Mackinac Island Recreation Department


7358 Market St
PO Box 455
Mackinac Island, MI 49757

(906) 298-0333 Cell
(906) 847-6430 Fax
[email protected]

Mission Statement

To provide the community of Mackinac Island year-round recreational opportunities that encourage, support and convey a healthy, active lifestyle for all.

Mary Patay, PhD., CPRP, Recreation Director

Dr. Patay has been a year round resident of Mackinac Island since 1996. She received her BA from Miami University in Business Psychology, her MS in Health, Fitness and Wellness from the University of North Dakota and her PhD in Sport and Exercise Science from the University of Northern Colorado.

Mary was a finalist in the Michigan Fitness Foundation and the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports annual Governor's Fitness Awards in the Director's Champion for Health category.  She has been serving on the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports since 2019 as the chair.

During her time on the Island, Dr. Patay has taught physical education at Mackinac Island Public School. She is currently the soccer, basketball and golf coach for the high school. She is an avid runner and cross country skier, likes to knit, and be active with her family. Dr. Patay also hosts a local walking tour.

Great Turtle Park


Great Turtle Park was developed in a joint effort of Mackinac Island Recreational Development, INC (MIRD), the City of Mackinac Island, the State of Michigan and private donors. The park is located in Harrisonville and can be accessed via 6th or 7th Street off Cadotte Avenue or Cupids Pathway. Great Turtle Park currently houses a soccer field, sand volleyball court, basketball court, softball field, disc golf course, pavilion with a fireplace and seasonal bathrooms.

Park Rules

  • Park closes at 10:00 pm
  • No glass
  • Fire's allowed in designated fire-pit by permit only
    (these can be obtained at the Mackinac Island Police Department)
  • Fireplace in pavilion is charcoal only, no wood
  • Extinguish fire when done
  • No horses allowed on baseball field, soccer field, basketball court, skate park, playground area, pavilion or volleyball court
  • Horses must be kept at a walk in park

Pavilion Rules

  • The use of the pavilion is first come first serve- no reservations are accepted
  • You may only use coal in the grill
  • All curtains must be rolled back up at the end of use
  • Tables and benches must be returned to original location
  • Clean up all garbage after you are done


A recreation task force, composed of Mackinac Island residents, met for the first time on August 5, 1994. It was formed to identify the recreational needs of the Mackinac Island community. This group, with input solicited from the community at large through public hearings and written surveys, recommended that a full-time recreation professional be hired and that the city go about the task of creating a recreation department.

A recreation ordinance was adopted by the City on January 17, 1996. With the acceptance of this ordinance, the City established a recreation department, which is overseen by a five (5) member recreation board, that are appointed by the Mayor. The Board of Recreation hired a full time Recreation Director.

Prior to the formation of a recreation department, any recreational facilities and program developments were carried out by Mackinac Island Recreational Development, Inc (MIRD). MIRD, an all volunteer group, was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1979. With the cooperation of the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, the City of Mackinac Island, and Mackinac Island Public School, MIRD designed and implemented long range recreation plans and year round recreation programs. MIRD was a driving force behind the planning and building of Great Turtle Park.

The recreation department works closely with the Mackinac Island State Park, MIRD, and the public school to utilize resources, both in personnel and facilities, in developing programs and activities for all residents on the island.


Recreation Master Plan

2022 Recreation Master Plan

2018-2023 Master Plan