Prints & greeting cards of this Mackinac Bridge Walk photo
The Mackinac Bridge Walk begins at 7 AM and in theory no one is permitted to begin their walk after 11AM. Sometimes the start has been extended, so if you are running late, do give up until they say no. Two lanes of traffic are closed for the start of the walk and motor vehicle traffic is limited to one lane in each direction. Midway in the morning, the walkers are limited to one lane, allowing two lanes for vehicular traffic heading south.
Although the direction of the walk was south to north in the early years, the walk is now always from the Upper Peninsula to the lower Peninsula. A fleet school buses takes the majority of the walkers from the Mackinaw City side to the foot of the bridge in St. Ignace. The other walkers use the busses to return to the UP after their walk. There is no fee to walk the bridge, but there is a $5 charge for the bus. The busses depart from the Old State Dock in Mackinaw City from 5:30 AM until 2:30 PM.
To manage the 30-80,000 people who walk the bridge, the following are NOT permitted: smoking, signs, banners, umbrellas, bicycles, roller skates, skateboards, wagons and other similar devices. Baby strollers and wheelchairs are allowed on the bridge during the walk. The ONLY animals permitted are working service dogs.
There are no rest rooms on the bridge, but there are huge banks of portable toilets at both ends. Although the walk can be completed in about an hour, the typical walk will take about 2 hours. No running or jogging is permitted.
600 runners are permitted to run across the Mackinac Bridge at the start of the walk. They are selected by a lottery a this web site. There is a fee for participation in the run: $55 + $3.30 sign up fee. You must be able to average completing each mile in 12 minutes or less.
New since 2015, there is a Mighty Mac Swim. 64 pre registered swimmers attempt to swim across the Straits of Mackinac, starting at 7AM. In addition to the $200 entry fee, qualified swimmers must raise $4,800 for Habitat for Humanity to participate in the Mighty Mac Swim. The swim route is north to south, just outside the 450-yard Labor Day security zone maintained by Homeland Security on each side of the bridge. East or west of the bridge will be determined by the direction of currents on the morning of the swim. They swam on the east side in 2015. Registration & fundraising info.
For many years, there was a walking race at the beginning of the Mackinac Bridge Walk. Competitors were required to walk heal to toe and running or jogging could result in a disqualification. The mightymac.org Webmaster competed in the walk in 1967 at age 13 and finished 5th in his age group with a time of about 56 minutes.