Mackinaw City Vacation, Explore Mackinaw City | Mackinaw Area Visitors Bureau

The Everything You Need to Know About the 61st Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk

The Mackinaw City Chamber of Commerce has shared the following information about this year’s Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk…on Monday, September 3.

It’s true, there are big changes in the event this year. While the loss of busing service is notable, this may ultimately be a happy change for participants. Get up and get out there! Less waiting in line means more time to stay and play in our local communities. Book a fishing charter, do some shopping, go out for breakfast, tour an attraction… these are options participants may not have had time for on Labor Day in previous years.

We’ve taken a moment to compile some of the information that will help you better educate patrons on the changes and remind them of a few rules. Here are a couple important things that you can catch before they make it out of the hotel room…

NO WAGONS. That rule has not changed… it’s a safety precaution (your child and gear should be safe and in front of you, not in tow behind). Wagons present a tripping hazard to others. No one will be permitted onto the bridge with a wagon.

NO PETS. Yes, of course service animals are welcome…that is it. No recreational companion cats, dogs, birds, etc.. No one will be permitted on the bridge with a pet.

NOBODY is crossing center span after 10 am. All participants will be turned back in the direction they started from. Beginning at 10 a.m., the turnaround point will be moved towards the ends of the bridge, but you may start walking up until 11:30 a.m. This restriction will ensure that the bridge is able to reopen to traffic at noon.

NO WALKING IN CENTER LANES. Both center lanes are reserved for emergency vehicles. Walkers will use the left-hand outside paved lane as they walk onto the bridge, regardless of which end of the bridge they start from. Walkers who turn back at the midpoint will turn right, then return using the opposite side outside paved lane. Walkers who choose to cross the entire bridge will stay in the left-hand outside paved lane all the way across.

Ample parking is available throughout Mackinaw City, but it could be a considerable walk to get to the bridge. Please encourage guests to factor additional time into their morning plan for parking and walking.

All participants must walk to the base of the bridge- the 339 Exit Nicolet/Jamet Street ramp near Audie’s Restaurant. The walk will begin and end in this location. No public transportation is available in Mackinaw City. Many hotels may offer transportation accommodations for guests; inquire at the front desk.

The bridge will close from 6:30 a.m. to noon. The Michigan Fitness Foundation Labor Day Bridge Run will cross first, as in previous years. The walk will begin at 7:00 a.m. lead by the Governor. An early start is advised.

St. Ignace will offer busing for participants from Little Bear East Arena to the base of the bridge and back. For the first time ever certificates will be given from both sides of the bridge!

Please take a moment to review all of the information below, note the ferry service options and watch the informational video by the Mackinac Bridge Authority; it illustrates the details of the new format. If possible, please share this video on your social media and/or website to help educate visitors.

ALSO, please read below to learn how participants can support our local Chamber and be a Double Crosser this year- do the whole ten miles with us!

If you would like to serve as a volunteer, we are recruiting! The Chamber will need 50 volunteers for the Mackinaw City side this year. Please contact me to sign up. As an incentive the Mackinac Bridge Authority will enter ALL volunteers into a drawing for a coveted tower tour AND an anchor pier tour. Please, please contact us to sign up to help if you are able.

Is there any way to walk the entire bridge in one direction?

Yes. You can make arrangements for your own early morning transportation (before the bridge closes at 6 am) and walk back, or you could make plans for transportation after the bridge re-opens at noon. Probably the best, and easiest, option for participants will be to take a ferry ride!

Early morning direct departures will be offered by both ferry lines. The cost will be $20.00/adult, $10.00/child. Pre-Registration is required for Shepler’s, Star Line is offering first come, first serve sales only. Participants who choose this option will take the ferry in the morning and walk back.

Important! Remember: NO ONE will be crossing center span after 10 am. Participants that haven’t made it to center span at this time will be turned back to return to the side they started walking from. Please plan accordingly and select an appropriate ferry departure.

For more information, visit the Mackinaw Bridge Authority.

For overnight accommodations, visit the lodging page of our website: