It’s historical! More backroads views of Mackinac Island

Historic Fort Mackinac and Marquette Park

There are plenty of historical sites to see on Mackinac Island, some dating back to pre-American Revolution. I’ll let the Visitor’s Guide the you can purchase on the ferry ride or visitor’s center (for only $1.00) fill in the details.

Fort Mackinac sits on the main street and is easily visible to everyone coming in on the ferry. It has historic buildings, museums, cannon firings and interactive activities.

The back of Fort Mackinac, a great place to exit.

To get to some of the out of the way historic sites, you’ll need to get to the higher interior parts of the island. An easy way to do that is to take the Fort Mackinac tour, exit at the back of the fort, and you’ll already be at the top of hill behind the fort. From there it’s a fairly short bike ride, then a short uphill climb via road or stairs to the site of Fort Holmes, the highest part of the island. There nothing left of the original fort, and very little left of the replica fort, but it’s a fun place to see with great view in all directions, and of course, a historical marker.

Historic Fort Mackinac Cemetery

On your way to Fort Holmes, stop at any of the three historic cemeteries, some with graves dating back to the 1820’s. At Fort Holmes, you’ll be quite close to Sugar Loaf rock, so it’s a good idea to stop there too unless you want to climb the steep hill into the interior again at another time.

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© Huffygirl 2011

A backroads look at Mackinac Island

The Huffys at the Grand Hotel Tea Garden

Best husband and I are just back from beautiful Mackinac (pronounced  Macinaw) Island, located in Lake Huron, between the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan. This quaint tourist spot is  home to many historic sites, including Fort Mackinac, where Dr. William Beaumont perfected his experimentation on the human stomach. No motor vehicles are allowed on the island, and visitors must get around on foot, by bicycle or horse-drawn carriage. Our favorite parts of the island are the upper and back roads, where we take our bikes to get away from the crowds, and explore the less traveled (and harder to get to) areas. Here’s some of our favorite spots.

The Grand Hotel

The world-famous Grand Hotel and surrounding gardens. Red geraniums, made voluptuously vibrant by the endless supply of horse manure fertilizer, are the signature theme of the hotel. The gardens and grounds are pristine and manicured. The hotel is formal, requiring dress clothes after 6 PM, and has guards posted at the east drive to prevent those messy-looking cyclists from cluttering up the view in front of the hotel (although those messy horses pulling carriages are allowed.) Always the rebels, we managed to circumvent this by biking up to the west bluff behind the hotel, then coasting down the steep, steep street that runs right into the Grand Hotel drive. They couldn’t catch us and couldn’t stop us, and we had a great ride down.

Notice the “blue sky” of the porch ceiling, repeated on the underside of the porch balconies.

Great view from the porch. Note the geraniums.

This oft-photographed classic phone booth was moved recently from its spot next to the stone church, to make room for a new house constructed there.

A genuine pay phone, for those who’ve never seen one before.

Coming up: Mackinac Island rocks.

© Huffygirl 2011