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Mackinac Island: Frequently Asked Questions

Is Camping allowed on the island?

No. Camping is not allowed on the Island. For information on nearby camping (off of the Island), please call: Mackinaw City: (616) 436-5574 Or St. Ignace: (800) 338-6660

How long do the ferries run?

Both Shepler's and Star Line ferry close at the end of the season, however, Arnold Line provides ferry service from Mackinac Island to St. Ignace through January 2nd.

How far is it around the Island?

If you follow the perimeter road it is 8.3 miles. It will take approximately one hour.

How many people live on Mackinac Island year-round?

Approximately 500-600 people reside on Mackinac Island on a year-round basis.

Where do Islanders live?

The majority of poeple live in Harrisonville, a community located in the center of the Island. Others live downtown, at Stonecliffe, Woodbluff, and British Landing.

I want to get married on the island and would like more information.

Please visit the Weddings section on Mackinac.com for a complete list of consultants and wedding services. The wedding listings are under the "What to do" section on the site.

When does the island open for business?

The Island opens for business around the first week in May.

Is there internet access available to the public on Mackinac Island?

There is a great business on the island called The Internet Cafe. You can rent a computer and have a snack. It is located at the French Outpost. Go now

How do you get off the Island in the winter?

Arnold Line Ferry runs a limited boat schedule through January 2nd. After that date you can use Great Lakes Air that runs between the Island and St. Ignace.You board the small 6 seater plane laden with suitcases, boxes, pets etc. The trip takes only a few minutes and costs approximately $24.00 each way. Hopefully, sometime in February, the ice between the Island and St. Ignace freezes and you are able to snowmobile across the Straits of Mackinac! (more later!) The boats usually start up during the first week of April, a sure sign of spring!

What is the "ice bridge"?

Freedom! Usually in the month of February the water freezes between Mackinac Island and St. Ignace. At that time, some brave soul ventures out and spuds to check the thickness of the ice. If they make it halfway, it's on to St. Ignace to make the call back to the Island. The residents have stockpiled their used Christmas trees out at British Landing in anticipation of this call. The trees are "planted" at intervals to mark the "highway" and the fun begins. It is the only time of the year when the residents are not dependent on a set schedule and of course it's free!

How long does the ice bridge last?

Not long enough! We need at least a week of zero or below zero temperatures with no wind for the bridge to form. After that, it all depends on the weather. In the past five years we've had a bridge for as few as four days to as long as two months.

Can I take my bike to the island?

You can bring your own bike to Mackinac Island. The ferryboats charge $6.50 for each bike you bring.

Can I bring my dog to the island? Do any accommodations allow dogs.

You can bring a dog to the island provided it is on a leash and with an adult. Mission Point Resort will allow dogs but is based upon availability and some conditions apply.Call 800-833-7711. Great Turtle Lodge allows dogs. Call 877-650-4600. You might also try Sunset Condos at (800) 473-6960.

What is a "fudgie"?

"Fudgie" is a term of endearment given to all tourists who come to Mackinac Island. Usually most everyone buys fudge; hence the name.

I have a disability. Can you rent electric carts on the island?

Yes. There are electric carts available on the island at Ryba's Bikes. Visit their website or call (906) 847-3208.

How much does it cost to rent bikes on the island?

Rates start at $4.00 per hour plus a $15 deposit. Visit website for a complete list of bikes and rates.

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