3 Lesser Known Landmarks in Mackinac Island State Park

When one thinks of the natural attractions on Mackinac Island, the mind immediately jumps to Arch Rock or Sugar Loaf or Devil’s Kitchen. And deservedly so. These are great natural wonders that are easy to find and make prime selfie spots.

But they aren’t the only natural attractions on Mackinac Island.

If you let yourself wander a bit off the paved trails through the wilderness of Mackinac Island State Park, you’ll find all kinds of interesting things. For example, here are three lesser-known landmarks to check out on your next visit to Mackinac Island:

A woman sits inside Eagle Point Cave within the wilderness of Mackinac Island State Park

Mackinac Island’s Eagle Point Cave

There’s something intriguing about caves – the mystery, the history, even a little bit of creepiness. Eagle Point Cave on Mackinac Island offers all of these elements. The cave is located on the north side of Mackinac Island just off the spectacular Tranquil Bluff Trail high above Lake Huron. Getting there requires hiking a few miles of the downtown area and through the island’s rugged interior full of untouched forest. Although it’s a trek to get there, if you like caves it will be time well-spent.

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A rock outcropping called Robinson's Folly sticks out from Mackinac Island's East Bluff above Small Point B&B

Robinson’s Folly on Mackinac Island

Looming about 130 feet above Lake Huron near Mission Point Resort, Robinson’s Folly is the name of a limestone bluff where it is said British Capt. Daniel Robertson built a summer house in the 1780s when he was commander at Fort Mackinac. The house crashed down a few years later when part of the cliff gave way and debris still littered the shore nearly a century later, according to an account in the late 1800s.

Over the years, other stories about the name of the cliff – which eventually became known, perhaps accidentally, as “Robinson’s” Folly – emerged based around the captain’s supposed love for a Native American girl. In various versions Robertson is pulled over the edge of the cliff by the lovestruck maiden or wrestled to the ground below by a jealous Native American warrior.

You can get to Robinson’ Folly by hiking the Crow’s Nest Trail stairway from Marquette Park to the right of Fort Mackinac up to the East Bluff, then past the beautiful and historic homes and cottages to Manitou Trail, a short stretch that runs into a spectacular observation platform overlooking the water.

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1917 black and white photograph of lime kiln ruins on Mackinac Island

Lime Kiln Ruins on Mackinac Island

On the east side of Mackinac Island about halfway between Arch Rock and Sugar Loaf are Mackinac Island’s Lime Kiln Ruins. It’s not easy to find off Lime Kiln and Rock trails and there’s not much left, other than an inspiring sense of the history of the place that played a big role on the island in the late 1700s.

Maps of Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island is known for many things: fudge, horse-drawn carriage rides and historic forts, to name a few. But there is so much more to Mackinac Island. During your next visit, get off the beaten path and explore some of the lesser-known sights to encounter a new face of Mackinac Island!


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