Ride Spotlight – Gene Goes to Mackinaw Island


Gene from Michigan took one of the Ice Bridges to Mackinaw Island recently on a 5-person fat-bike expedition. If any of you has been to Mackinaw Island during the summer I’m sure you will recognize some of these shots. For those of you who don’t know, this Island in between lower and upper Michigan is a automobile free island served by passenger ferries in the summer. No cars, just Horses and bikes! Planes and snowmobiles get you back and forth in the winter given enough ice for the snowmobiles.


Leaving the mainland Saint Ignace, UP Michigan riding along the southern most ice bridge to Mackinaw Island which was 5 miles in length ending up near downtown.


Notice the Christmas trees that line the route.


In the background is the Mighty “Mackinaw Bridge” connecting upper and lower Michigan with this 5 mile bridge.


Again the Bridge is in the background two of us posing on the 8 miles road that surrounds the whole Island. This paved road has thousand of bicycles in the summer all trying to make the trek completely around the Island. Notice the amount of snow.


Entering downtown Mackinaw Island the City. Most of the town was closed for the winter. During the summer months this is Michigan’s number one tourist attraction. Horses and fudge, shops, souvenirs and food. Ferry’s haul millions of tourist across at least 9 months of the year.


This is the Grand Hotel. An absolutely amazing place. Closed for the season. This is the locale of the movie Somewhere in Time with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour was filmed. During the season there is security not letting tourist pass this corner and onto the West Bluff which is filled with beautiful mansions.

Gene says this was a great trip. It finished up at 12 degrees! One important fact if you want to make a similar trek. This ice bridge is not supported by the Coast Guard or and civic group. Typically the ice is not safe. The water below continually in motion, is thin is spots, and very dangerous. Every year lives are lost. So, make sure you know what you are doing, study the conditions, talk to locals and be careful!


  1. Great article but Mackinac Island, Mackinac Bridge, Mackinac County, Straits of Mackinac are ALL correct when spelled with a “c” (French). Mackinaw City and any place south of the bridge are correct with a “w” and pronunciation is always “aw”. Come back soon and bring your friends.

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