|The Mackinac Bridge Walk
has been held every year since 1958. The first bridge walk during the Bridge's
Dedication Ceremony in June, 1958 and only 68 people walked across the
Mackinac Bridge that year. The walk has been held on Labor Day every year
since 1959. Most years, the Michigan Governor leads off the start of the
Bridge Walk and President George H. W. Bush led the walk in 1992.
The sun is rising over Mackinac Island as walkers ascend the Mackinac
Building the Bridge
50th Anniversary of opening the bridge
People may begin the 2018 Mackinac Bridge Walk
anytime between 7AM and noon, and walk as much of the bridge as they are
able before the bridge reopens to traffic.
New for 2018, people
can start their Mackinac Bridge Walk from either end of the Mighty Mac
and there will be no busses traveling across the bridge during the walk.
The immediate response to this announcement was some people being relieved
that there will still be a walk at all, while others were bitter about
the change and vowed that they will never do the walk again.
While the walk may not feel as dramatic without the large
numbers assembled for the start and the long lines to take the buses, we
think it will end up being more accessible and that many people will love
the change once they experience it!
The new rules mean that people can walk at least a little
of the bridge, as long as they arrive before noon. Some people will start
at 7AM and walk all the way across the Mackinac Bridge and back to where
they started (10 miles). Many will walk all the way across one way, either
having arranged to get to the far side of the bridge before the walk, returning
by way of Mackinac Island, or returning after the bridge reopens to traffic.
Over the next few months, we anticipate a number of options for crossing
the Straits of Mackinac before, during or after the walk will become available.
Other people will walk part way across (perhaps the middle) and back. As
options are announced, they will be added to this page.
Walkers wishing to walk all the
way across the Mackinac Bridge must reach the midpoint by 10AM. The
same applies to walkers walking ll the way across and back again. Starting
at 10AM, the turn around point will start moving from the center toward
each end, so that people will have time to return to the end they started
from. No one can begin their walk after 11:30AM.
People who have never walked the bridge because of physical
limitations, or fears of the highest suspended middle, will now be able
to experience being on the bridge. Some may go only a few hundred yards,
While others may go a mile or more, knowing they can turn around before
reaching their limit.
Mackinac Bridge walkers may park on the streets near the
foot of the Mackinac Bridge in Mackinaw City, or park in downtown St. Ignace
to take a free shuttle from Little Bear Arena to the walk.
To manage the 30-80,000 people who walk the bridge, the
following are NOT permitted: smoking, signs, banners, umbrellas,
bicycles, roller skates, skateboards, wagons and other similar devices.
Baby strollers and wheelchairs are allowed on the bridge during the walk.
The ONLY animals permitted are working service dogs.
There are no rest rooms on the bridge, but there are huge
banks of portable toilets at both ends. Although the walk can be completed
in about an hour, the typical walk all the way across, or to the half way
point and back, will take about 90 minutes to 2 hours. No running or jogging
For many years, there was a walking race at the beginning
of the Mackinac Bridge Walk. Competitors were required to walk heal to
toe and running or jogging could result in a disqualification. The mightymac.org
Webmaster competed in the walking race in 1967 at age 13 and finished 5th
in his age group with a time of about 56 minutes.
In 2018, a Labor Day Bridge Run
run for runners and wheeling athletes will begin from the north end of
the Mackinac Bridge at 6:40AM. Athletes must be able to complete each mile
in 12 minute pace or less. The charge is $68.90 until May 31, $78.90 from
June through September 1. Registration
for the run. The run is limited to the 700 people to register.
PRIVATE TRAFFIC: In 2017. from 6:30AM - Noon, Northbound
I-75 traffic was stopped at Exit 337 on the south end of the bridge; southbound
US-2 and I-75 traffic was stopped at Exit 344 on the north side. Portable
bathrooms were placed along US-2 for several miles west of the bridge.
Water and snack stations were located on US-2 and I-75 north and south
of the bridge. Two Mackinac Bridge Authority mechanics patrolled to assist
motorists with vehicle problems. (This will be updated when 2018 plans
Transportation options between Mackinaw City &
For people who want to do the entire walk one way, Star
Line Ferry will provide pedestrian
ferry departures between Mackinaw City and St. Ignace
departing from each city on the hour at 6AM, 7AM, 8AM, 9AM, 10AM
and 11AM. The 2018 cost of this service is $20/adult and $12/child (ages
5-12). The Mackinaw City dock is a bit over 1/2 mile from the foot of the
Mackinac Bridge and there will be a free shuttle between the north side
of the bridge and near the St. Ignace dock. Warning: pages with 2017
pricing and times are still on the Star Line web site.
Shepler's Ferry will
also provide pedestrian ferry departures between
Mackinaw City and St. Ignace departing
from Mackinaw City at 6AM & 7AM and from St. Ignace at 6:30AM. These
will have reserved boarding and tickets are sold online
for each specific departure. The 2018 cost of this service is $20/adult
and $10/child (ages 5-12). The Mackinaw City dock is about 5 blocks from
the foot of the Mackinac Bridge and there will be a free shuttle between
the north side of the bridge and a location 2 blocks from the St. Ignace
Both ferry lines provide the option of taking a ferry
to Mackinac Island from one of the two mainland communities and then taking
a 2nd ferry to the other community. Many people taking this
option will take the ferry after their Mackinac Bridge Walk and spend some
time on Mackinac Island before taking the second ferry.
first departure from Mackinaw City will be at 5:30AM with a connecting
ferry from Mackinac Island at 6AM. The first departure from St. Ignace
will be at 6:30AM with a connecting ferry from Mackinac Island at 8AM.
Departures continue until evening. Tickets purchased online in advance
will be $24/adult and $13/child (ages 5-12). The Mackinaw City dock is
about 5 blocks from the foot of the Mackinac Bridge and there will be a
free shuttle between the north side of the bridge and a location 2 blocks
from the St. Ignace dock.
Star Line Ferry's
first departure from each community is at 7:30AM with connecting ferry
from Mackinac Island at 8AM. Departures continue until evening. Tickets
purchased online in advance will be $24/adult and $13/child (ages 5-12).
Tickets for select departures on the much slower "Historic Classic Ferries"
are $19/adults and $10/child. The Mackinaw City dock is a bit over 1/2
mile from the foot of the Mackinac Bridge and there will be a free shuttle
between the north side of the bridge and near the St. Ignace dock.
Starting out across the Mackinac Bridge from the north end
Prior to 2017, hundreds of National Guard Men and Women provided security
for the Mackinac Bridge Walk
and cheered walkers on.
New in 2017, Michigan State Police provided security for the Mackinac
Looking down through the grates which comprise the two inside lanes
of the suspended portion of the bridge
and reduce the weight of the bridge deck
The Mackinac Bridge Authority monitors conditions at various points
along the structure - this weather
station is at the center of the the bridge
Walkers are given a numbered bridge walk certificate at the completion
of your walk - the number on the certificate may match a prize number
on display in one of the store windows in Mackinaw City or the City
of St. Ignace on day of event. In 2018, these will be given out at
both ends of the Mackinac Bridge.
Preparing for the start of the 1959 Mackinac Bridge Walk
Walkers starting across the Mackinac Bridge from Mackinaw City in 1959
Mackinac Bridge Walk Fact Sheet & Tips
There is no charge to walk the Mackinac Bridge.
Walkers may start walking beginning at 7AM. Buses will
start picking up those who have not completed the walk, working out from
the center of the bridge, as noon approaches.
Walk only. No running, jogging, etc.
Only official vehicles will be permitted on the Mackinac
Bridge between 6:30AM and Noon. No private traffic!
Baby strollers and wheelchairs are allowed on the bridge
during the walk.
Only working service animals are permitted. No other animals
There are no rest rooms on the Mackinac Bridge. There
are portable toilets at both ends of the bridge and at the shuttle loading
Bags may be inspected.
NOT PERMITTED: smoking, signs, banners, umbrellas, bicycles,
roller skates, skateboards, wagons & similar devices.
You will receive a numbered Mackinac Bridge Walk certificate
at the completion of the walk at either end. The number on your certificate
may match a prize winning number on display in store windows in Mackinaw
City or St. Ignace on the day of event.
Wear layers. It may be cold at the start of the walk,
but much warmer before you finish.
People walking all the way across the Mackinac Bridge
must reach the midway point by 10AM, or they will be turned back to the
end they started from.
Those who need reasonable accommodations due to disability
may contact the Mackinac Bridge Authority by September 1, 2018 at (906)
643-7600. TTY users may call the Michigan Relay Center at (800) 649-3777.
Mackinaw City Bridge Walk South Start
St. Ignace Shuttle to Bridge Walk North Start
which were considered for the 2018 Bridge Walk
2017 Mackinac Bridge
copyright 1959-2018 by Keith
Stokes. These Mackinac Bridge photos may not be
reproduced without written permission. My home page