Fort Mackinac

7127 Huron Road
Mackinac Island, Michigan 49757
(906) 847-3328

May 3 - October 26, 2024
Adults: $16.25      Ages 5-12: $9.75
Tickets available online

Fort Mackinac in Winter
Fort Mackinac Tea Room Menu
1918 photos of Fort Mackinac from a tourist

Mackinac Island Home

Fort Mackinac Canno Firing
Fort Mackinac overlooking Mackinac Island, Michigan
Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island, Michigan was built by the British Army under the direction of Patrick Sinclair during the American Revolutionary War. Located on a bluff 150 feet above Mackinac Island Harbor, it replaced Fort Michilimackinac which had wooden palisades and was located on the shore of present day Mackinaw City. The Officers Stone Quarters, started in 1780 at Fort Mackinac, is the oldest building in the State of Michigan.

Fort Mackinac was turned over to the United States in 1796. But the fort and control of the Straits of Mackinac were recaptured without a battle during the War of 1812. British forces in Canada learned of the start of the war before the Americans and surprised the garrison with a much superior force of soldiers, European civilians and Native Americans on July 17, 1812. American forces attempted to recover the fort in 1814, but were defeated and also lost two sailing vessels used to blockade the harbor. Following the end of the war, Fort Mackinac was returned to the United States.

During the years of American western expansion, Fort Mackinac was periodically abandoned when soldiers were withdrawn to support other wars. Fort Mackinac was abandoned during much of the Civil War, but during the summer of 1862 the fort served as a prison for three wealthy Confederate sympathizers.

West Blockhouse of Fort Mackinac
West Blockhouse (1798)

Mackinac National Park was established in 1875 as America's second national park, just three years after the establishment of Yellowstone National Park. There was no National Park service at that time, so the Fort Mackinac garrison was expanded and the fort's commanding officer served as the park superintendent.

Fort Mackinac was abandoned once more in 1895 and Mackinac National Park was transferred to the state of Michigan, becoming Michigan's first state park. The park was placed under the control of the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, which leased out the buildings as summer cottages for the next 60 years in order to generate revenue to maintain the park.

In 1914, a portion of the Stone Quarters was set aside as a museum. During the 1930s a number of buildings were restored. In 1958, a revenue bond program generated funds for preservation purposes and Fort Mackinac became a major historical attraction. 

Admission to Fort Mackinac is $16.25 for age 13 and older and $9.75 for age 5-12, . You can purchase tickets at the gate or skip the line and purchase them online.

Photos of Fort Mackinac by a tourist in 1918

Fort Mackinac in winter Fort Mackinac in Winter

Mackinac Island pictures
Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island in Winter

Stuart House City Museum Stuart House City Museum

Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum Mackinac Art Museum

Mackinac Island Carriage Tour

More Mackinac Island Photos

Colonial Fort Michilimackinac

Winter at Colonial Michilimackinac

Lilac Festival Parade

Round Island Lighthouse

Fort Mackinac parade ground - Mackinac Island, Michigan
Fort Mackinac Parade Ground

Fort Mackinac has 14 original buildings filled with interactive displays and period furnishings. The costumed interpretive staff plays music, fires the muskets & cannons, leads children's Victorian games and otherwise interacts with visitors to Fort Mackinac.

American soldiers at Fort Mackinac
Costumed members of the Fort Mackinac interpretive staff walking past the 1816 Officers' Wood Quarters

Fort Mackinac parade grounds
American soldiers drill in front of the 1859 Soldiers' Barracks

Most visitors enter Fort Mackinac through the South Sally Port entrance gate, located at the base of the ramp at the southeast end of Fort Mackinac near Marquette Park at Fort Street. There is a significant climb up to the fort and visitors with mobility issues are advised to take a taxi to the Fort Mackinac Avenue of Flags entrance gate on the land side of the Fort. That entrance is also the nest to last stop on the Mackinac Island Carriage Tour. You may depart the carriage tour here and enter the Fort. If there is space on a later tour, you may continue the tour, but most people go down the hill from the other side.

Admission to The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum included with purchase of Fort Mackinac ticket.

From mid June to until mid August, your Fort Mackinac admission ticket also includes admission to five historic downtown Mackinac Island buildings:

  • American Fur Company Store & Dr. Beaumont Museum. 
  • Biddle House - Early 19th Century home with crafts and cooking demonstrations.
  • Benjamin Blacksmith Shop - 1950's era blacksmith shop with craft demonstrations.
  • McGulpin House - Michigan's oldest private residence. 
  • Mission Church - museum in Michigan's oldest standing church building.
Snacks are available in Fort Mackinac, but it is also the location of a lunch spot with one of the most beautiful views in Michigan. The Fort Mackinac Tea Room is on the patio of the Officers Stone Quarters. During inclement weather, a small dining area is available inside, but the biggest point of this lunch spot is the view.

However, the Fort Mackinac Tea Room is operated by the Grand Hotel and the food is good as well. When we last dined at the Tea Room in 2022, the smoked chicken sandwich and whitefish dip were are favorite items. The Grand Pecan Ball dessert was frozen so hard that even after waiting over 10 minutes, we couldn't even cut it into pieces to share with a knife.

Fort Mackinac Tea Room
Fort Mackinac Tea Room on the patio of the Officer's Stone Quarters

Salad at the Fort Mackinac Tea Room
Classic Caesar Salad with chicken was $15 in 2022
The Tea Room is operated by the Grand Hotel and most entrees are $14-17

Grand Pecan Ball - Fort Mackinac Tea Room
Grand Pecan Ball with chocolate fudge sauce $13 in 2022

Fort Mackinac Tea Room Menu
Click on the image for a larger version of the Fort Mackinac Tea Room Menu from 2022
Kids Menu

Fort Mackinac in winter
Fort Mackinac and most of the  Mackinac Island businesses are closed from late October until early May - winter photos

Fort Mackinac - Mackinac Island, Michigan
The Fort Mackinac Avenue of Flags is mainly used by tourists who have been taking the Mackinac Island Carriage Tour.
This is at the end of the tour and you can depart the tour and enter the fort without having to climb the hill.

 Mackinac Island home  Fort Michilimackinac   Mackinac Island in winter

Lighthouses of the Straits of Mackinac     Mighty Mac Home

Copyright 2002-2024 by Keith Stokes