One of our favorite pastimes on Mackinac Island is hiking. Last fall we set out on a long hike in search of changing leaves. As it happens, we were a bit too early for the best color, but we had a fantastic hike anyway.
We started at the Market Street Inn and headed southwest on Market Street, turning right (northwest) on Cadotte Avenue. We passed the Little Stone Church and the Grand Hotel, before heading east on Huron Road at the top of the hill.
The paths were stunning during our early morning hike.
We headed north on Custer Road toward the island’s three cemeteries, which are located together where Custer and Garrison Roads intersect.
The Post Cemetery is the resting place of just over 100 service men and women with only about 40 identified. The others are labeled, simply, “U.S. Soldier.”
St. Anne’s is the island’s Catholic cemetery, with its beautiful entryways.
The Protestant Cemetery is also close by. It was a peaceful and beautiful way to spend our morning.
After a quick detour to visit Great Turtle Park, we headed south on Garrison Road, bypassing Fort Holmes (though I’m told it’s really something to see, and we intend to climb it this summer sometime!) before spotting Skull Cave.
I’d tell you the story of Skull Cave, but it would be essentially the same as what’s written on the sign in the picture!
Heading west on Rifle Range Road, we circled Sugar Loaf (via Sugar Loaf Road), a 75 foot tower of limestone rock. (I can’t recall why we took no pictures!) We followed Sugar Loaf Road south until it met back up with Rifle Range Road, and hiked east toward Arch Rock.
Formed by erosion, it’s one of the most interesting spots on the island.
The views in both directions are spectacular!
We followed Arch Roch Road to Huron Road and continued our lovely walk through the woods.
Before we arrived at the East Bluff, we heard the tell-tale sounds of a Pileated Woodpecker. These large birds are common on Mackinac Island, but are known to be quite shy preferring to stay hidden in their woodland homes rather than socialize with the masses. But we found this one, a female, the first we’ve ever seen live and in person. We were thrilled!
We made it to the East Bluff, beautiful in its own right, and the views can’t be beat!
I’d like to be able to tell you how far we walked or how long it took, but we took our time, stopping to admire (and photograph) the views often, so I can’t say how long it would take to hike it without stopping. And who’d want to do that anyway? 🙂
And remember our initial goal, to see some changing leaves? We found a few!
A hike around Mackinac Island is good for the soul! – Click to Tweet
We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!!