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Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park, Mackinaw City
(4.4/5 based on 260+ reviews on the web)
Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park, formerly known as Historic Mill Creek State Park is a state park, nature preserve, and historic site in the U.S. state of Michigan. It is run by Mackinac State Historic Parks, the operating arm of the Mackinac Island State Park. 625 acres (2.5 kmĀ²) in size, the park is located 5 miles (8 km) southeast of Mackinaw City, Michigan on U.S. Highway 23.HistoryThe original sawmill at Mill Creek operated from about 1790 until 1839. It was originally built by Robert Campbell to supply lumber to the Straits of Mackinac, especially the frontier settlement of Mackinac Island. In 1793 it contracted with Fort Mackinac to make repairs on the soldiers' barracks. The Mill Creek sawmill enjoyed a dominant market share of the supply of cut timbers in the Straits of Mackinac during the fur trade era, and a millwright's house was built about 1820 near the sawmill to provide a place for the mill operator to live. In 1819, Michael Dousman purchased the mill site and continued to operate it. However, global demand for beaver fur declined in the 1830s, and following Dousman's death in 1839 the sawmill and millwright's house were abandoned.After the sawmill's abandonment in 1839, the original sawmill complex buildings rotted and disappeared. However, timbers cut by the original mill survived in buildings on Mackinac Island (Mission Church and Mission House, built in the 1820s and still there today). Saw marks on these timbers could be used to reconstruct the mill machinery so as to closely resemble the original. The marks gave restoration experts information on the rake of the saw's teeth and the saw's operating speed. The wood is fed into the blade at 1/3 of an inch per stroke, and the infeed motion is powered by the pitman arm that powers the saw's vertical movement.
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10 days in Michigan BY A USER FROM CANADA June, kids, popular PREFERENCES: June, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 28 days in United States BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA August, culture, historic sites, fast-paced, hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 14 days in Michigan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Mackinaw City BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, kids, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: April, kids, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 14 days in Michigan BY A USER FROM HONG KONG October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 25 days in Michigan BY A USER FROM HONG KONG October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in Michigan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Michigan BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in Canada, Great Falls & Mackinaw City BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: November, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 18 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, teens, kids, culture, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, teens, kids, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Mackinaw City BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 4 days in Marquette, Mackinaw City & Saginaw BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We was vacationing and came a crossed this interesting park. The tickets are $9.00 a person and that gets you in and you can walk around and see the park. We watched the demonstration put on by Mr. Ed...  more »
  • We were in Mackinaw City for just 1 day and were looking for things to do. We took a taxi out to Mill Creek Discovery Park and unfortunately we just had 1 hour there before they closed. They offered u...  more »
  • This was a very neat place to visit. Wife has always wanted to zipline and that was the main reason we came. I would suggest a few improvements though. We were never told that this was a GUIDED tour w...  more »
Google
  • The water powered lumber mill is really quite cool. The park offers a bit of history, a few lessons in engineering, a zip line, and hiking opportunities. Our family as considered it time well spent in all phases of growing up (except early teenage years - they hate everything).
  • I have been here at least 3 times. I think it is educational and I love seeing the water-powered sawmill. Well worth a stop if you are in the area.
  • Loved the trip I need to go back didn't get to spend as much time here because I had to go cetch my flight.
  • Every Time my family and I go up north we stop here and go zip lining and watch the mill. Love this place. Nice staff, clean park.
  • Great history, great tour guides, beautiful scenery