Mackinac Bridge

Mackinac Bridge seen from Straits State Park

 

Mackinac Bridge
(Mackinac Bridge Authority)

Gateway to the Upper Peninsula
"God's Area Code"

Bridge Cam
(current conditions pic)

Bridge Conditions
(description)

 

I've been fascinated by bridges since I was a little girl, and this is one of the most beautiful bridges I have ever seen.  Stats say it is the longest suspension bridge in the Americas, a five mile drive across, with a total length of 8,614 feet suspended. It is currently the third longest suspension bridge in the world.  But dry stats do nothing to convey what it feels like to drive over it on a beautifully clear day, knowing your adventure into the Upper Peninsula is about to begin.  There is a toll to drive across either way, but it's well worth it!

One of the best things I heard about the bridge during my time in the U.P. was from a woman I met who told me, "When we were little and as we were crossing the bridge coming into the U.P., mom would say, “Open all the windows and let’s bring in the U.P. air. You are now breathing the purest, most vitalizing air on earth!”

As I began to appreciate more and more how special the U.P. is in so many ways, my heart agreed that this is pure truth.

During my time at Straits State Park in July, 2011, I crossed back and forth many times to visit Mackinaw City, enjoyed my tour of the Mackinaw Bridge Museum, Michilimackinac State Park and Colonial Michilimackinac and the views of the bridge from there. 

Mackinac Bridge collage

Mackinac Bridge first crossing

My first crossing: I was a little nervous about my first crossing in my 36' motorhome because I'd heard of gusty winds, the bane of every motorhome driver.  I was reassured by the Mackinac Bridge Authority offering a "Drivers Assistance Program" that provides drivers for those uncomfortable with driving themselves across the bridge. This is a free service and is provided not only during high wind conditions. See FAQs About Crossing for location of phones at either end of the bridge, or call 906-643-7600.  This 2007 article in the Record-Eagle – "Troubled Over Bridged Waters" – is an interesting article about this experience.  Thankfully, it was a perfect day and I had no problems whatsoever this day or any other.

Mackinac Bridge Walk

 

 

 

I would love to do the Mackinac Bridge Walk that takes place annually in September, but timing didn't work out.  Just another reason to return!

(photo from page linked above)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On another day, when crossing over to Mackinac Island on Shepler's Ferry, the following picture was taken during one of their optional tours that takes you underneath the bridge.

Shepler's tour under Mackinac Bridge

The following 1 minute video is a bit shaky, but I loved this ride!  You can even see a car crossing the bridge above you.

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icon-links2More Mackinac Bridge Links: (also see those at top of page)

MI Dept. of Transportation  ♦  Mighty Mac.org  ♦  History.com Video

Pictures of the bridge from Straits State Park

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I'd love to hear your own experiences about places I've been - and what you think are "must-sees" - and I really value any suggestions and feedback from readers, so please let me have your 2 cents in Comments below: