2018 Mackinac Bridge Walk 
61st Annual Walk - September 3, 2018

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Mackinac Bridge Walk Information
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Mightymac.org Web Master walking the Mackinac Bridge
Shepler's ferry in Mackinaw City marina harbor
Shepler's ferry arriving from St. Ignace.
Although we normally only make it to the Straits of Mackinac for the 5 mile Mackinac Bridge Walk every 3 or 4 years, with big changes to the walk last year and bigger changes this year, we returned for our second walk in two years. The biggest changes last year were closing the bridge to all but official vehicles and shortening the number of hours available to walk. The biggest changes this year were eliminating the buses to take walkers in the opposite direction and opening the bridge to walking from either end.

We stayed at the Baymont by Wyndham in Mackinaw City, one of the few larger franchise motels in Mackinaw City with a great reputation. The Baymont had been fully booked when we tried to stay there in the past, so this was our first time. It was a good experience and the staff provided excellent service. 

On Labor Day morning we were out of the motel about 6:30AM and walked three blocks to the Shepler's Ferry Dock to join the line waiting for their reserved spots aboard multiple ferries at 7AM. A few minutes later, a 6:30 ferry from St. Ignace came in with people planning to walk from the south end of the bridge to the Upper Peninsula.

The main walk began about the time our ferry left, so I was able to take a few photos of the Mackinac Bridge with walkers from the water. Unfortunately it was still dark enough that I couldn't get high quality photos from a moving boat. Some of the shots included the cruise ship Pearl Mist in the distance.

The 335' Pearl Mist in the distance as some of the first walkers cross the Mackinac Bridge

Arriving at Shepler's St. Ignace Dock, my spouse joined the line for the restrooms, while I walked two blocks to Little Bear Arena to hold a space in line for a free shuttle to the north end of the Mackinac Bridge. The line was about 2 blocks long, which I thought was pretty reasonable, though others getting in the line did not think so. This was the only time during the day that I heard negative comments from other walkers about their experience. The wait in line was about 20 minutes and my spouse joined me only a minute or two before we boarded a bus.

St. Ignace Mackinac Bridge shuttle line
Line for the shuttle from Little Bear Arena to the foot of the Mighty Mac

Less than 10 minutes later, we were walking to the foot of the bridge. There were already many people streaming off the Bridge, with some of them getting their completion certificates and crossing over the lanes to start back south. I was tempted to go a few feet, turn back and get a certificate, then go on, but passed up the opportunity to have one of both the north and south certificates (they have different photos).

The view of the 2018 Mackinac Bridge Walk from the closed toll booths

Gary Engle of G-Man Entertainment - Bridge Walk Master of Ceremonies
Gary Engle of G-Man Entertainment has greeted walkers starting their walk in St. Ignace for 27 years

Mackinac Bridge Walk from St. Ignace
Walkers who completed the south to north walk turning around to return to Mackinaw City

The sun rising above Round Island Passage between Mackinac Island and Round Island

Sheriff's Department safety boat

We started our walk at about 8:15AM and the temperature was 70 degrees. It was mostly cloudy, fairly calm and rather humid. The previous chance of rain in the forecast had been removed following heavy rain in the night.

This year people walked in the left most lane, heading north to south in the east-most lane and south to north in the west-most lane. At each end of the bridge there were volunteers stationed near the center of the roadway to keep people toward the sides, gradually transitioning to Michigan State Police Officers for most of the length of the bridge. People slipping over into the inner lanes gradually learned that the volunteers and police were flexible unless there was a police bike, horse or car in the inner lanes. I used the inner lanes many times during the walk and crossed over to the opposite side a coupe of times to get pictures.

A number of times there were people stopping to sit at the edge of the walkway, something I don't recall seeing in previous walks.

South bound walkers on the left and north bound walkers on the right

Only working service animals are permitted to do the Mackinac Bridge Walk.


This was the second year that the Michigan State Police replaced the Michigan National Guard on the Mackinac Bridge.

Taking a break during the Mackinac Bridge Walk

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LS-9/18 copyright 2018 by Keith Stokes