Mackinac Island is home to some of the world’s most incredible sights and some of its most interesting history. Iconic landmarks such as Arch Rock and historic Fort Holmes make for great sight-seeing.
Did you know they also can be part of a great workout?
You can take in the beauty of Mackinac Island at your leisure, but you don’t have to do it at a leisurely pace if you want a more high-octane experience. This fall, you could experience Mackinac Island by taking part in the Fall Fitness Challenge!
Here’s how it works:
- Starting on Sept. 30 and continuing through the rest of the 2020 travel season, come visit Mackinac Island and complete one of the four fitness challenges to earn a beautiful #GetFitOnMackinac water bottle.
- Stop by the Mackinac Island Tourism Bureau’s Tourism Information Booth downtown to register for the Fall Fitness Challenge and pick up your prize. You’ll receive instructions for a customized course catered to your skill level and athletic ability.
- Feel free to share pics from your journey on social media using the hashtag #GetFitOnMackinac
Fall is a great time to visit Mackinac Island. Crowds tend to be smaller. The forest in Mackinac Island State Park is bursting with fall color. And the crisp, cool air is perfect for a workout.
Here’s a rundown of the four challenges to whet your appetite and help you decide which one – or maybe all four – is the best challenge for you:
Iron Belle Trail Challenge
The road that circles the outer rim of Mackinac Island, M-185, is the only state highway in the country that prohibits automobiles. It’s also part of the Iron Belle Trail that runs from the western tip of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula all the way to Belle Isle in Detroit. Because there are no cars on Mackinac Island, M-185 is a popular bicycle route for visitors. It passes by such landmarks as Arch Rock, British Landing, Devil’s Kitchen and more as it hugs the beautiful Great Lakes coastline the entire way. M-185 also features the Native American Cultural Trail, which includes six stops showcasing information about the history and influence of Native Americans in the Great Lakes region.
Here’s your fitness challenge: Rent a bike on Mackinac Island (or bring your own bike on the ferry ride from the mainland) and enjoy the relatively flat ride along M-185. Make stops along the Iron Belle and Native American Cultural trails where you’ll complete a series of exercises. You can get specific instructions by visiting the Mackinac Island Tourism Information Booth downtown.
Botanical Trail Challenge
Weaving along the Arch Rock Bicycle Trail is the new Mackinac Island Botanical Trail. As you make your way toward one of Mackinac Island’s most popular destinations, the iconic Arch Rock, you’ll pass seven turnouts with plantings and interpretive signs along with benches where you can sit and enjoy being surrounded by natural beauty.
Here’s your fitness challenge: Walk the Botanical Trail. It’s a great, low-impact way to get some exercise and learn about the unique fauna and flora on Mackinac Island.
Advanced Uphill Challenge
Fort Mackinac strikes an imposing presence high on the bluffs of Mackinac Island. Did you know there’s also another historic fort on Mackinac Island? Fort Holmes was built on the island’s highest point and it’s quite a heart-pumping hike to get there!
Here’s your fitness challenge: Make your way up to Fort Holmes while visiting Mackinac Island landmarks including Arch Rock, Sugar Loaf and the centuries-old cemeteries along the way. You can get a list of sites with directions at the Mackinac Island Tourism Information Booth downtown.
Family Fun Challenge
Believe it or not, exercise on Mackinac Island can be fun and educational – and something the whole family can do together.
Here’s your fitness challenge: Visit Mackinac Island sites including Marquette Park, Skull Cave, Cupid’s Pathway and Great Turtle Park, and complete specific exercises at each location. Pick up specific instructions at the Mackinac Island Tourism Information Booth downtown.
Yes, the leaves are starting to fall and winter is on the way. But there’s still time to enjoy Mackinac Island this year. Find a place to stay on Mackinac Island and start planning your trip using this updated list of 2020 season closing dates for hotels, restaurants and attractions. While you’re on the island, see if you can complete the Fall Fitness Challenge!