Mackinac Island's Playground: Outdoor Activities on Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island’s Playground: Outdoor Activities on Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island is an explorer’s giant outdoor playground featuring 80% state park land, over 70+ miles of trails, and a giant lake to surround it all. When you visit Mackinac Island, you’ll find everything from footpaths through the woods to paved mountain biking trails along the bluff. 

The best part is you can go and explore it all without the worry of getting lost. 

Here is our list of hiking and biking trails on Mackinac Island along with a link to a map!

1. The road that circles the island. 

This paved path is known as the state’s only highway that does not allow motorized vehicle traffic. The entire loop is 8.2 miles long and features the scenic backdrop of the woods, water, and even cuts through the historic downtown. We personally suggest hopping on a bike for this loop, which can take anywhere from 1 to 3 hours. 

2. Arch Rock Bicycle Trail / Botanical Trail 

This trail features interpretive signage detailing the plants found on Mackinac Island. It is a paved trail winding through the woods perfect for riding or walking. At the end, you’ll come across Arch Rock. 

3. British Landing Road

If you’re interested in going back in time, we recommend taking the British Landing Road. This main road goes through the northern part of the island and takes you to British Landing. The route you take is the same route the British took when first arriving on the island in 1812. Keep your eyes open for the 1814 battlefield now home to the Waswashkamo Golf Club and Mackinac Island Airport while on this historic walk or ride. 

4. Tranquil Bluff Trail

This trail is one of the longest footpaths on the island and is also one of the most rugged trails. Don’t let the rugged rocks scare you away, you can find true serenity and peacefulness on this walking-only trail. 

5. Rifle Range Trail

If you are a big history buff this trail is a must-see. It isn’t the most scenic trail on the island, but the history of the area is truly fascinating. This trail is nestled between Fort Mackinac and Fort Holmes. Originally in this area, soldiers had a rifle range set up and to this day you can still see the old earth mound that served as the end of the rifle range. 

6. Anne’s Tablet Trail

This trail is for the “Somewhere in Time” movie fans. The trail begins to the east of Fort Mackinac and goes by the famous Gazebo seen in “Somewhere in Time” as well as Anne’s Tablet.

Once your feet and legs are too tired from walking and biking the roads less traveled, we recommend trying these other outdoor activities: 


Some of the best views of Mackinac Island can be seen from the water. If you’re up for a really hard challenge, you could even kayak around the entire island for a full-circle route! Your arms definitely would need a rest after that paddle! 


If balance is your thing a paddleboard is the perfect outdoor activity on Mackinac Island for you. If you are brave enough jump into the cold water of the Great Lakes for a refreshing dip! 

Enjoying the Beach 

Adventuring all day can leave you exhausted. Visit the beach shoreline around the island for a beautiful view of crystal-clear water. Mackinac Island beaches aren’t your typical over-crowded sandy beaches, instead, they are more secluded, rocky beaches filled with an endless supply of smooth, flat stones perfect for skipping. 

After a long day of exploring, there’s no doubt your feet, legs, and body are going to need some rest. The perfect place to recharge before the next adventure is at the Mackinac House. With its cozy and welcoming atmosphere, our boutique offers an escape from the hustle and bustle, while still being close enough to quickly jump back in. So, what are you waiting for ­— book your Mackinac Island stay now!