Colonial Fort Michilimackinac
in Winter

Colonial Christmas December 10, 2022

Fort Michilimackinac
Mackinac Island in Winter
Mackinaw City in Winter

Colonial Fort Michilmackinac
Fort Michilimackinac and the Mackinac Bridge
Fort Michilimackinac and the Mackinac Bridge
Fort Michilimackinac block house and frozen Straits of Mackinac Winters at Colonial Michilimackinac can be cold and snowy, but the weather goes in cycles and Mackinaw City, Michigan has been experiencing lighter snowfalls in the past few years. Many years there have been heavy snow drifts where there is bare ground in these photos. The weather is usually milder close to the Straits of Mackinac, than it is farther inland.

For several years, Colonial Michilimackinac was opened to the public for a weekend in the winter. That program has been discontinued but the staff of Mackinac State Historic Parks generously allowed me to take these photographs of the historic stockade and buildings on February 4, 2011. The sunny photos were taken from the ice on March 8, 2014.

Fort Michilimackinac was originally built by the French in 1714-1715 to control the fur trade and European development of the upper Great Lakes. Michilimackinac was more of a fortified community than a military outpost. The community was located both inside and outside the walls. When the French and Indian War concluded, the French troops abandoned Michilimackinac and British soldiers occupied the fortified community in 1761.

During 1780 and 1781, the community was moved to Mackinac Island. The garrison moved into the new Fort Mackinac on a bluff overlooking the harbor and community. Fort Michilimackinac was torn down, demolished and burned. Some of the buildings and lumber were moved over the ice to Mackinac Island. The buildings and stockade at today's Colonial Michilimackinac have been reconstructed after careful archeology and research. That archeology continues each summer.

Colonial Michilimackinac will reopen for the new season on May 10, 2023..

Fort Michilimackinac

Fort Mackinac in winter - Mackinac Island
Fort Mackinac in Winter

Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island, Michigan
Fort Mackinac

Dog sledding at Boyne Higlands in Harbor Springs, Michigan Boyne Highlands Dog Sled Tour

Mackinaw City winter vacation 2009 Mackinaw City winter trip report

Mackinaw City in winter Mackinaw in winter

Keith Stokes' other trips

Fort Michilimackinac from the ice off shore
Fort Michilimackinac from the the ice off shore in 2014

Fordt Michilmackinac in winter
The grassy mound in the foreground is the powder magazine

Cannon in the snow at Colonial FOrt Michilimackinac
Southeast corner of Colonial Fort Michilimackinac with the Mackinac Bridge in the distance

Snowy water gate at Fort Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City, Michigan
The Water Gate with the Kings storehouse at left and commanding officer's quarters at right

Snowy Colonial Fort Michilimackinac
Commanding Officers house with red shutters

Fort Michilimackinac blacksmith shop in winter
Wood pile and the blacksmith shop near the Priest's house

Row house at Colonial Michilimackinac
French row house & St. Anne's Church

Colonial Fort Michilimackinac in winter
French rowhouse and the Church of Ste. Anne de Michilimackinac

Mackinac Bridge and ice covered Straits of Mackinac
The Mackinac Bridge as seen from the the Fort Michilimackinac northeast blockhouse

Fort Michilimackinac Land Gate in winter
Fort Michilimackinac Land Gate

Mackinac Bridge and ice on the Straits of Mackinac
Mackinac Bridge and northeast blockhouse

Frozen Straits of Mackinac
This window at the northwest blockhouse provides a frame for the ice covered Straits of Mackinac

Colonial Christmas Devember 10, 2023
3 - 7 PM

Itís A Colonial Christmas at Colonial Fort Michilimackinac, where the traditions of the 17th and 18th century are alive for all to explore. Lanterns light the path in Michilimackinac where storytellers recount the various traditions of historic residents, a retelling of the first Christmas at Mackinac in 1679, and the church at Ste. Anneís prepared for Christmas Mass as it would have been in the 18th century. Create crafts to take home and bring the family out on the Parade Ground for historic games. All the while, enjoy delicious holiday snacks located throughout the fort. Purchase tickets

Adults: $10
Child (5-12): $6
Under 4: Free

Fort Michilimackinac and the Mackinac Bridge
Fort Michilimackinac from the west in the setting sun, with the foot of the Mackinac Bridge in the distance.

Fort MichilimackinacMackinac Island in Winter Mackinaw City in Winter

Mighty Mac Home

Other Keith Stokes travel reports

Copyright 2011-2022 by Keith Stokes. These photos may not be reproduced without written permission. .