackinaw Area Historical Society is gathering buildings from our past and assembling them in order to tell our grandparent’s and great grandparent's stories. Visit a Pest House and learn about medical problems and care at the turn of the 1900 century. Visit our original one-room school or a Mennonite church. If you come for one of our Vintage Base Ball games you can be a “crank” who gives a “huzzah” for the winners. Or come for a festival and watch the 100-year-old sawmill sliver boards out of trees. It is a step back in time saved by volunteers of Mackinaw.
Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park
Hear the rush of water powering a reconstructed sawmill as you experience a sawmill demonstration. Participate in the saw pit method of lumber production. Immerse yourself in nature trails and interactive exhibits. Climb a 50-foot tower. Play like a child beside your child or grandchild in the Forest Friends Play Area and at the Water Power Station. And then experience the adrenaline of the park naturalist-guided Adventure Tour, which includes the Eagles Flight Zip Line, Forest Canopy Bridge, and Nature Trail Climbing Wall.
Discover the history and character of Mackinaw City on our 3-mile Historical Pathway that circles downtown and the shoreline. Interpretive signs and audio stops let you hear about our history while standing in the same spots as our forbearers. Stroll and read for a leisurely view of Mackinaw. Click here for our Brochures, Guides & Maps.
The United States Coast Guard ICEBREAKER MACKINAW WAGB-83, known as the “Queen of the Great Lakes”, was built as part of the war effort during World War II to meet the heavy demand for transportation of war materials during the winter months. Decommissioned in 2006, she is open for public tours and group events. Visit the Mess Deck, Captains Quarters, Bridge, Engine Room, Ward Room and more. Hear the story of the Mackinaw’s 62-year career breaking ice on the Great Lakes and serving as a goodwill ambassador throughout the region.
McGulpin Point & Rock
The light at McGulpin was in service until it was rendered obsolete by the construction of the Old Mackinac Point light and fog signal station in 1892. By 1906, the McGulpin light was decommissioned and sold into private ownership in 1913. It remained in private hands until Emmet County purchased the property in 2008 to enhance recreational opportunities for all.
Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse
With its impressive buff-colored brick walls, large tower topped with battlements, and elegant fourth order Fresnel lens, this lighthouse-built in 1892-is a source for inspiration. And then there’s the backdrop: Sparkling beach sand, the majestic Straits of Mackinac, and the magnificent Mackinac Bridge, acting as a vista connecting the past, present, and future. Climb the tower and breathe in the spectacular view as generations of lighthouse keepers did before you. Step inside the lighthouse, and hear the Victrola play pre-World War I tunes in a period-styled sitting room. A shipwreck video lets you understand the navigational hazards that sparked the development of lighthouse technology.
The Headlands International Dark Sky Park
http://www.emmetcounty.org/video-email-blasts-590/About the Headlands
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 Beach House, designed by Chicago architect Roy Binkley, accommodates 18 people in two spacious bedrooms. There are two bathrooms with shower facilities, a complete kitchen and a meeting room all on one level. The Guest House provides accommodations for 22 people in four bedrooms on three levels. There are three bathrooms with tub/shower facilities, a complete kitchen and a conference area. Linens are provided at both buildings.
The vision and cooperation of the following organizations and government units caused this property to be 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.