Mackinac Bridge Walk Labor Day

59th Annual Walk - September 5, 2016

Mackinac Bridge Walk Bus Loading Area Map
Mackinac Bridge Walk Shuttle Loading Area Map

Mighty Mac Home

Mackinac Bridge Walk - Labor Day
THouseand of walkers crossing the Mackinac Bridge in 2011
Prints & greeting cards of this Mackinac Bridge Walk photo
The Mackinac Bridge Walk has been held every year since 1958. The first bridge walk was held during the Bridge's Dedication Ceremony in June of 1958 and only 68 people walked across the Mackinac Bridge that year. The walk has been held on Labor Day every year since 1959. Most years, the Michigan Governor leads off the start of the Bridge Walk and President George H. W. Bush led the walk in 1992.

The sun is rising over Mackinac Island as walkers ascend the Mackinac Bridge

Mackinac Bridge

Building the Mackinac Bridge Building the Bridge

Mackinac Bridge 50th Anniversay parade and fireworks 50th Anniversary of opening the bridge

Stormy Lake Michigan
Windy Straits

Straits of Mackinac lisghouse pictures
Mackinac lighthouses

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 Webmaster competed in the walk in 1967 at age 13 and finished 5th in his age group with a time of about 56 minutes.

Walkers at the foot of the Mackinac Bridge
Starting out across the Mackinac Bridge

Walkers packed on the Mackinac Bridge

Michigan National Guard soldier on the Mackinac Bridge
Hundreds of National Guard Men and Women provide security for the Mackinac Bridge Walk and cheer walkers on

Mackinac Bridge Grating
Looking down through the grates which comprise the two inside lanes of the suspended portion of the bridge
and reduce the weight of the bridge deck

Mackinac Bridge weather station
The Mackinac Bridge Authority monitors conditions at various points along the structure - this weather
station is at the center of the the bridge

Mackinac Bridge Walk finnish line
Walkers are given a numbered bridge walk certificate at the completion of their walk - the number on the certificate may match a prize number
on display in one of the store windows in Mackinaw City or St. Ignace on day of event.

1959 Mackinac Bridge Walk - Mackinaw City, Michigan
Preparing for the start of the 1959 Mackinac Bridge Walk

Mackinac Bridge Walk - Labor Day 1959
Walkers starting across the Bridge from Mackinac City in 1959

Mackinac Bridge Walk Bus Loading Area Map
Map to Bus Loading Area in Mackinaw City
Mackinac Bridge Walk Shuttle Loading Area Map
Map to St. Ignace shuttle to starting line

Mighty Mac Home     Mackinac Bridge Home

copyright 1959-2016 by Keith Stokes. These Mackinac Bridge photos may not be reproduced without written permission. My home page