When the world’s best stone skippers come to Mackinac Island each Fourth of July for the country’s oldest tournament, they gather for stone skipping at Windermere Point. The rocky beach at the west end of downtown is full of fine stones and offers a gorgeous backdrop of ferry boats passing by Round Island Lighthouse.
It’s the perfect setting to experience the sport’s highest level of competition and the incredible beauty of America’s Best Summer Travel Destination at the same time.
Yet, as great as Windermere Point is for Mackinac Island’s annual W.T. Rabe Stoneskipping Competition, it’s just one of many premier places on the island to skip stones.
Here are a few more prime spots for stone skipping on Mackinac Island:
Stoneskipping at Mackinac Island’s Mission Point Resort
On the other side of the island from Windermere Point, Mission Point Resort features a rock-strewn waterfront including a small lagoon near the Greens of Mackinac golf putting course. The water there is often calm and ideal for skipping.
The expansive resort on the southeast corner of Mackinac Island also features a Great Lawn dotted with Adirondack chairs that are open to the public. It’s a relaxing place to sit and enjoy the lake breeze and the incredible view, with the occasional freighter or Mackinac Island cruise ship passing by.
Stoneskipping on the leeward side of Mackinac Island
Round the bend on Lakeshore Drive east of Mission Point Resort and you’ll find a long stretch of road right along the water with ample opportunity to pick up a stone and let it fly. This leeward side of Mackinac Island is a bit more sheltered from the wind, making the water sometimes as smooth as glass.
The road along the east side of the island also passes beneath Mackinac Island’s iconic Arch Rock. The impressive limestone arch stands 150 feet above the water.
Stoneskipping at British Landing
All the way around the northern tip of Mackinac Island on the west side is British Landing, so called because it’s where British troops began their historic assault during the War of 1812. The beach at British Landing is full of skipping stones that you can hurl out toward the Mackinac Bridge in the distance.
Stoneskipping at Windermere Point
Like the east side of Mackinac Island, the west side also has several spots where you can pull your bike off Lakeshore Drive and find superb skipping stones. The road winds its way back into town and Windermere Point, where there’s a large greenspace and the rocky beach where the W.T. Rabe Stoneskipping Competition takes place.
Although it’s protected by a breakwall, the water at Windermere Point can be choppy due to the breeze through the Straits of Mackinac and the boat traffic in the harbor. The conditions are often great for kite flying at Windermere Point, and the Doghouse at Windermere Point is right there with the best hot dogs on Mackinac Island.
The W.T. Rabe Stoneskipping Competition on Mackinac Island
Held annually for more than 50 years, the country’s oldest stoneskipping tournament includes a professional division that attracts Guinness World Record holders as well as an amateur division that’s open to anyone and a 12-and-under age group, too. There’s also a gerplunking contest for kids ages 5 and under that’s scored based on the sound a stone makes as it splashes into the water.
Mackinac Island’s W.T. Rabe Stoneskipping Competition is held on the Fourth of July, and often televised to a national audience. Past champions include Kurt “Mountain Man” Steiner, who holds the Guinness world record for most skips.
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