If it’s a Northern Michigan Labor Day, you can be certain that the Mackinac Bridge is filled with walkers for the 53rd Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk. Put on your walking shoes and stroll across the Straits of Mackinac! Here’s what you need to know:
No Fees or Registration
There is NO FEE or registration to participate in the walk. Bus transportation from Mackinaw City to St. Ignace is available at $5 per person (infants are free).
Bridge walk starts at 7:00 a.m.
The walk begins at 7:00 a.m. You may START walking anytime after the Governor’s party starts the walk at approximately 7:00 a.m. NO ONE WILL BE PERMITTED TO START AFTER 11:00 a.m., so ARRIVE EARLY.
Walk Route, Transportation and Parking
The walk begins in St. Ignace, at the north end of the Mackinac Bridge in the UPPER PENINSULA, and ends in Mackinaw City at the south end in the LOWER PENINSULA. To begin the walk you may:
Drive to St. Ignace, park your vehicle, walk the bridge and then return to St. Ignace on school buses provided by the Mackinac Bridge Authority. There is limited parking space available west of the Mackinac Bridge Authority plaza area. Parking is also available at Little Bear East Arena with shuttle service provided. The bus loading area is located at Conkling Park and the State Dock on South Huron Avenue in Mackinaw City.
Buy your tickets in Mackinaw City at the bus loading area, board a bus to St. Ignace, walk the bridge and then return to your vehicle. The buses are hired for your convenience by the Mackinac Bridge Authority. The Authority strongly advises walkers to arrange for their own transportation to the starting point because of the increasing demand on the buses. Tickets go on sale and buses begin transporting walkers at 5:30 a.m. from Mackinaw City. Bus service from Mackinaw City to St. Ignace will end at 2:30 p.m. Handicap buses will be available. A limit of two people may accompany the handicapped person on the handicap bus.
Traffic and Restrooms
The two EAST lanes on the bridge are used by walkers until 9:30 a.m. and the two WEST lanes by vehicular traffic. After 9:30 a.m. only one EAST lane is available to walkers. The National Guard and other official personnel will be available in the event of an emergency. Please note, there are NO RESTROOMS ON THE BRIDGE and the average length of time to walk the bridge is about two hours. Portable toilets will be located at both ends of the bridge and at the bus loading area.
Baby strollers, animals and jogging
Baby strollers and wheelchairs are allowed on the bridge during the walk. NOT ALLOWED are: smoking, signs, banners, umbrellas, bicycles, roller skates, skateboards, wagons and similar types of devices. With the sole exception of seeing-eye dogs, NO ANIMALS ARE ALLOWED!! Walkers MUST stay away from bridge railings and the center mall which divides the walkers from the vehicular traffic. EXCEPT FOR THOSE PRE-QUALIFIED, PRE-REGISTERED PARTICIPANTS IN THE GOVERNOR’S COUNCIL ON PHYSICAL FITNESS JOG, NO running or racing is permitted. Playing tag on the bridge is not permitted. For information on the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness Jog, please go to www.michiganfitness.org or contact the Governor’s Council at 517-347-7891.
You will receive a numbered bridge walk certificate at the completion of your walk. The number on your certificate may match a number on display in any of the store windows in Mackinaw City or the City of St. Ignace on day of event only. If you have a winning number, you are entitled to claim a prize which may be worth anywhere from $15 to $150. Good Luck!
Individuals under the age of 18
Individuals under the age of 18 should have the permission of a parent or guardian to participate in the walk. Any two or more people walking together should make plans for a meeting place in the event that they become separated during the walk.
Disclaimer of Liability.
Disclaimer of liability. Before beginning the walk, all participants should carefully determine that they are physically fit and medically able to participate in the annual walk since the physical strain of the walk could lead to serious health problems. Participants should also understand that walking involves risks of injury from falls due to the surface condition of the bridge, contact with other participants, and the effects of weather, including high heat and/or humidity. THE STATE OF MICHIGAN, MACKINAC BRIDGE AUTHORITY, ST. IGNACE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, MACKINAW AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, AND ALL THEIR RESPECTIVE EMPLOYEES, AGENTS, VOLUNTEERS AND SPONSORS ARE NOT ASSUMING ANY OBLIGATIONS WITH REGARD TO SUCH RISKS AND SPECIFICALLY DISCLAIM ANY AND ALL LIABILITY ARISING FROM ANY WALKER’S PARTICIPATION IN THE ANNUAL WALK.
As in the past, persons who need reasonable accommodations due to disability may contact the Mackinac Bridge Authority by September 3, 2010 at 906-643-7600. TTY users may call the Michigan Relay Center at 800.649.3777.