Traveling between Michigan's Upper and Lower Peninsulas is something we take for granted today thanks to the Mackinac Bridge. You likely can't imagine the wait that drivers were once forced to endure to travel between Mackinaw City and St. Ignace.

The Michigan Department of Transpiration shared this photo recently showing cars stacked up and backed up waiting to travel across the Straits of Mackinac. From the 1920s through the '50s, the Department of Highways operated the Michigan State Ferry service between the peninsulas. The longest waits annually occurred in November during hunting season.

MDOT Pic of the Day: This is what it used to look like in Mackinaw City before the #MackinacBridge was built. #ProgressIsGood

Posted by Michigan Department of Transportation on Wednesday, February 17, 2016


There was certainly no one who commented on the photo yearning for the pre-bridge days.

I remember my parents describing the experience of sitting in these long lines waiting and hoping to get aboard. So glad for our Bridge!

I remember it well. Sat in line on both side. Was really bad in Nov. When they went to the U.P. to hunt.

Oh I remember this so well. we would wait for hours and sometimes the car lines were 6 miles or more out of Mackinaw along the roadside.

Imagine that, a 6 mile back-up through Mackinac City along the old two-lane US 31 or US 23. It's roughly as south as Carp Lake along the old Mackinaw Highway.

These videos from the early 1950s give another glimpse of what travel was once like before the Mighty Mac.

Part 1
Part 2

You might be surprised to realize there are dozens of bridges to enter Michigan's Upper Peninsula that aren't the Mackinac Bridge. From east to west this is every one of them:

24 Bridges to Enter the Upper Peninsula of Michigan that Aren't the Mighty Mac

Some people just don't enjoy crossing the majestic Mackinac Bridge. For others it's not in the route of thier travel. There are at least 24 other bridges that travelers can use to enter Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Here they are from east to west