Trip Start Jul 07, 2012
44Trip End Ongoing
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I went to Mackinac Island today. I went there with my aunt and cousin when I was about 12 although I can't say I remember much from the visit.
I started by walking through town. I found a Visitor Center and checked out the displays. I decided to tour Fort Mackinac first. I visited a couple churches on my way up the hill to the entrance to the fort.
Fort Mackinac was originally built by the British during the American Revolution. America was given the fort at the end of the war but it took them 13 years until 1796 to take control from the British. It was captured by the British in the first land engagement of the War of 1812. It was returned to the U.S. after the war. The fort remained active until 1895 although it was abandoned several times when the troops were needed elsewhere. By then Mackinac Island had been transformed from a fur trading center into a major summer resort. The land was soon transferred to the state and became Michigan's first state park.
The fort contains many historical displays about life at the fort as well as the history of the island. I found it quite interesting. The fort is partially staffed alternately by Boy and Girl Scout volunteers who live in a nearby facility.
I walked from the fort to Arch Rock. It's not a very impressive arch. While there are pictures of people standing on top of the arch on display at the fort, you're no longer allowed to go out onto the arch.
I walked from the arch to Scull Cave, which isn't very interesting, and then to the old cemeteries, which I did find interesting. Next I went to Point Lookout, which looks out at Sugar Loaf, a rock mound in the interior of the island. I then went to Fort Holmes, which was abandoned long before Fort Mackinac and is little more than some mounds of dirt.
I then walked by the Grand Hotel, the largest hotel on the island, to the Victorian houses on the West Bluff, which are some of the more impressive houses on the island. As I then headed back to the docks I walked through the Grand Hotel. It wasn't until I was on the other side of the hotel that I came across signs that informed me I was required to wear a jacket in the evening while I was in the Grand Hotel or on the roads they own around the hotel and that I was required to pay $10 to enter the hotel.
By the time I got back to the docks it was nearly 9:00. I had intended to rent a bike and peddle around the island but it was too late for that so I caught the 9:00 ferry back to Mackinaw City.
I enjoyed my visit to Mackinac Island but I'm disappointed that my memory of my previous visit is so bad.