When one thinks of the natural attractions on Mackinac Island, the mind wanders immediately to Arch Rock or Sugar Loaf or even Devil’s Kitchen. And deservedly so. These are great natural wonders. Easy to find on the Island. And great spots for selfies and photo ops.
But these aren’t the only natural attractions on Mackinac Island.
I recently spent a few days on the Island in May. My wife and I took some time and wandered out of downtown and off the paved trails. We found some wonderful spots you should check out during your next Mackinac Island visit.
Eagle Point Cave
Full transparency: I like caves. There is something about caves that I find intriguing. The mystery. The history. Even a little bit of creepiness. Eagle Point Cave offers all of these elements. The cave is located on the north side of Mackinac Island. It requires a hike out of the downtown area, and if you like caves, it is time well-spent.
I first noticed Robinson’s Folly when I was walking the Cawthorne Shoreline Trail near the grounds of Mission Point Resort. I looked up and saw the observation area on the East Bluff. My wife and I are always up for a challenge, so we hiked up the long Crow’s Nest Trail stairway (accessible from Marquette Park to the right of Fort Mackinac), enjoyed the beautiful historic East Bluff homes and cottages, before taking the short walk along Manitou Trail to Robinson’s Folly. The journey was very enjoyable and the views of the Straits of Mackinac were spectacular.
Lime Kiln Ruins
From Robinson’s Folly, we continued north along Manitou Trail which led us to Arch Rock. We paused there and took a few obligatory selfies. We then headed west on Rock Trail to Lime Kiln Trail. We were in search of something called Lime Kiln Ruins. We didn’t know what to expect and in fact it took us a while to find it. What we experienced was a glimpse into life on the Island in the late 1700’s. Admittedly, there is not much left (it’s called “Ruins” for a reason). Nonetheless, my wife and I spent a long time exploring the area, wondering what it was like some 250 years ago.
The Island is known for many things—fudge, horse and carriage rides, forts, and Arch Rock to name a few. But there is much, much more to Mackinac Island. During your next visit, I encourage you to get off the beaten path. Explore. Find something you’ve never seen before. You will love seeing a new side of Mackinac Island. Enjoy!