Labor Day weekend is for fun in the sun as we cling the last days of summer. Wrap your summer up in an unforgettable way by joining in the annual Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk! Imagine watching a beautiful sunrise over the Great Lakes as you get some exercise with friends and family.
People first walked the Mighty Mac during the bridge’s dedication ceremony in June 1958. A whopping 68 brave souls ventured across, but nowadays, there are more than 60,000! In 1959, the Mackinac Bridge Walk was scheduled for Labor Day and has been ever since, with the exception of pandemic-ridden 2020. Usually the governor leads the walk, but in 1992, President George H. W. Bush led the crowd.
This year, Monday, September 6, 2021, the bridge will be closed to all public traffic from 6:30 AM — noon. Participants in the Governor’s Council on Fitness Run will start pounding the pavement first. The event is capped at 700 people.
If you just want to walk the bridge, it is free and there is no registration required or limit to the number of people. The governor will lead the walkers about 7 AM. Folk can start walking any time after that, up until 11:30 AM.
You have several options of how you can walk the bridge. You can start at St. Ignace in the Upper Peninsula or at the foot of the bridge in Mackinaw City in the Lower Peninsula. People will be walking from both directions. Keep in mind, Mackinaw City has more parking.
Many people just walk to the midpoint of the bridge and turn around. Others walk all the way across and back. Those people are referred to as “Double Crossers” and they’ll probably buy a Double Crosser T-shirt so they can brag to their friends! Double crossers walk about 10 miles! There is no shuttle back to your car, so you will need to arrange for transportation if you want to walk all the way across the bridge and not double back.
If you haven’t made it to the midway by 10 AM, you will be made to turn around, so plan accordingly if you want to walk the entire bridge. The turnaround point will keep moving, making the walk shorter, as the morning progresses. People can start walking up to 11:30, so even late comers can get a bit of a walk in!
Come prepared! It may be chilly in the morning and then warm up, so dress in layers to keep yourself comfortable. Leave the umbrellas, strollers, wagons, roller skates, and skateboards in your vehicle — they aren’t allowed on the bridge. Either is smoking, running (unless you are in the registered event), or horseplay. Wear comfortable shoes — you could be walking 5 to 10 miles. Official service dogs are the only animals permitted. Portable toilets will be available at both ends of the bridge.
If you’ve been lucky enough to walk the Mackinac Bridge on Labor Day in the past, I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments! Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend, everyone!