Mackinac Bridge Walk returns for annual Labor Day walk with options

Amelia Benavides-Colón
The Detroit News

After being canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the annual Mackinac Bridge Walk will be held Sept. 6 — with options for those participating. 

Since 1958, the annual walk hosts around 25,000 participants as they walk the five miles across the Mackinac Bridge, from St. Ignace to Mackinaw City.

Thousands approach the south end of the Mackinac Bridge in 2011 during the annual Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk.

"Before the walk was canceled last year, we had two successful years of starting the event from both St. Ignace and Mackinaw City, which makes us confident in continuing those options in 2021," said Kim Nowack, Mackinac Bridge Authority's executive secretary. 

The bridge will be closed to public transportation from 6:30 a.m. to noon, which means walks must be complete before then. Similar to years past, there will be no buses transporting participants across the bridge after the walk. 

Some changes will be made this year allowing participants more freedom in choosing their start and end points. A video posted at outlines the choices that walkers have:

Starting from either end, participants can walk to the center of the bridge before turning around and returning to their starting point. Walkers who choose this option must be on the side of the bridge they wish to return to before 10 a.m. 

Walkers head south during the 59th annual Mackinac Bridge Walk on Monday, Sept. 5, 2016.

Starting from either end, participants can walk the entire length of the bridge. Those who choose this option must reach the midpoint before 10 a.m. or they will be directed back. Transportation must be arranged back to the starting point by the time bridge reopens. 

The final option, starting from either end participants can walk the length of the bridge before turning back and returning to the side they started from. Again, walkers must reach the midpoint on their return trip by 10 a.m. or they will be directed back. This final option is a total walk of 10 miles.

The walk begins at 7 a.m., led by the governor's party, and participants may start walking at any point before 11:30 a.m. Average time to walk the bridge is two hours. 

Portable toilets are located at either end of the bridge. 

As in the past, participants who need reasonable accommodations due to disability may contact the Mackinac Bridge Authority by Aug. 30 at (906) 643-7600.