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While often thought of as just a summer destination, the Straits of Mackinac is known to roll out the white carpet during the winter season with special events and outdoor activities like hiking, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.
Christmas in Mackinaw is planned for Saturday, December 2 from 2-4pm at the Mackinaw Area Historical Society Heritage Village, just west of downtown. Between Noon and 4pm on Saturday, a series of fun-filled family events are offered including sleigh or hay rides (12-2), a Christmas program at Heritage Chapel (3pm), crafts at Freedom School (2-2:45pm) and visits with Santa at the 1869 McGulpin Point Lighthouse (1-3pm). All programs are free, but donations are welcome.
Throughout the winter season, trails for hiking, snowshoeing and even snowmobiling welcome visitors to the area. While there is no access to the regular parking lot at Historic Mill Creek, you can park near the entry area and the hiking trails from there – at no charge. Wilderness State Park offers not only winter hiking and cross-country skiing along 20 miles of trails in addition to snowmobiling, but overnight accommodations in rustic cabins or in your own tent area are allowed.
Mackinaw City is centrally-located to provide snowmobile access to the Straits area. Utilize the north central State Trailhead located off of Crossing’s Drive to experience the DNR’s groomed routes, connecting Mackinaw to Cheboygan, Petoskey, Gaylord, Rogers City, Alpena and places south. The Mackinac Bridge Authority offers a ride for you and your sled north across the Bridge for $10 plus $2 additional for an extra passenger to access the trails north of the Bridge.
For lodging reservations throughout the remainder of the fall and into the winter season, visit MackinawCity.com/stay/.