Historic Michilimackinac Fort and the Mill Creek Historic Discovery Park in Mackinaw City offer living history!

Here is additional insight into two Mackinaw City, Michigan area attractions that bring history to life (see my Wednesday, August 24 Record blog feature for more detail on this lovely area)!

The two are Fort Michilimackinac and Mill Creek Historic Discovery Park. Here is a bit of detail, right off the two attraction’s web sites:

Ft. Michilimackinac cannon firing by British reinactors!

Fort Michilimackinac in Mackinaw City, Michigan, (mightymac.org/michilimackinac.htm) right on the Mackinac Strait, was originally built by the French in 1714-1715 to control the fur trade and European development of the upper Great Lakes. Michilimackinac was more of a fortified community than a military outpost. The colonial community was located both inside and outside the walls and the walls were expanded several times during the French and British occupation of the area. There was an Odawa (Ottawa) community along the shore when Fort Michilimackinac was built, but the Odawas moved 20 miles west to L’Arbre Croche (present day Cross Village) in 1741 when their corn fields were no longer fertile.

Mill Creek Historic Discovery Park, south of Mackinaw City by two miles on Hwy. 23 (mackinacparks.com/parks-and-attractions/historic-mill-creek-discovery-park/) Here, visitors can witness the power of the creek harnessed to cut timber into lumber at one of the oldest industrial sites on the Upper Great Lakes and soar like an eagle on the zip line during the Adventure Tour.

British and Canadian flags fly over Mill Creek Historical Discovery Park.

Live Programs and Tours: Historical demonstrations by costumed interpreters and nature programs are conducted throughout the day. Click here to learn more about the daily events and activities at Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park.

Adventure Tour: Trek though the treetops on the Adventure Tour! This special, guided nature experience takes visitors over the Forest Canopy Bridge, down the 425-foot Eagle’s Flight Zip Line, and up the five-story Treetop Discovery Climbing Wall. A separate ticket and signed waiver are required. Participants must meet Adventure Tour Guidelines.

Exhibits: The Visitor’s Center and Millwright’s House have exhibits on the history of the site featuring archaeological artifacts.

Audiovisual Program: A fifteen-minute program is presented in the theater in the Visitor’s Center. It repeats every 20 minutes.

Hands-on Fun: Kids and adults will enjoy the outdoor Water Power Station, the Forest Friends Play Area, and the view from the top of the Treetop Discovery Tower.

Nature Trails: Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park is situated on over 600 acres with three miles of trails that contain beautiful forests, wildflowers and scenic views. A variety of wildlife species make their homes here. Even the novice hiker will find adventure in the northern forest.

Bicyclists ride the "rail trall" from Mackinaw City to the Mill Creek Discovery Park.

Bicyclists: Best of all, a flat, separated from traffic rail trail connects Mackinaw City, runs south parallel to Hwy. 23, right past the Mill Creek Historic Discovery Park entrance, and into Cheboygan further south.  It’s a lovely way to get some exercise and commute to the two historic attractions!

For more info on overall Mackinaw City, Michigan attractions:, mackinawcity.com

Read more from Tim Viall’s travel blog, follow him on Facebook or Twitter; or, email him at tviall@msn.com. Happy travels in the US and Canada!

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