Mackinac Island in
Winter
Day Trip

Flying to Mackinac Island
on Great Lakes Air
 

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Winter flight over Mackinac Island, Mackinaw City,
the Mackinac Bridge and lighthouses

Mackinac Island, Michigan in the winter.
Mackinac Bridge in winter
Mackinac Bridge
 
Although Mackinac Island is visited by hundreds of thousands of people a year, far fewer than 1% of Mackinac Island's tourists visit Mackinac Island in Winter. Star Line Ferry offers limited scheduled ferry service until the ice stops them from running (usually sometime in early to mid January). 

There may be a few weeks during the winter when it is possible to get to Mackinac Island from St. Ignace by crossing the ice on cross country skis or snowmobile, but that is risky and not recommended. The St. Ignace "ice bridge" is not sanctioned by the Coast Guard or the Mackinac County Sheriff's Department. Every few years someone dies while attempting to cross the ice bridge.

Saturday, March 29 was forecast to be sunny with a high of about 37 degrees and light winds - just about perfect for this time of year. I drove over the Mackinac Bridge from Mackinaw City about 9:30 AM. The Straits of Mackinac was beautiful with blue skies, ice cover and bright sunlight. As I approached the Mackinac County Airport, I called the taxi service operated by Mackinac Island Carriage Tours, to arrange for a taxi to meet my flight. The phone number for the Mackinac Island taxi is (906) 847-3323.

'09 Mackinaw City winter trip report

Mackinac Island Summer Day Trip

Tahquamenon Falls with autumn colors Tahquamenon Falls Trip Report

Keith's other trips
 

Mackinaw City in winter Mackinaw in winter

Mackinac Island pictures Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island airport terminal
Piper airplane at the Mackinac Island Airport terminal.

Snowmobiles parked at the Mackinac Island airport.
Mackinac Island airport parking lot.

At the smaller Mackinac Island airport, it was about 10 minutes before the horse drawn taxi arrived. I was the only passenger, and sat next to George, the driver. I had never met the driver before, but he had lived on Mackinac Island all of his life, and I enjoyed talking about Mackinac Island, Mackinaw City, and people that we both knew. He was the only taxi driver operating on this day.

Mackinac Island horse drawn taxi
Horse drawn taxi.

The taxi ride into the Village of Mackinac Island was on snow and ice packed roads that we shared with snowmobiles. The horses were obviously very used to the snowmobiles and didn't shy from them. The road was starting to get sloppy with the spring thaw and would only get worse over the next few weeks. The fare between the airport and downtown Mackinac Island was $6.50 with a 2 fare minimum, so I had to pay $13. It took about 10 minutes to travel the mile and a half to the downtown.

Passing the Grand Hotel in a horse drawn taxi.
Passing the Grand Hotel on the way to downtown Mackinac Island. (prints & cards of this photo)

Getting out of the taxi, I immediately fell on the slippery ice and my legs started to slide under the carriage. After picking myself up, I made my way to a step where I could sit down and pull rubbers on over my shoes. Even with the much better traction of the slip-ons, I fell a couple of more times during my visit.

Mackinac Island street in winter
Mackinac Island's Market Street with Fort Mackinac in the distance

Turtle Sculpture on Mackinac Island, Michigan
Turtle sculpture on a fence post at the French Outpost

Little Stone Church on Mackinac Island, Michiga
The Little Stone Church is a Congregational Church which was built in 1904. It is closed in the winter.

   .            Mackinac Island Winter Photos from Air        Mighty Mac Home                      Page 2

Other Keith Stokes travel reports

LS-3/14    Copyright 2001 - 2019 by Keith Stokes. These photos may not be reproduced without written permission. .