Mill Creek Discovery Park

Mill Creek Discovery Park, formerly known as Mill Creek Historic Park, is one of many great places and tourist attractions in Mackinaw City, MI.

Come visit the first industrial complex to be constructed in the Straits of Mackinac at Mill Creek Discovery Park. Watch a fully operational, 18th-century sawmill cut lumber using only water-power. You will also find costumed interpreters, lively demonstrations and hiking trails.

Climb the Nature Trail Climbing Wall. Soar like an eagle down the Eagle's Flight Zip Line. Walk through the treetops on the Forest Canopy Bridge. Adventure to the top of the five-story Treetop Discovery Tower.

Video Tour of Mill Creek Discovery Park in Mackinaw City, MI

See the many attractions at Mill Creek Discovery Park including costumed staff, historical demonstrations, an exciting climbing wall, zip line and forest canopy bridge.

Photo of Mill Creek Discovery Park in Mackinaw City, MI.Mill Creek Discovery Park
(formerly known as Mill Creek Historic Park)
9001 S US Highway 23
Mackinaw City, MI 49701
GPS Coordinates: N 45^ 44.757, W 084^ 40.344

Mackinac State Historic Parks
(231) 436-4100 (Mackinaw City Office)
(906) 847-3328 (Mackinac Island Office)

Mill Creek Discovery Park is operated by the Mackinac State Historic Park Commission and features a fully reconstructed, revolutionary war period, operating, water-powered sawmill. Mill Creek Discovery Park is formerly known as Mill Creek Historic Park and does not offer lodging.

Please note: Mill Creek Discovery Park does not offer lodging accommodations. Make sure to see our list of Mackinaw City Accommodations when planning your visit.

Mill Creek Discovery Park provided sawn lumber to the settlement of Mackinac Island during the 1790's and continues to impress visitors with their 18th Century water-powered sawmill demonstrations, replicating the work once done by early settlers.

Equally impressive is the sawpit demonstration which actually allows young visitors to assist costumed interpreters by grasping opposite ends of the long saw to demonstrate the vital pioneer skill of sawing logs for building projects. The sawmill demonstrations take place every half hour during peak season (mid-June through mid-August), with the sawpit demonstration preceding the sawmill every hour. Accompanying the sawpit demonstration is a natural history presentation, taking place in a small forest clearing located near the sawpit.

The park is open from 9am to 5pm during the peak season (June to August).

The park also supplies an expert naturalist to provide a guided tour of the park. From beaver to brook trout to bobcat, Mill Creek Discovery Park’s naturalist will introduce you to the many species of wildlife that inhabit the 625-acre site. The spacious park area also offers 3.5 miles of rigorous nature trails with scenic overlooks and an active beaver colony. A nature center and wildlife refuge such as Mill Creek that preserves the Michigan outdoors makes an ideal location for hiking trails for you and your family to hike on and go backpacking. Before leaving the park be sure to stop in the Museum Store offering books and fine gifts related to Mackinaw's natural history, or ask to watch an audio-visual orientation to nature and history, also available at the Park's main office. Suggested visit time of 2-3 hours.

Features Include:
  • Adventure Tour (Forest Canopy Bridge and Eagle's Flight Zip Line), Water Power Station and Forest Friends Play Area
  • 18th-century water-powered sawmill and sawpit with demonstrations
  • Authentically reconstructed millwright's house and workshop
  • 625-acre nature park with 3.5-miles of accessible nature trails along scenic Mill Creek, leading to an active beaver colony
  • Creatures of the Forest nature program
  • Orientation movie in Visitor's Center
  • Park naturalists and costumed, historic interpreters

Five minutes southeast of Mackinaw City along US-23. Enter through the Visitor's Center.

Hot and cold lunch options and beverages available in Visitor's Center.

Purchase nature and history-themed gifts, books and toys in the Visitor's Center museum store.

For more information and a complete listing of events feel free to visit them on their website,

Mill Creek Discovery Park - Online Brochure

Virtual brochure and information for Mill Creek Discovery Park, one of many online travel brochures for tourist information in Mackinaw City, MI. Provided by your source for Mackinaw Information and Mackinac Information.

Photo of brochure for "Mill Creek Discovery Park" 

Virtual PDF brochure of Mill Creek Discovery Park

1820's Sawmill & Park
Real Mackinac. A Real Blast!

Relive the past, make a memory at Mill Creek Discovery Park.

Visitors can witness the power of the creek harnessed to cut timber into lumber at one of the oldest industrial sites on the Upper Great Lakes and soar like an eagle on the zip line during the Adventure Tour.

Discover the Adventure
Trek through the treetops on the Adventure Tour. This special, guided nature experience will take visitors up the five-story Treetop Discovery Climbing Wall, over the Forest Canopy Bridge and down the 425-foot Eagle's Flight Zip Line.

Discover the Past
Forgotten in the late 1800s, Mill Creek was rediscovered in 1972 and reconstructed after extensive archeological work. A working 18th century water-powered sawmill chews through timber while the millwright describes the impact this industrial innovation had on the region.

Discover Nature
Trained naturalists present live programs daily in the Forest Clearing.

More than 620 acres and three miles of accessible trails cross the dog-friendly park, abounding with wild plant and animal life. Young visitors can explore the Forest Friends Play Area. Even the novice hiker will find adventure in the northern forests. From the top of the Treetop Discovery Tower, visitors can look out over the Straits of Mackinac from a whole new perspective.

Adventure Abounds Everyday

Adventure Tour Guidelines
All participants must:

  • Weigh between 50-250 pounds
  • Be a minimum of 4 feet tall
  • Wear shoes that are securely attached to their feet
  • Not wear skirts or dresses
  • Have their Waiver of Liability form signed by a parent or guardian if under the age of 18
  • Accompany their child of 11 years of age or younger on the tour
  • Purchase an Adventure Tour ticket inside the Visitor’s Center prior to taking the tour.

Groups of 12 or more must reserve Adventure Tour time slots with the group tour coordinator prior to arrival.

Convenient dining and one-of-a-kind museum store in the Visitor's Center. Mill Creek Discovery Park is handicap accessible and welcomes well-behaved pets.

If you have new or updated information about this virtual brochure, please contact us.

Reader Comments (2)

We had a good time at the park,we were able to see how the lumber was cut back in the past and with the people dressed in early time clothes you got a feel of what it was like in the 1700's.The hiking trails were very nice and the kids got to see different types of wildlife.The workers were friendly and the movie about the sawmill was very informative.Nice place to visit.

July 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSJ

Favorite place in Mackinaw to visit! The tours are very informative and the workers interactive and informative. The kids had a blast with being outdoors, but they still were learning about the area and its past. I would recommend the park for anyone, it's fun for all ages. The lumberjacks were by far our favorite part of the park.

June 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPenelope

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