This Is What You Need To Know For A Terrific Time At The Bridge Walk
The Annual Bridge Walk takes place each year on Labor Day on the Mackinac Bridge. The 2023 Annual Bridge Walk is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 4, 2023. Here's what you need to know if you plan on walking across the Mackinac Bridge.
It started back in 1958 and a lot people participate.
The walk was started and took place in late June 1958 during the Bridge's dedication ceremony, led by Governor G. Mennen Williams. That first year only 68 people walked across the bridge. The walk was changed to Labor Day in 1959, and until 1964, participants in the walk alternated north and south in consecutive years.
During the 2007 bridge walk, celebrating the bridge's 50th anniversary, participation was estimated at 60,000 walkers. The record number of walkers is estimated at 85,000 in 1992 when President George H. W. Bush crossed the Mighty Mac.
Starting in 2017, all vehicular traffic on the bridge as well as shipping and boating below, is stopped during the duration of the event. The 2020 edition of the walk was cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; the bridge authority cited logistical hurdles and falling toll revenue as reasons for the cancellation.
That's impressive, 85,000 participants in 1992 when H.W. was here. This year the Mack will have tens of thousands of people on it again.
Be prepared to rise n shine early on Monday, September 4, 2023. If you are not paricipating in the walk and intend to drive to the U.P., think again. The Mackinac Bridge will be closed to public traffic from 6:30 a.m. to noon on Monday, Sept. 4, 2023 to accommodate the 2023 Annual Bridge Walk.
You'll need to line up transportation to get back to your starting point after the event. Bridge will open to traffic at noon. There is limited parking space available west of the Mackinac Bridge Authority plaza area.
For those seeking alternative transportation during the event, the local Mackinac Island ferry companies offer transportation between St. Ignace, Mackinaw City, and Mackinac Island, as well as between St. Ignace and Mackinaw City. Local transportation companies also offer shuttle service between various locations.
The walk is FREE. There is no fee or registration required to participate in the walk. The walk begins at 7 a.m. You may start walking any time after the governor’s party starts the walk at approximately 7 a.m. No one will be permitted to start after 11:30 a.m.
The walk begins in St. Ignace at the north end of the Mackinac Bridge in the Upper Peninsula, and in Mackinaw City at the south end of the bridge in the Lower Peninsula. There are diffent ways to participate in the Annual Bridge Walk. You can walk from either end of the bridge and return to the city you started from (10 mile walk). You can walk the five mile stretch of bridge and return to your starting point when the bridge opens at noon or you can turn around at the midpoint of the walk and return to the city you started from.