There are Michiganders who have been going to Mackinac Island for years and years – yet, many don't realize that there are four things banned on the island. Let's get the obvious one out of the way first:

The island's modes of transportation are horses, buggies, carriages, and bicycles. So why no automobiles? The ban on autos began in 1901. Vehicles that roamed the island pre-1901 were, let's face it, noisy. Loud, rickety, was enough to scare the poop out of the horses...and it did. Not only did cars spook the horses, but run-ins with carriages didn't help. It took another 59 years before the ban was turned into a law. But yes, there are vehicles on the island for emergencies: an ambulance, two fire trucks, and one police car. The lack of motor vehicles is also a huge part of keeping the historic aspect of the island alive.

Mackinac Island is a drone owner's dream. But tough. You can't use 'em. Drones are not allowed. Why? Many drones are noisy and will easily distract and upset horses. Plus, they can be dangerous when used among the hordes of tourists. As with automobiles, drones take away the historic ambience. And before anyone says anything, yeah, I've seen drone videos of the island that tourists have either secretly taken or from a boat out on the water.

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State law prohibits electric bikes throughout the island without proper authorization. In special instances, there are exceptions for the use of Class 1 electric bicycles.

Did you realize that there is no camping on the island? Tourists can be careless with campfires and to take that big of a chance on the island isn't worth making camping legal. The island takes great care of the land, properties, and animals and camping brings litter, garbage, and campfire ashes, all marring the beautiful land. Ya wanna camp? Stay on the mainland.

Sure, bring it along. If you don't feel like renting one of the island bikes, you'll need a temporary bike license before you get on the ferry boat. And yes, there's a fee.

Bring your dog if you want. Keep in mind, YOU have to pick up the poop, NOT the island sanitation department. They're busy enough with horse dung. Bring your dog poop bags or a stash of dollar store plastic bags to scoop the poop. Keep your dog on a leash.

Banned on Mackinac Island


Mackinac Island's Ski Resort, 1971-1973

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