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Roadtrip with RVshare Indianapolis to Mackinac Island

There are many reasons to make Mackinac Island your next RVing destination. Bring along the bikes so that you can take the 8.1-mile trail around the island and enjoy its beautiful coastal views. This island's beaches are perfect for kite flying. If you have always dreamed of driving draft horses or riding on a wagon that they are pulling, then you will want to visit Mackinac Island State Park. Numerous shops on this island are known for their fantastic fudge. Before you get there, you can have a lot of fun at national and state parks along with points of interest along the way on an Indianapolis to Mackinac Island RV road trip.

Indianapolis to Mackinac Island Road Trip Itinerary

  • Trip Length: 7 hours
  • Mileage: 482 miles plus an 18-mile ferry ride
  • Fun Fact: Mackinac Island is accessible only by plane or boat. There are no vehicles allowed on the island.

Nearby National Parks

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Driving east about 208 miles from Fort Wayne, Indiana, brings you to Cuyahoga Valley National Park near Brecksville, Ohio. Much of this park has been left undeveloped, and you can explore it by hiking along 125 miles of hiking trails. Let the child inside you come out as you wade through streams and hike across the log bridges. The 180-mile scenic train ride is a fantastic way to see undeveloped areas of this park. It is a terrific place to go kayaking or fishing on the Cuyahoga River that cuts through the park. 

Isle Royale National Park 

Isle Royale National Park is on an island in Lake Superior. There are many ferries and a seaplane, so you can easily access this national park. While many visitors spend their time kayaking, canoeing, and fishing here. There are also fantastic hiking trails to explore. Numerous boat tours allow you to explore historical sites around this national park that is only open from mid-April to the end of October. This park maintains a year-round headquarters in Houghton, Michigan, where you can watch a film about the park. The Rock Harbor visitors center is a fantastic place to start a backcountry wilderness adventure. If you are brave enough to endure the ice-cold waters, then you can go swimming at Washington Harbor. The water at the surface level barely ever reaches 55 degrees, and 50 feet down, the water is often close to freezing. Yet many people enjoy scuba diving near the shipwrecks off Isle Royale.

Nearby State Parks

Pokagon State Park 

Pokagon State Park near Angola, Indiana, is a fantastic place to go on a hike through woodlands. It is home to the 8-mile Hell's Point Hiking Challenge, where hikers take photos of six specific locations in the park and show them to park officials. You can fish from the pier or rent a boat from the park's vendor to fish on James and Snow Lakes. You will love playing on the developed swimming beach. This park is also home to the only state-operated toboggan run, which is open throughout the winter. Guided trail rides are available at this park's stables. 

Sleepy Hollow State Park 

Include a stop at Sleepy Hollow State Park on your road trip from Indianapolis to Mackinac Island. This park, located 20 minutes north of Lansing, Michigan, is a fantastic spot to go birdwatching, especially along the trails around Lake Ovid. Canoeing and kayaking on the lake are very popular activities. Two fishing piers and an easily accessible shoreline make this a popular spot to go fishing for muskie and bass. This park features over 12 miles of bridle trails and an equal number of biking and hiking paths. 

North Higgins Lake State Park 

Stop near Roscommon, Michigan, to explore North Higgins Lake State Park. One of the main reasons that you will want to include this park on your Indianapolis to Mackinac Island road trip is to visit its museum, where you can learn more about North Michigan's forestry industry. Just outside the museum, get a workout along the 1.5-mile fitness trail. There are also over 10 miles of multi-use trails. The lake at this park is a favorite spot to go swimming. Do not miss the chance to go fishing in this lake. 

Otsego Lake State Park 

Otsego Lake State Park near Gaylord, Michigan, is a fantastic place for a camping adventure because of its spacious campsites, with many offering stunning water views. Take the boardwalk to the beach to go swimming. An ADA-compliant fishing pier is available, or use the boat ramp to launch your vessel. 

Straits State Park 

The stunning views of Mackinac Bay found along Straits State Park's  hiking trails will encourage you to linger a little while. Follow the interpretive trail starting at Father Marquette National Memorial to learn more about the Jesuit priest who settled the first community at this location. A great time to visit this park is at night when the Mackinac Island Bridge is lighted.

Along the Way

Grass River Natural Area 

Once you get to Grayling, Michigan, take Michigan 72 west and U.S. 131 north to reach Grass River Natural Area in about 40 miles. There are over 7 miles of nature trails along the Grass River to explore at this 1,492-acre preserve. Watch as you hike along to see the flying squirrels, woodland jumping mice, and turtles. Their education center often hosts special activities. 

Torch Lake 

You will want to see the beautiful turquoise waters of Torch Lake, located about 20 miles northwest of Grass River Natural Area. This Antrim County Lake is the longest inland lake in the state and the second-largest inland lake in the state. This lake is a fantastic place to go jet skiing and floating. Several vendors offer pontoon boats to rent. You will also want to spend time playing on the sandbars and swimming in the lake. 

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore 

ABC's "Good Morning America" has named Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Leelanau and Benzie Counties, Michigan, one of the country's prettiest places. If you love to play on sandy beaches, head to the ones along Lake Michigan, like Glen Haven Beach and North Beach. If you are a history buff, leave time on your road trip from Indianapolis to Mackinac Island to explore the Sleeping Bear Point Maritime Museum, Port Oneida Farms Heritage Center, Glen Haven Village, and the South Manitou Island Lighthouse. North Manitou Island is a terrific place to go deer hunting in late October and early November. The Dune Climb is an excellent place to go for a hike. You can even follow a trail from the dune to Lake Michigan.

Main Cities You Will Pass Through

Fort Wayne, Indiana 

You can spend time in Fort Wayne visiting the city's attractions, like the Fort Wayne Children Zoo, fishing at Fox Island County Park, or shopping, but one thing you will not want to miss is staying in a Fort Wayne RV campground. Most campgrounds, including Camp Timber Lake and Johnny Appleseed Park, have a rustic flair, but many are loaded with amenities. RV dump stations in Fort Wayne are available at Hickory Grove Lakes Campground, Berning Trailer Sales, and Marion Municipal Utility. 

Battle Creek, Michigan 

The historic downtown area is an awesome place to explore in Battle Creek or watch your favorite breakfast cereal being made at the Kellogg's factory. If you love peaceful lakeside settings, then you will find Battle Creek campgrounds a real treat. Consider camping at Pine Lake Resort, Rockey's Campground, or Fort Custer State Recreation Area. Camp Michawana, Rockey’s Campground and Fort Custer State Recreation Area offer Battle Creek RV dump stations

Lansing, Michigan 

Home to the state capital and Michigan State University, you can find lots to do in Lansing. There are many beautiful campgrounds with spacious campsites on or near the water. Consider Maple River Campground, Lakeside Resort Campground, or Pine Lake Resort. Use RV dump stations, like those available at Sleepy Hollow State Park, Michigan State University Pavilion, and Pilot Flying J Travel Centers.

Find Adventure from Indianapolis to Mackinac Island

Rent an RV

When you follow this road trip itinerary from Indianapolis to Mackinac Island, you will enjoy historic locations and beautiful scenery along the way. If you want to travel in comfort and style, consider an RV rental from RVshare. From large motorhomes to compact campervans, there is a rig that will meet your travel and budget needs. Once you hit the road, you are protected by our renter guarantee and 24/7 roadside assistance. Find the perfect vehicle for your travel needs in Indianapolis or Mackinac Island.

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