Mackinaw City Pure Michigan

Planning Ahead for the 62nd Annual Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk – Monday, September 2, 2019

Posted on August 6th, 2019

As it was for the 2018 Annual Bridge Walk, the Mackinac Bridge will be closed to public traffic from 6:30 a.m. to Noon on Monday, Sept. 2, 2019 to accommodate the 2019 Annual Bridge Walk.

The walk begins at 7 a.m. You may start walking any time after the governor’s party starts the walk at approximately 7 a.m. No one will be permitted to start after 11:30 a.m., so make sure you arrive early. There is no fee or registration required to participate in the walk and each participant will receive a numbered bridge walk certificate at the completion of their walk. Certificates will be distributed at both ends of the bridge.

This year, the walk begins in St. Ignace at the north end of the Mackinac Bridge in the Upper Peninsula, and in Mackinaw City at the south end of the bridge in the Lower Peninsula. To participate in the walk, you may:

  • Walk from either end of the bridge, then turn around at the midpoint and return to the community where you started the walk. Beginning at 10 a.m., the turnaround point will be moved towards the ends of the bridge, but you may start walking up until 11:30 a.m.
  • Walk from either end of the bridge and continue across to the other side. This option is most like previous bridge walks. However, since bus transportation across the bridge will not be available, walkers who choose this option will need to arrange for their own transportation back across after the bridge reopens at noon. Walkers who do not reach the midpoint of the bridge before 10 a.m. will be turned back.
  • Walk from either end of the bridge, continuing across to the other side, then walking back to the end of the bridge you started from. This option will mean a 10-mile round trip for participants. If walkers in this option do not reach the midpoint of the bridge on their return trip by 10 a.m. will be turned back.

Walkers will use the left-hand outside paved lane as they walk onto the bridge, regardless of which end of the bridge they start from. Walkers who turn back at the midpoint will turn right, then return using the opposite side outside paved lane. Walkers who choose to cross the entire bridge will stay in the left-hand outside paved lane all the way across.

No bus transportation across the bridge will be available this year. Walkers who decide to walk across the entire bridge will need to arrange their own transportation back to the end of the bridge where they started – after the bridge reopens to public traffic at noon. There is limited parking space available west of the Mackinac Bridge Authority plaza area. Parking and shuttle service is being provided by the St. Ignace Chamber of Commerce and St. Ignace Visitor’s Bureau and is available at Little Bear East Arena.

Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry will again be offering direct departures between Mackinac City and St. Ignace for the 62nd Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk on September 2. Direct service between Mackinaw City and St. Ignace will begin at 5:30am. Advance tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children (ages 5-12) now through Sunday August 25. Children under 5 are complimentary but do require a ticket for boarding. Monday August 26 prices increase to $26 and $13 respectively.

Star Line Ferry is also offering shuttle service. The ferry will be departing their Mackinaw City Dock at 6:30 am going directly to our St. Ignace dock.  When you arrive in St. Ignace you can walk across the street and catch the FREE shuttle to the starting area. The cost for this departure is $15 per adult and $ 8 per child (ages 5-12). Children under five years of age travel free. They will also have a boat that leaves directly from the Mackinac Island Dock at 6:00 am for those on the Island that would like to get an early start. The cost for this departure is $15 per adult and $8 per child for a one-way ticket. Cost for a round trip ticket on the same departure is $18 per adult and $9 per child.

Baby strollers and wheelchairs are allowed on the bridge during the walk. Prohibited items include signs, banners, umbrellas, bicycles, roller skates, skateboards, wagons and similar types of devices. With the sole exception of working service dogs, no animals are allowed. Walkers must stay away from bridge railings and the center mall which divides the walkers from the vehicular traffic.

The Michigan State Police and other official personnel will be available in the event of an emergency. Please note, there are no restrooms on the bridge and the average length of time to walk the bridge is about two hours. Portable toilets will be located in St. Ignace and Mackinaw City.

Except for pre-qualified, registered participants in the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness Run, no running or racing is permitted on the bridge. Playing tag on the bridge is not permitted and no smoking on the bridge, please. For information on the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness Run, please go to www.michiganfitness.org or contact the Governor’s Council at 517-347-7891.

Individuals under the age of 18 should have the permission of a parent or guardian to participate in the walk. Any two or more people walking together should make plans for a meeting place in the event that they become separated during the walk.

As in the past, persons who need reasonable accommodations due to disability may contact the Mackinac Bridge Authority by Aug. 30, 2019 at 906-643-7600. TTY users may call the Michigan Relay Center at 800-649-3777.

Those looking for accommodations over Labor Day weekend will find a list of area hotels, motels, B&Bs and other options available in Mackinaw City: https://www.mackinawcity.com/stay/

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