Mackinaw City is home to a number of beautiful parks and beaches. Several of these are pocket parks dotted along the edge of the city, providing convenient access to Lake Michigan and the Straits of Mackinac. Others are great places to play outside or watch live performances.

Many Mackinaw City beaches and parks are connected by a historic pathway, with kiosks educating visitors on the city’s fascinating history. The beaches are sandy and vibrant and are often populated with dunes. A visit to a Mackinaw City beach or park guarantees immersion into a beautiful environment.

Alexander Henry Park

520 N. Huron Ave. | 231.436.5351

This park offers the best views of the Mackinac Bridge and the Upper Peninsula. Learn about Mackinaw City history from the interpretive kiosks or use the telescopes to get a focused close-up of the UP.

Arnold Transit Company Park

N. Nicolet Street | Contact info N/A

If exploring the city wears you out, you can take a moment and relax at the Arnold Transit Company Park. Located downtown, the park offers tables to sit and rest at as well as swings and slides to keep the kids entertained.

Colonial Michilimackinac Park

102 W. Straits Ave. | 231.436.5563

Colonial Michilimackinac Park is a beautiful area that features landmarks of Mackinaw City history. The park is home to both Fort Michilimackinac and Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse. The lighthouse is open for paid tours from May to October every year. The walking trail that branches from the park gives access to other small parks in the village.

Conkling Heritage Park

S. Huron Avenue | 888.455.8100

The Conkling Heritage Park’s standout feature is a performance shell that hosts a free concert series every summer. Arts and craft shows, holiday celebrations, and various other events also take place here. There’s an observation deck with a clear view of the lake, as well as waterfront access along the side of the park.

Gary Williams Park

N. Huron Avenue | Contact info N/A

Originally known as Sinclair Park, the Gary Williams park was renamed for a beloved member of the village community after his unfortunate passing. The park offers serene views of the lake.

Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park

9001 US-23 | 231.436.4100

The Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park takes visitors on a detailed journey through one of Michigan’s oldest wildlife areas. Park employees put on live historical reenactments and take willing guests on their famous “Adventure Tour.” Miles of hiking trails are open to budding explorers, and exhibits showcase artifacts of Mackinaw City’s history.

Indian Pathways Park

Adjacent to Interstate 75 Corridor | Contact info N/A

The Indian Pathways Park provides another rest stop for tired residents and visitors. Picnic tables, park benches, and a grill are available for travelers to refresh themselves while enjoying another vantage point of the Mackinac Bridge.

Mackinaw City Recreation Complex

507 W. Central Ave. | 231.436.4188

The Mackinaw City Recreation Complex serves as the city’s central sporting area. Sandy fields are available for organized Little League and coed softball games. Four tennis courts are used for lessons but are also open for casual games. Basketball games can be played on the complex’s outside court.

Mackinaw Maritime Park

Corner of N. Huron Avenue & Depeystar Street | 231.436.5351

The Maritime Park is another small park along Huron Avenue that provides beachfront access and kiosks of historical information for the casual visitor.

Mackinaw’s Municipal Bathing Beach

Four miles west of Mackinaw City, Trails End Road | Contact info N/A

Located four miles west of the city, the Municipal Bathing Beach consists of two sections: “First Beach” and “Second Beach” as they are referred to in the area. Both areas are wonderful places to enjoy the waves of Lake Michigan.

Nancy Dagwell Campbell Park

N. Huron Avenue between Sinclair & Depeyster Streets | 231.436.5351

Dedicated to a lifelong member of the Mackinaw’s Woman’s Club, the Nancy Dagwell Campbell Park provides a grassy area to relax near the waterfront.

Old School Park

Henry Street | 231.436.5351

Old School Park features a playground to bring your kids to. A swing set, a pavilion, a large playscape, a slide, a basketball court, and a picnic area all make for a day of fun for the little ones.

Sturgeon Bay Beach

903 Wilderness Park Dr. | 231.347.0991

Sturgeon Bay Beach is another sandy haven where you can enjoy the waters of Lake Michigan. The beach has wide dunes where several endangered species of plants and animals dwell. A county trail runs through the back part of the dunes.

Wawatam Park

N. Huron Avenue & E. Jamet Street | Contact info N/A

Wawatam Park is a waterside park with spectacular views of Mackinac Island and the bridge. Families can come here to enjoy a picnic while their kids play on the nearby playground.

Wilderness State Park

903 Wilderness Park Dr. | 231.436.5381

Located only 10 miles west of the city, Wilderness State Park represents the epitome in Michigan wilderness. The park’s area covers over 10,000 acres and includes undeveloped beaches, forests, wetlands, and meadows. The shoreline stretches 26 miles across Lake Michigan. Campsites, cabins, and bunkhouses are available in the forest for adventurous wildlife lovers to stay in.

Explore Mackinaw City

Cornerstone: Mackinaw City beaches and parks

Photo(s) by Mary LaVictor