Winters at Colonial Michilimackinac can be cold and snowy, but the
weather goes in cycles and Mackinaw City, Michigan has been experiencing
lighter snowfalls in the past few years. Many years there have been heavy
snow drifts where there is bare ground in these photos. The weather is
usually milder close to the Straits of Mackinac, than it is farther inland.
For several years, Colonial Michilimackinac was opened
to the public for a weekend in the winter. That program has been discontinued
but the staff of Mackinac State Historic Parks generously allowed me to
take these photographs of the historic stockade and buildings on February
4, 2011. The sunny photos were taken from the ice on March 8, 2014.
Fort Michilimackinac was originally built by the
French in 1714-1715 to control the fur trade and European development of
the upper Great Lakes. Michilimackinac was more of a fortified community
than a military outpost. The community was located both inside and outside
the walls. When the French and Indian War concluded, the French troops
abandoned Michilimackinac and British soldiers occupied the fortified community
During 1780 and 1781, the community was moved to Mackinac
Island. The garrison moved into the new Fort Mackinac on a bluff overlooking
the harbor and community. Fort Michilimackinac was torn down, demolished
and burned. Some of the buildings and lumber were moved over the ice to
Mackinac Island. The buildings and stockade at today's Colonial Michilimackinac
have been reconstructed after careful archeology and research. That archeology
continues each summer.
will reopen for the new season on May 10, 2023..
Fort Mackinac in Winter
Boyne Highlands Dog Sled Tour
2009 Mackinaw City winter trip report
Mackinaw in winter