Mackinac Bridge Walk Labor Day
61st Annual Walk - September 3, 2018
Free!

2018 Bridge Walk Photos  Text Update Sign-up

Fact Sheet  Shuttles to Bridge Walk Map

Labor Day Bridge Run   Mighty Mac Home

Ferries between St. Ignace & Mackinaw City

Mackinac Bridge Walk - Labor Day

THouseand of walkers crossing the Mackinac Bridge in 2011
Prints & greeting cards of this Mackinac Bridge Walk photo

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 Bridge


Mackinac Bridge

Building the Mackinac Bridge Building the Bridge

Mackinac Bridge 50th Anniversay parade and fireworks 50th Anniversary of opening the bridge

Stormy Lake Michigan
Windy Straits

Straits of Mackinac lisghouse pictures
Mackinac lighthouses
 

People may begin the 2018 Mackinac Bridge Walk anytime between 7AM and 11:30AM, and walk as much of the bridge as they are able before the bridge reopens to traffic at noon.

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. This shuttle will operate from 6AM - 1PM.

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 is permitted.

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: From 6:30AM - Noon, Northbound I-75 traffic will be stopped at Exit 337 on the south end of the bridge; southbound US-2 and I-75 traffic will be stopped at Exit 344 on the north side. Mackinac Bridge Authority mechanics will patrolled to assist motorists with vehicle problems.

Transportation options between Mackinaw City & St. Ignace

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. Your spot is not reserved, boarding is in the order people arrive at the dock.

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. 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 dock.

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 take the ferry after their Mackinac Bridge Walk and spend some time on Mackinac Island before taking the second ferry.

Shepler's Ferry's 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.

Walkers at the foot of the Mackinac Bridge
Starting out across the Mackinac Bridge from the north end

Walkers packed on the Mackinac Bridge
 

Michigan National Guard soldier on the Mackinac Bridge
Prior to 2017, hundreds of National Guard Men and Women provided security for the Mackinac Bridge Walk
and cheered walkers on.

2017 Mackinac Bridge Walk
New in 2017, Michigan State Police provided security for the Mackinac Bridge Walk.

Mackinac Bridge Grating
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

Mackinac Bridge weather station
The Mackinac Bridge Authority monitors conditions at various points along the structure - this weather
station is at the center of the the bridge

Mackinac Bridge Walk finnish line
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.

1959 Mackinac Bridge Walk - Mackinaw City, Michigan
Preparing for the start of the 1959 Mackinac Bridge Walk

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 are allowed 

There are no rest rooms on the Mackinac Bridge. There are portable toilets at both ends of the bridge and at the shuttle loading area.

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.
 

Sign Up for Bridge Walk Text updates

1. Text "MBW2018 to 67283 on your cell phone (not Facebook)

2. Users will receive a reply "Welcome to the Mackinac Bridge Walk 2018 text alerting system," verifying participation in the text alerting system for the event.

3. Users can opt out by sending a reply "STOP MBW2018" if they no longer wish to receive text messages/alerts. Messages will automatically stop on September 4, 2018.

Mackinaw City Shuttle to Bridge Walk Map
Mackinaw City Bridge Walk South Start
St. Ignace Shuttle to Bridge Walk Map
St. Ignace Shuttle to Bridge Walk North Start

2018 Bridge Walk Photos & Report

2017 Mackinac Bridge Walk Photographs

Mighty Mac Home     Mackinac Bridge Home

copyright 1959-2018 by Keith Stokes. These Mackinac Bridge photos may not be reproduced without written permission. My home page