For the uninitiated, taking a car to cross the Mackinac Bridge is only natural and unquestionably the obvious way to make the journey. Yet, here in St. Ignace, cruising across on an antique snowmobile, steaming over with vintage tractors, or traveling with a caravan of Jeeps are practically commonplace methods of traversing Mighty Mac. Read on for all the Totally Normal Ways to Cross the Mackinac Bridge:
It’s not every day you get to make the trek across a 26,273-foot long (approximately 5 miles) bridge with lakes churning 200 feet below you with somewhere between 40,000 to 65,000 people walking alongside you. However, since 1958, pedestrians have taken the opportunity to be led by Michigan governors across Mighty Mac on Labor Day each year – the only time pedestrians can walk across the bridge.
There’s no fee or registration required! Simply start your journey in either St. Ignace or Mackinac City. Though if you stay in a St. Ignace hotel, you have a chance to win a Weekend Getaway Package that includes lodging for two at Bavarian Haus, a gift card from Mackinac Grille Waterfront Pub , and Mackinac Island ferry tickets! Plus, before and after the walk, there are tons of activities on the weekend from Arts Dockside and Intercontinental Indigenous Art Show to Movies and Music by the Bay.
Another totally normal way to cross the Mackinac Bridge is to hop on the back of your antique tractor and haul your way across with 1,499 others from all over the US and other countries. The crossing has grown each year since its onset in 2008 and now easily reaches its 1,500 cap, so be sure to register for your place ASAP! After the crossing, the whole family can enjoy an antique snowmobile show, hit 'n miss engines, tractor games, giveaways, a downtown tractor parade, food, music, and more.
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By truck is just an additional, completely mundane way to cross the Mackinac Bridge, right? Well, not quite, as these trucks are decked out in neon displays as they cross Mighty Mac at dusk for the Parade of Lights at the Richard Crane Memorial Truck Show. Register to join the parade or simply watch a solid line of 18 wheelers all lit up, belching flames out their stacks and blowing their air horns! Plus, you can meet & greet with Alex Debogorski, Ice Road Trucker, at the staging area!
If you’re an UTV, ATV, S x S, 3-Wheeler and/or Off-Road Motorcycle enthusiasts, you’ve probably taken your vehicles off the beaten path a few times, but have you ever taken one over the fifth longest suspension bridge in the world? Join the growing number of “Trekkers” who gather in St. Ignace every year for Trek the Mighty Mac. After the crossing, there’s weekend long games and activities such as the Friday meet-n-greet. Check out the registration details here!
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Another super ordinary means of navigating Mighty Mac is to take a snowmobile that’s at least 25 years old from Fort Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City to St. Ignace. Snowmobile the Mac started in 2016 with 38 antique snowmobiles, increased to 60 machines in 2017, and just keeps growing! If you have an antique snowmobile and can attach wheel kits, definitely sign-up for St. Ignace’s newsletter for upcoming registration details! Lunch and awards are following the crossing. Of course, feel free to hit some of the fantastic Northern Michigan snowmobiling trails in the area after you finish your meal!
While you might’ve crossed the Mackinac Bridge in a Jeep, you’ve definitely never done it like this. On the Friday of the event, join up with hundreds of Jeep lovers to cross the Mackinac Bridge into Mackinaw City, loop around, and return to St. Ignace in style. Check out what all the fuss is about! It brings together Jeeps old and new, big and small and features all the colors of the rainbow. Typical day, right?
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Not only is there a meet-n-greet party after the crossing, but on Saturday you can take a ferry with other Jeeps and their owners to Drummond Island for trail riding all day. The island also hosts the Mud Bog and Jeep Migration Bash with live music, food, beverages, and award ceremony. There are prizes in the form of hotel stays for winners in categories like Most Patriotic, Most Creative, and Most Abused Jeep. Finally, on Sunday, the weekend ends with an Adventure Run!
Sign-up for St. Ignace’s newsletter for the latest info and registration details on these entirely conventional methods of traversing the Mackinac Bridge! Feel free to request a visitor guide, and book your stay today, too!