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How Long Does It Take to Bike Around Mackinac Island?

Written by Gary Johnson / Fact checked by Henry Speciale

how long does it take to bike around mackinac island

Mackinac Island is famous for its hiking and biking trails. If you’re planning to tour there, it helps to gauge the time you’ll be spending on specific activities, such as cycling. How long does it take to bike around Mackinac Island?

Riding a bicycle around the island will take about an hour on average, although this requires continuous cycling without rest. Here are some of the important details for Mackinac Island biking.

Read on to learn more.

Riding a Lap Around the Island


Mackinac Island is a popular destination in Massachusetts located in Lake Huron. It’s famous for its biking and hiking offerings that few other locations can match.

There are many bike trails on Mackinac Island, but if you only want to cycle around the island, it would take an hour to do it once. This is achievable by taking an easy cycling route and going at a comfortable pace, although stopping to rest will lengthen your time.

You can bring your own bicycle to the island but will need to register it with the authorities. It’s not too difficult to get a bike license, though; on average, Mackinac Island issues 85000 licenses annually.

You can also opt to rent a bicycle through shops here. Mackinac Island bike rental prices are around $15 an hour, but there are also day packages ranging from $50 to $100. As for bike tours Mackinac Island offers these as well, and cycles and helmets are included.

Approximate Time Required


We can break down the necessary time for cycling around Mackinac Island by asking a key question: how many miles around is Mackinac Island? There are 4 main trails here, but these are not what we’re looking for.

State Highway M-185 is a long, car-free path that will allow you to go around the island, and it is 8.2 miles long. This is very interesting because this figure is comparable to a city bike’s average cycling speed of about 8 to 12 mph, meaning we can go around the island once an hour without exerting too much effort.

Compared to other Mackinac Island bicycle trails, this path is unchallenging and is popular among beginner cyclists and runners. However, different factors affect the time it would take to complete a tour around the island.

Terrain is usually an important factor when it comes to things that can affect our biking speed, but the M-185 is flat, so we’ll skip that one. Let’s take a look at how our biking time can be affected.

Factors Affecting the Biking Duration

1. Biking Speed


The average speed for bikes on paved roads is around 22 kph or 14 mph. If you ride the 8.2-mile distance around Mackinac Island in similar conditions but at this faster speed compared to cycling leisurely, the trip will take around 35 minutes to complete.

However, it is always best to cycle at a comfortable pace, unless you’ve trained your body accordingly.

2. Age and Fitness Level


Biking faster means covering more distance sooner, but various factors affect our ability to go fast. Fitness level needs to be considered, and age usually plays a role in that.

Older people have lower performance levels unless they’ve trained well. If you are older or if you’re biking with elderly people or children, this will likely affect how fast you can go.

3. Type of Bicycle

Some bicycles are faster than others, making it easier for us to clear trails in less time. Cycling comfortably on flats with a road bike will usually be faster compared to doing it on a mountain bike.


How long does it take to bike around Mackinac Island? Now, you know that it takes an hour to do so at a leisurely pace. However, there’s more to enjoy on the island, so check the bike trails map above along with other attractions to make the most out of your trip.

Do you like to travel on different biking trails? What do you consider when planning trips to make the most out of your holidays? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

Always ride safely.

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