Inside Mackinac 2023 Inside Mackinac 2023 | Page 5


The wind brushes my shoulders . Sun gleaming off the deep blue water as the ferry cuts through with purpose . She rises in the distance . Layers of history , layered in beauty . We arrive . We dock .
Traveling as if it were 100 years ago . Can you take it all in at once ? There are forests and there are fortresses . Every trail telling a story , Every cottage hosting glory days , generations return . Generations have walked each path , climbed each hill , breathlessly taking it in .
And I should remember this view , but memorize this feeling . Imprint it into my soul . The wind dances across my shoulders . It whispers stories through the trees , Of a thousand little adventures .
Little Adventures by Becky Miller

MACKINAC ISLAND , pronounced Mackinaw , was created 18,000 years ago as a result of a massive two mile thick icy glacier covering most of North America . As the glacier moved , it ’ s weight crushed mountains and carved deep gouges into the earth .

THE GREAT LAKES - It took 7,000 years for the earth to warm and melt the glaciers , filling basins and valleys that formed our Great Lakes . Mackinac possessed higher elevation and therefore became a distinctive Island because of its high bluffs and surrounding deep waters . Numerous unique rock formations were created , as receeding water washed away the softer breccia rock from the harder limestone .
UNIQUE ROCK FORMATIONS - Arch Rock , Sugarloaf , Robinsons Folly , Devil ’ s Kitchen , Skull Cave , Sunset Rock and many other rock formations are what make Mackinac so geologically unique and beautiful , attracting people for centuries to its distinctive rocky features and abundant resources . During your visit , set out on foot , by bike or with horses and locate these natural wonders on the Island .
CULTURAL HISTORY - Native Americans were the first to occupy Mackinac Island , followed in the 1600s by early French Missionaries who came spreading Christianity to the unreached .
For the next several centuries , French and American fur trappers came to trade their furs making the Island one of the first major business centers of the new world , connecting the midwest and Canada to the rest of the country . To protect this thriving commerce , at differing times French , British and American military forces all occupied the Island utilizing the high bluff as a strategic location for a military outpost .
As the fur trade dwindled and the need for any active military diminished , tourism became Mackinac ’ s primary appeal . The late 1800 ’ s saw a tremendous surge on the Island of wealthy summer vacationers , mostly traveling by steam ship , to enjoy the cool clean air and to escape the smog and heavy industrial climate of Detroit and Chicago . Victorian summer homes , expanding hotel options , fine dining and shopping geared towards growing tourism became the new focus of Mackinac Island .
Not much has changed in the last 150 years . There are still no cars , but lots of horses and bicycles , plenty of original Victorian architecture and a very active State Park that maintains and shares the natural beauty of the Island . 80 % of Mackinac Island is State Park property featuring well designed and maintained nature sites , foot trails , bike paths , rock formations , living history museums , costumed enterpreters , dozens of original historic buildings and plenty more .
The business community also caters to hundreds of thousands of visitors throughout the summer with over 1600 guest rooms , 30 + excellent restaurants , an abundance of unique shopping outlets , attractions and activities to provide plenty of family fun . History buffs , foodies , shoppers , golfers , mountain bikers , hikers , boaters , and anyone interested in exploring this incredible Island are encoraged and welcome to visit .
CREATE YOUR OWN VACATION of a lifetime as you discover this perfect getaway destination . Each visit reveals something new , something memorable , and something magical at this special place called MACKINAC ISLAND .
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