Hike the Tranquil Bluff Trail on Mackinac Island



3 miles

Route Type


Added by John Clairmont

This is the longest and most beautiful hiking trail on the island, providing the best views and photo opportunities along the northern and eastern cliffs.

You will need to take a ferry to the island to access this hike, but the fare is cheap and is worth it for a day trip.

This hike starts at the very popular (and thus usually crowded) Arch Rock and takes you halfway across the island to British Landing. Even with the initial crowds, you should be able to capture some great pictures at Arch Rock without people getting in the way. Once you begin the hike, the crowds will thin out drastically until most likely it is just your group around. It is a challenging hike, but there are many overlooks that provide incredible views of the coast and the wide spectrum of blues in the water.

Mountain biking is allowed, although this narrow path is shared with hikers and therefore must be handled with great control. The first two miles from Arch Rock is considered to be of great difficulty (black diamond) with steep hills and turns, while the last mile is much more leisurely (blue square). 

Once in British Landing, you can enjoy a burger and milkshake at the Cannonball Inn and swim at the beach. You'll be able to see the Mackinac Bridge from here as well! At this point, you'll be on the exact opposite side of the island as the main town, and to return you can walk around the island either direction or take the direct route through the middle of the island on British Landing Road and Garrison Road. Of course, you can also retrace your steps along the Tranquil Bluff Trail! 

And if after all this you still have some time and energy before the ferry ride back to the city, you can rent a bike and ride around the island. Just don't forget to pick up some fudge before leaving!

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Mountain Biking
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