Paddling across the Mackinaw Bridge

Who has any advice re: paddling from the U.P. to the lower peninsula or vice versa? I know it often is very rough, but have any of you done it? I talked to some paddlers last Labor Day who were planning on making the crossing, but then Labor Day dawned with a small craft advisory.

Is anyone planning on it this Labor Day?



i would suggest…
paddling UNDER the bridge, rather than accross - those steel grates can really do a number on your gelcoat!!!

I had the same mental image.

Remember, this is a major shipping lane. Try to make yourself and your compadres look as large as possible to those freighters. A high mounted radar reflector would not be a bad idea. I’ve read here that one can be fabricated using a mylar space blanket as the reflective surface.


Paddle the Straits
Yep, A group of paddlers will be doing the crossing this year on Labor Day. From north to south, and back again same day. Departure about 6 am from the Upper Peninsula. E-mail me for more info if you like.

While it is a major
shipping lane , you should be able to see the freighters a long way off. I heard there are some currents in the area , and this may affect your paddle trip. Also ya may get stopped along the way if the CG sees ya close to the bridge. Sounds like fun though.

Every time I cross the straits
I assess the water for paddling possiblities. Most of the time it looks pretty nasty down there. Definitely interesting currents. I’ve also wondered about the whole “homeland security” aspect of crossing close to the bridge. I’m not sure if giving a heads up to the CG would be a good idea or just cause unnecessary complications.

I’m planning on the labor day paddle
I didn’t know about it last year, but they did paddle across.

I’m planning on riding across with the Dalmac bike ride and then paddling. I will send you info. via email.


especially with the Gov walking
across that day

talking out of school here, maybe
but i cross the bridge in a vehicle of course and looked down on some narly narly narly water…if i were doing it with a group i would find a bud with a motorboat who might fish or whittle during the crossing but be available if someone needed help after the 60th roll and the arms/rotator cuff was tired…could it hurt to have your own backup already in place?

Freighters follow
shipping lanes which are pretty narrow and are not going to avoid you, you need to avoid them. They will warn you but it’s pretty tough for one of those freighters to edge a turn.