Mackinac Island, MI

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Low-Tech Touring

To see the rest of the island, book a horse-and-buggy ride. Mackinac Island Carriage Tours operates an hour-and-45-minute, narrated tour of 20 island highlights in a shaded, fringe-topped surrey. In keeping with the laid-back attitude, there are no scheduled departures; the whip snaps once there's a full carriage.

Even better, clip-clop along at your own pace by renting a horse and buggy at Jack's Livery Stables. The horses are easy-going and experienced, and you can be sure everyone in your gang will get a chance at the reins.

After giving the island the once-over, hop on a bike for more serious exploring. You'll save money by bringing your own bikes along, but rentals are plentiful at the dock.

Pick up the free Mackinac Island Map at the Chamber of Commerce, or most any shop downtown. It'll come in handy when navigating the island's 100 miles of hiking trails and bike paths. Here are some of our family favorites:

  • Lakeshore Road. This eight-mile, paved trail circling the island along the shore is easy on little legs. Heading east from the dock, the first mile will bring you to Mackinac's most impressive sight, Arch Rock. The 50-foot natural limestone bridge rises 150 feet above the shore of Lake Huron.
  • Devil's Kitchen. About a mile west of downtown, you'll encounter another imposing formation -- a huge limestone ledge looming over the path.
  • Skull Cave. Pedal inland on Garrison Road, and you'll find this cave, named when a settler hiding from Indians discovered human bones there. Make sure you're on a mountain bike; the paths are all gravel and dirt.

Continued on page 4:  Heavy Artillery

 

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