A beloved Labor Day tradition unites the state of Michigan each year for a fun feat of endurance and community spirit – the Annual Mackinac Bridge Walk. As one of the state’s most iconic landmarks, the “Mighty Mac” draws tens of thousands of visitors to walk across its massive steel suspension span on foot for one morning each year.
The idea for a bridge walk originated in 1958 with the Mighty Mac’s dedication ceremony, when Governor G. Mennen Williams led a small procession of 68 people across. This symbolic march evolved into an annual public event, with attendance growing steadily each year. Recent walks have drawn over 85,000 walkers!
The 5-mile journey begins in Mackinaw City or St. Ignace, where excited pedestrians converge before dawn. At 7 am, the Governor typically leads the pack as the first walker. In 1992, President George H.W. Bush joined the walk, drawing record crowds.
Participants can choose to walk the entire 10-mile expanse out-and-back, known as “Double Crossers”, or just traverse halfway before turning around. However you cross, soaking in the views and celebrating Michigan pride with fellow walkers makes for an unforgettable experience.
To allow the walk, the Mackinac Bridge Authority closes the bridge down until noon for all vehicular traffic except emergency vehicles. Walkers must only bring themselves – transportation is not provided back to your start point.
If you’re looking for a free and fun way to spend Labor Day, join thousands of Michiganders on this annual pilgrimage across one of America’s most spectacular bridges. The shared sense of adventure and connection during the Mackinac Bridge Walk is the perfect capstone to summer.
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