Mackinac Island in March

Mackinac Island in March is quiet in terms of activities and unpredictable when it comes to the weather. There can be a dumping of fluffy snow one day and the next it’s all melted away.

Because it’s still the offseason almost all the storefronts, restaurants, and attractions are closed. The few that are open serve residents, seasonal workers, and the occasional visitor from the mainland.

Most businesses are busy with construction or interior renovations as Mackinac Island prepares for the beginning of the season that generally starts at the end of April.

An aerial winter view of snow-covered downtown Mackinac Island and an icy Mackinac Island harbor

WEATHER ON MACKINAC ISLAND IN MARCH

March is generally a little milder in terms of weather on Mackinac Island. With average highs of 35 degrees, lows of 19 degrees, and just 11 inches of snow during the month, it begins to feel like spring is right around the corner.

Warm clothes and layers are a must when visiting in March, especially if you’ll be outdoors on the XC ski or hiking trails!

Click here to see winter weather on Mackinac Island.

The sun sets beyond the Mackinac Bridge as seen from the snowy shore of Mackinac Island in winter

GETTING TO MACKINAC ISLAND IN MARCH

There are two ways to get to Mackinac Island in March, by ferry or by air taxi.

  • The Mighty Huron winter ferry operated by Mackinac Island Ferry Company runs out of St. Ignace in the Upper Peninsula if the waters are open and there isn’t too much ice. Weather can be unpredictable during the winter and occasionally they must cancel a trip but generally the ferry runs a few times a day Monday-Sunday. It is best to visit the Mackinac Island Ferry Company website or call them directly for day-of updates at 800-638-9892.
  • You can also fly to Mackinac Island with an air taxi or charter plane. Fresh Air Aviation operates out of the St. Ignace Airport and flies directly to the Mackinac Island Airport. It is about a 7-minute flight to Mackinac Island Call ahead to schedule a flight with them at 906-285-6727. North Country Aviation is another way to get to Mackinac Island and offers chartered flights from nearby airports. Visit their website for more information. If you are flying into the Mackinac Island Airport, it is recommended to arrange a horse-drawn taxi ahead of time 906-847-3323. The Mackinac Island Airport is about 2 miles from the downtown area.

In addition to taking the ferry or flying, you may have heard about getting to Mackinac Island using the ice bridge in the winter. Like many city organizations and businesses, we will not provide updates nor information on the status, location, or details about the ice bridge because of how unsafe it is. Using the ice bridge is “riding at your own risk” and should be considered with extreme caution, especially in March. Snowmobiles on Mackinac Island require a DNR trail permit that can be ordered online or purchased at mainland gas stations. Mackinac Island does not have designated snowmobile trails as snowmobiles are used for transportation and not leisure, by locals.

The Woods restaurant on Mackinac Island is closed in winter and covered in snow

WHAT’S OPEN ON MACKINAC ISLAND IN MARCH

Like the rest of the offseason (November-April) most Mackinac Island businesses have their storefronts closed in March. There are a handful of businesses open in March but please contact them directly or visit the Mackinac Island winter page to see any changes to their schedule.

Mackinac Island State Park and their trails remain open for snowshoeing, XC skiing, and hiking. Island maps are available outside of our Tourism Bureau office on Main Street.

If your favorite Mackinac Island stores are closed, you can still shop local by visiting them online!

ACTIVITIES & EVENTS ON MACKINAC ISLAND IN MARCH

Quiet is a theme throughout the winter and March is no different. The biggest event in March is the Great Turtle Twilight Trek sponsored by Mackinac State Historic Parks, the Mackinac Island Community Foundation, and the Mackinac Island Ski Club. The event features 2 miles of lantern-lit, groomed trails for XC skiing and snowshoeing as well as a bonfire and hot chocolate. The Great Turtle Twilight Trek usually takes place once a month in January, February, and March.

A pine tree rises into view on Mackinac Island with the surrounding waters and Round Island Lighthouse in the background covered in snow and ice

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT MACKINAC ISLAND IN MARCH

  • There is no place to rent XC skis or snowshoes on the Island. You’ll have to bring your own or rent them from the mainland.
  • While snowmobiles are allowed on Mackinac Island, they are meant for transportation and not recreation. If you are coming to Mackinac Island with a snowmobile, you will need a DNR snowmobile pass that can be obtained in St. Ignace.
  • You can get stuck on Mackinac Island due to weather. It doesn’t happen often, but it’s happened before. If the ferry can’t break through the ice and the weather is too bad to fly, you could spend an extra day (or two) on the Island. Just keep this in mind when planning a “quick trip” to the Island.
  • There are no public restrooms in the winter season. Mackinac Island Ferry Company has a restroom available at their dock as long as the ferry is running. There are restrooms in the restaurants but we recommend grabbing a bite to eat or a drink if you are going to use those.
  • Being a May-October destination, Mackinac Island is very different in the winter season than the summer season. Please thoroughly check our Mackinac Island winter page to find out what’s open and for up to date details.
  • Planning for the upcoming season? Find opening dates for Mackinac Island attractions here!
  • Many storefronts are closed and businesses are in their offseason. You might experience a delay of businesses getting back to you if you have questions.

A horse-drawn taxi passes a Mackinac Island church on a snowy winter day

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