Mackinac Island, By The Numbers

Published on March 17th, 2021

Last updated on October 16th, 2021



You may have heard that 600 horses come to work on car-free Mackinac Island each year. Or that it’s 8.2 miles around Mackinac Island on M-185, the only state highway in the country that prohibits motor vehicles. Maybe you know that Grand Hotel’s front porch, the longest in the world, measures 660 feet in length. And maybe you remember from history class that one of the many battles of the War of 1812 took place on Mackinac Island…and that it actually happened in 1814.More than 600 horses work on Mackinac Island, making the Michigan travel destination the place where “horse is king.”

Mackinac Island is home to a lot of history. A lot of charm. A lot of unique sights to see and things to do. And people use a wide variety of words to describe Mackinac Island.

But numbers also capture the essence of Michigan’s Crown Jewel. And there’s no shortage of amazing numbers to share!

So, here it goes…Mackinac Island, by the numbers:

600 horses come to work on Mackinac Island each year

Cars haven’t been allowed on Mackinac Island for over 100 years. Instead, Mackinac Island runs on authentic horsepower. Each spring, some 600 horses come to Mackinac Island to take visitors on carriage tours, taxi guests to and from various points of interest and pull drays to deliver luggage and everything else that needs to move around.

3.8 square-miles of land area on Mackinac Island

Mackinac Island isn’t very big. In fact, you could fit about 37 Mackinac Islands within the city limits of Detroit. But for such a relatively small place, Mackinac Island is big on personality, character and historic charm. Surprisingly, it also has lots of uncrowded space. Mackinac Island State Park makes up more than 80 percent of the island!

70-plus miles of trails in Mackinac Island State Park

Speaking of the state park, you can spend a lot of time exploring on Mackinac Island. The trails crisscross the forest and take you past 200-year-old cemeteries, legendary caves and incredible Mackinac Island rock formations you have to see to believe.

Mackinac Island is home to incredible rock formations such as Sugar Loaf, a limestone stack 75 feet high in the state park.120-140 active geocaches hidden around Mackinac Island

If you’ve never gone geocaching, you’ll never even know that you’re walking by scores of little treasures hidden amid the unique geography of Mackinac Island. If you want to start geocaching, Mackinac Island is a great place to start.

16-minute ferry ride to Mackinac Island from the mainland

Most people travel to Mackinac Island on a ferry boat departing from either Mackinaw City at the northern tip of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula or from St. Ignace at the southern tip of the Upper Peninsula. From either departing location, it’s about a 16-minute ride to the ferry docks on Mackinac Island.

30 planes arriving at or departing from Mackinac Island Airport each day

As an alternative to taking a ferry boat or their own boat to Mackinac Island, some people fly a private plane or take a charter flight into Mackinac Island Airport. The 3,500-foot runway operates year-round and is the only way to reach Mackinac Island at times in the winter when the lake is frozen.

76 degrees is the average high temperature on Mackinac Island in July

It can get really cold on Mackinac Island in the winter and summer temps can get quite hot. But, on average, Mackinac Island has some of the most pleasant summer weather in the country. Instead of sweating through muggy summer nights, you can enjoy low temps in July in the 50s.

24 restaurants with outdoor seatingMackinac Island’s historic Fort Mackinac features 14 original buildings that date as far back as 1780.

Pleasant summer weather brings blissful opportunities to dine outdoors in the fresh air of Mackinac Island. Many settings offer a waterfront patio or view, while others feature seating tucked into cozy gardens with the sweet fragrance of lilacs.

73 years that Mackinac Island has celebrated the Lilac Festival

The presence of some of the country’s oldest lilac stems make Mackinac Island the perfect place to celebrate the pleasing flower. As a result, the Mackinac Island Lilac Festival has been an annual tradition since 1949. The 10-day celebration takes place each June.

1780 is the year Fort Mackinac was established

Some traditions go back even farther than Mackinac Island’s lilacs. Michigan hadn’t yet become part of the United States when the British relocated Fort Michilimackinac from the mainland to Mackinac Island. Eventually, the fort became known simply as Fort Mackinac, and it remains open for tours.

14 original buildings have been restored at Fort MackinacMackinac Island infographic showing numbers related to unique Mackinac Island characteristics, attractions and things to do.

Featuring the oldest public building in Michigan, Fort Mackinac gives visitors a glimpse of life for both soldiers and civilians during the 18th and 19th centuries.

1898 is the year Wawashkamo Golf Course was built

Compared to Fort Mackinac, the historic 9-hole golf course designed by two-time U.S. Open champion Alex Smith is a relative newcomer. Yet, Mackinac Island’s Wawashkamo is the oldest continuously played golf course in all of Michigan. It’s also the site of the 1814 Battle of Mackinac.

15 minutes is the length of the horse-drawn carriage ride between two holes at The Jewel Golf Course

While Wawashkamo is older and full of interesting features, The Jewel at Grand Hotel has something that’s truly one of a kind. When traveling between the golf course’s two nines, players take their clubs on a horse-drawn carriage ride.

1869 is the year Mackinac Island issued its first horse-drawn carriage license

Three decades later, carriage operators were instrumental in banning “horseless carriages” on Mackinac Island. As a result, horse-drawn carriage tours remain a popular Mackinac Island activity because motor vehicles are not allowed. It’s been that way now for over 120 years!

1,489 bicycles for rent on Mackinac Island

In addition to horse-drawn carriages, bicycles populate the streets of Mackinac Island. There are several bike rental shops on Mackinac Island offering single bikes, tandem bikes, tagalongs, e-scooters and more.

75 feet is the height of Mackinac Island’s Sugar Loaf

The towering limestone stack in the middle of Mackinac Island is one of many impressive rock formations located within Mackinac Island State Park. The origin of Mackinac Island’s Sugar Loaf is the source of Native American legend.

RELATED: How to make a trip to Mackinac Island a remote learning experience with math, history, science and English lessons

This list of Mackinac Island numbers could go on infinitely. For now, here are just a few more…

1,600-plus unique rooms in delightful Mackinac Island hotels, resorts, B&Bs, condos and cottages

63 wedding vendors to help plan and pull off incredible destination weddings on Mackinac Island

4 unique Run Mackinac events each year on Mackinac Island

10 tons of sugar imported weekly in peak season to make world-famous Mackinac Island fudgeMackinac Island’s Grand Hotel has the world’s longest front porch and a giant 8-scoop sundae at Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor.

145 feet from Mackinac Island’s picturesque Arch Rock down to Lake Huron below

46 years that Margaret Doud has served as mayor of Mackinac Island

120-foot depth of the water surrounding Mackinac Island

100-foot drop at Mackinac Falls, an ancient waterfall that has been submerged for thousands of years

4 colored balls for each team in a game of bocce on Mackinac Island

26,372 feet across the nearby mighty Mackinac Bridge

500 year-round residents on Mackinac Island

$5.1 million budget for cult favorite “Somewhere in Time” movie filmed on Mackinac Island

7 suites named for First Ladies at Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel

88 is the world-record number of skips for Mackinac Island champion stone skipper Kurt Steiner

8 scoops of ice cream in the Grand Sundae at Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor on Mackinac Island

60 Boy Scouts per week visit Mackinac Island to conduct flag ceremonies


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