The Straits of Mackinac is the strip of water that connects two of the Great Lakes, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, and separates the Lower Peninsula of Michigan from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It is a shipping lane providing passage for raw materials and finished goods, connecting, for instance, the iron mines of Minnesota to the steel mills of Gary, Indiana. Before the railroads reached Chicago from the east, most immigrants arrived in the Midwest and Great Plains by ships on the Great Lakes. The straits is five miles (8 km) wide at its narrowest point, where it is spanned by the Mackinac Bridge. Before the bridge was built, car ferries transported vehicles across the straits. Today passenger-only ferries carry people to Mackinac Island, which does not permit cars. Visitors can take their vehicles on a car ferry to Bois Blanc Island.
Islands in the Straits of Mackinac include the two populated islands, Bois Blanc and Mackinac, and two that are uninhabited: Round and St. Helena islands. At 11 miles (18 kilometers) in length, Bois Blanc is the largest island in the Straits.
The straits are shallow and narrow enough to freeze over in the winter. Navigation is ensured for year-round shipping to the Lower Great Lakes by the use of icebreakers.
Other articles related to "straits of mackinac, straits":
... The Straits are patrolled by a detachment of the United States Coast Guard based at Graham Point, St ... icebreaker, USCGC Mackinaw, based in Cheboygan, Michigan near the eastern edge of the Straits ... Most of the Straits have been set aside by the U.S ...
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