Mackinac Island Biking

Mackinac Bridge

The most popular Mackinac Island route for bicyclists is around the Island on the Shore Road.

Officially, it is State Highway, M-185. It is the only state road in Michigan that does not allow public use of motor vehicles. The route is beautiful and practically flat. It is approximately 8 miles around. You will pass the scenic Boardwalk, Devils Kitchen, British Landing and Arch Rock and all the while there is the pristine water view.

Make sure to schedule shopping separately from your bike ride to avoid paying for time parked outside a fudge store! Also, consider the wind direction as you decide which way to head out to circle the Island. It can make a difference on a windy day.

Many bike riders who make the circuit will stop at British Landing which is about halfway around. The Cannonball Snack Shop, which is famous for its wonderful deep fried pickles, is at British Landing. Rumor has it that Michigan’s former Governor, Jennifer Granholm, used to stop at the Cannonball frequently for one of those pickle delicacies! There are also public restrooms available at this location.

Mackinac Island Shoreline

If you do stop at British Landing, resist the temptation to head inland on British Landing Road. It is an uphill push for about two miles. Keep to the Shore Road; you will still have energy for the rest of the day!

There are plenty of wonderful sights up in the middle of the Island, but the key word is “up”! There are roads that lead up from town and they do require pushing! But, if you are game, it’s worth it. East of town is Mission Hill which leads to the East Bluff cottages, Fort Mackinac,
Arch Rock, Sugar Loaf Rock, Skull Cave, the Cemeteries and Fort Holmes (the highest point on the Island).

Near the west end of town is the Grand Hill. You can get to all of the aforementioned spots this way too, and you get the added bonus of seeing the spectacular Grand Hotel near the top.

Insider Tip:You can’t get lost on the Shore Road route, but make sure you have a map if you decide to go inland. The Historic Mackinac Island Visitors Guide has the most detailed self-guided biking and hiking tours around the Island that highlight the best sites along the way. You can get one for a nominal charge at the State Park Visitors Center located across from Marquette Park.

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