The Headlands

An Emmet County Park on the Straits of Mackinac

International Dark Sky Park at the Headlands, Emmet County Michigan

International Dark Sky Park at the Headlands, Emmet County Michigan

15675 Headlands Road
Mackinaw City, MI 49701
Click here for a Google map

Open all day, every day

Park information: (231) 348-1704

Dark Sky information: (231) 348-1713
Headlands Trail Map


(231) 436-4051

The Guest House Open Year Round

About the Headlands

The Headlands was established in the late 1950s when Roger McCormick hired a helicopter and dropped 50lb. sacks of flour to mark the boundaries of a property he desired to purchase.

The Park contains approximately 550 acres of pristine woodlands, more than two miles of undeveloped Lake Michigan shoreline and many species of rare and endangered plant life. Visitors to the Headlands may experience sightings of the many wild animals native to the area including: bald eagles, osprey, white tail deer, wild turkeys, coyotes and occasionally a black bear. Marked nature trails guide hikers, bicyclists, cross-country skiers, and nature photographers to experience the park throughout the changing seasons.

The Headlands offers one facility for rental by the public. The Guest House provides accommodations for 22 people in four bedrooms on three levels. There are 3 floors with 3 full baths (one per floor), a complete kitchen and a conference area. Linens are provided.

The vision and cooperation of the following organizations and government units made this property available to the public: The McCormick Foundation, The Village of Mackinaw City, Emmet County, The Schott Foundation, The Little Traverse Conservancy, and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Headlands Trail Map

Headlands-Cecil Bay Brochure

Becoming an International Dark Sky Park

The Headlands became one of the first 10 International Dark Sky Parks in the world in 2011, a prestigious designation bestowed by the International Dark Sky Association in Tucson, Arizona, after a rigorous application and review process. What it means in a nutshell? The Headlands will stay dark and protected, forever, thanks to a commitment by the Emmet County Board of Commissioners. Read about the designation and what it means here.