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Old 07-09-2016, 09:29 PM   #1
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Mackinac Island Trip- Just returning

So we just spent the last week and a half in MI. Still not home yet, made it to just shy of the PA border in and OH rest area for the night.

I have to say, what a beautiful state. I have never really had a bad place we have gone... A few have been shadier then others but all good.

We stayed at the Mackinaw City KOA, in.. wait for it... Mackinaw City. We stayed in the same CG for the entire trip.

There is also a KOA across the bridge (Mackinac Bridge) call the Mackinac Island KOA, it is in St Ignace. Toll for the bridge is CASH only and is $2 per axle for cars and normal trucks pulling trailers. Larger vehicles were $5 and up per axle. All are EACH WAY.

Campground was not huge with most sites being pull thru's. Sites were close together. With my slide out I was right up to the picnic table of the neighbor. My sewer connection was almost at their table. The staff were friendly and guided us into our site and made sure we were good before moving on. There was a bike trail that ran just West of the CG right into town about 1 mile away so you could ride in if one wanted to.

Mackinaw City:
It was nice, it was a very sleepy little town. Had a main street of shops and such. There is PLENTY of parking INCLUDING large RV spots along the main drag. This shocked me.. But they are very RV and bike friendly. We skipped the shopping, not for us.. We did not do the fort, it seemed like a tourist trap to me. But the beach was nice with awesome views of the bridge. We checked out the lighthouse in the city (neat but touristy). We also did the Ice Breaker Mackinaw. It was very cool to tour inside. It was a self guided tour that maybe took a few hours if you took your time.

Mackinac Island:
Definitely needs to be visited. We used Sheplers Ferry from Mackinaw City. They are all about the same price, around $24 a person plus $10 per bike. They all offered free shuttles from the KOA to their docks and back. They also all had free parking for cars and RV with overnight boondock parking for $10 I think. Ferry ride was about 30 to 40 minutes each way.

Once off the ferry you were on the main tourist area. It was crowed with bikes of course, no cars.. Except for an ambulance, a few fire trucks, a few maintenance vehicles and one police car for extreme emergencies.

You should really bring a bike. While we did do the carriage tour, which was a several hour tour around the island and state park and worth it, a bike is the way to go. We biked to Lookout Point, the Arch Rock and Sugarloaf Rock. All worth the effort and not visited by the tours (other than Arch Rock).

If you like fudge they have 17 shops in town... It is GOOD.

Sault Ste Marie:
We rode up to the locks. Another sleepy, not much going on place. But the locks were very cool and we were able to see several 1000ft "lakers" going on their way to their final destinations. Pretty neat to see IMO. They had a nice viewing area RIGHT at the locks. It is a US ARMY COE "base" if you will so they check bags for bad stuff and such FYI.. They also have a museum ship the Valley Camp, a 1000ft freighter to explore. We skipped this due to a 3 year old being a bit tired.

White Fish Point:
This is the home to the Great Lake Ship Wreck Museum (large Edmund Fitzgerald display IE its' bell). I also had the oldest active lighthouse on the great lakes. Pretty neat to check out and worth the ride up.

Headland Dark Park:
This was down the street from the KOA. It is a smaller park but its claim is being able to see a whole lot of stars including the Northern Lights. We did not see the stars, as a 3 year old goes to bed early...

St Ignace:
Another Sleepy town with shops around the center State St. But it is surrounded by National Forrest and lots of parks to hike around. There is also a Mackinac Bridge Viewing Park just off the bridge here to give some nice views of the Bridge. A dirt road runs West from the parking area that is a nice ride along the coast as well and gives some other nice views of the bridge... I am a photographer at heart so I love unique shots and angles to view...

There are Many lighthouses here.. We visited and saw maybe 9 or 10 lighthouse out of the 100's (really there is a lot...).

Once thing we will need to go back for is the Pictured Rocks. I really want to see these but just not enough time this trip. This WILL NEED a revisit.


If I think of anything else I will post... Now off to bed. 303 more miles until home sweet home..
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Old 07-09-2016, 09:39 PM   #2
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Forgot... only ONE grocery store in Mackinaw City and it is SMALL with little selection. Either bring food or plan to drive South the Cheyboygan (sp?) for more choices like Wally World or cross the bridge and hit the Save a Dollar Grocery in St Ignace. I did not go here but it looked like a normal grocery store. Mackinaw's was a bit of food and a whole lot of alcohol!

Also... If you are going to Sault St Marie or especially White fish point... GET FUEL. Gas is pretty reasonable in price and someone around at the few villages.. But diesel was almost no were but the major city's. Once we were on our way to White Fish Point we did not see one diesel station for 60 or so miles of wooded bliss.
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Old 07-09-2016, 10:25 PM   #3
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DOC73,


Thanks for the write up. We are heading up there in a few weeks for the Coachmen Owners Association Rally. Have tickets for the ride over to the Island and looking at taking the lock tour. Thanks again.
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Old 07-10-2016, 06:54 AM   #4
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Thanks for the write up. I should make that trip as both daughters live in MI. One about 250 miles from Mackinaw City. Looks like I make the trip next year. Later RJD
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Old 07-10-2016, 06:54 AM   #5
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Doc, great info thanks and will be looking forward to this area in the future.
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Old 07-10-2016, 07:16 AM   #6
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Nice write-up. I just hope the UP doesn't get too crowded with all the praise. Ha-ha

I do have one small complaint about the great MI state parks...... They are re doing all the fire pits and now they are 2-3 feet tall and deep inside so that you can hardly build a nice campfire to sit around.

I am thinking that this is "safer" for us and our kids but not much fun to sit around and tell stories by.
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Old 07-10-2016, 07:33 AM   #7
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We used to live in Cheboygan, the in-laws are there.

Mackinaw Island is beautiful. Definitely bring your bikes over on the ferry. To rent them on the island is $$$ and they are not the best.

My wife's aunt used to live on the beach right behind the water tower in Mackinaw City until she passed. One of her other cousins works for Shepler's and another relative has O'Brein's T-Shirt shop in Mackinaw City.

We just started RVing this year and have been hanging around home in SE Michigan, but told the wife we can park the trailer in Cheboygan and not have to tow it all the way up I-75up if we want to hit the Upper Peninsula on weekends.
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Old 07-10-2016, 07:46 AM   #8
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Thanks for the great post, this area is in our "gotta see" book! Thx again and safe travels home!
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Old 07-10-2016, 07:51 AM   #9
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Great write up. We have travelled through there a lot. Last summer we decided to stop and stay a few days. We stayed at the same KOA.

In a few weeks we will pass through there. We will continue through th U P and out to Duluth the Dakotas and up into western Canada.
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Old 07-10-2016, 09:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raytwntrvlr View Post
Nice write-up. I just hope the UP doesn't get too crowded with all the praise. Ha-ha

I do have one small complaint about the great MI state parks...... They are re doing all the fire pits and now they are 2-3 feet tall and deep inside so that you can hardly build a nice campfire to sit around.

I am thinking that this is "safer" for us and our kids but not much fun to sit around and tell stories by.
As much openness as their is you would probably not even find the crows if they were there..

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