Despite the lack of automobiles on Mackinac Island, travel signals are still necessary. Have you ever paid attention to the signs throughout the Island? Being a graphic designer and a visual person in general, I am drawn to the unique colors, shapes and typography of the signs. More than that, I find the signs identify areas while giving identity to the Island. They both represent and encourage the historical significance, the distinct lifestyle, and the undeniable quaintness of Mackinac. Here are a few of my favorite signs…
(1) M185-MILE 0
M-185 is an official state highway of Michigan that circles Mackinac Island. Following this road will lead you just over 8 miles around the island’s scenic shoreline. Signs like this one are posted each mile. M-185 is the only state highway in the nation where motor vehicles are banned, and I love that these Mile Markers remind me of that.
(2) Mackinac Island State Park Distance in Miles
Three-eights of a mile? My car’s odometer doesn’t speak this language! But because I am moving by bike or foot, I can take time to read this list of sites and more accurately feel out their distances.
This particular sign is at “Four Corners” (intersection of Cadotte Ave and Annex Rd) but there are several of these signs throughout the State Park. Very helpful!
(3) CAUTION Dangerous Hill SLOW
The hill along Cadotte Avenue (AKA the Grand Hotel Hill) is a STEEP hill and needs a STEEP sign to warn its travelers. While I respect its message, I chuckle at its gaudiness. But something more stylish wouldn’t signal bicyclers quite like this one does!
FYI, the lamppost sign reads: In-line skates, roller skates and skateboards are prohibited on city streets and sidewalks. No bicycles with training wheels. No bicycle parking from 3:00AM to 6:00AM.
(4) Historic Michilimackinac Court House
How cool is this one? Several historic buildings still occupy the island and this Courthouse & Police Station is a fully functioning facility. The sign is a double-sided wooden relief sculpture by J.W. Miximong and features two scenes of people in 19th century garb meeting in front of the courthouse building. Check out this article for more history of the building and sign.
(5) Bike Parking [#1]
The bicycle parking directions are fun and distinct to Mackinac Island. This one leads to a parking lot just down the road from the Grand Hotel.
(6) Bike Parking [#2]
This one is at an employee-housing unit. I am in love with the visual variance of these two bike parking signs.
(7) Real World // Mackinac Island
Have you noticed this sign at the Pink Pony? This sign sums it up; there’s not a feeling more accurate when sitting on the patio with a Rum Runner in hand. ‘Nough said.
Read my post for the Lilac Tree Suites & Spa here about how Mackinac is an escape of the “real world.”
(8) Fort Mackinac Entrance [North entrance]
This sign, marked by Mackinac Island State Park, is another exemplification of the Island’s history. “Open 9-4” so go inside if you haven’t yet!
(9) Partridge Trail
“Partridge Trail / M.I.S.P.C.” the sign reads, pointing “To Crack.” Several of these Mackinac State Historic Park Commission signs still exist on the island, each immersed in nature’s gentle invasion. The metal sign is located on Forest Drive.
(10) Veterinarian Office
If you have seen the massive Carriage Tours barn, you may have noticed this unique sign! The clinic primarily sees horses, and was put into place by one of the members of the family-company who is also a veterinarian.
(11) Bikes to Mackinaw City
There are bike rental options on the Island, but some people choose to bring their own back and forth. When your Mackinac vacation comes to a close and it’s time to return to the mainland, signs on the ferry dock help with directions. Line them up here for a Mackinaw City departure!
(12) Chippewa Hotel Public Welcome
Compare these last two signs to those of a franchise hotel. If you ask me, these last two signs are pretty modest for such an accommodation! The family-owned hotel property is one of the only Island waterfront lodges, centrally located downtown, and home to the most iconic bar in Michigan. But the Chippewa Hotel understands how to preserve the simplicity and charm that is so appealing about Mackinac Island.
(13) Chippewa Hotel // Thank You for Visiting….
Adjacency to the Mackinac marina has made the Chippewa Hotel a long-standing favorite of sailors. We appreciate ALL of our guests and invite each visitor to “Have Yachts & Yachts of Fun.”
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Post & Photos by Kate Dupre
Social Media / Marketing Manager for Lilac Tree Suites & Spa, Chippewa Hotel, Pink Pony
Mackinac Native & Enthusiast