Stacking rocks on Mackinac Island

While visiting Mackinac Island we saw these rocks stacked all around the perimeter of the island. My husband and I call them “menahunni” rocks. You’ll see rocks stacked like this in the Hawaiian Islands as well.



  1. Nathan said,

    December 17, 2011 at 9:09 am

    There are many of these very cool little towers all around Mackinac Island. On my visit, I was also impressed by some of the designs that were put together and words that were spelled out on the ground with rocks: “Summer 2011”, “Amanda Marry Me?”. These took some effort

  2. Bob Ashley said,

    June 4, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    I was surfing and saw the island sculpture pic that you took. (cairn). It’s one of the over 40 that I’ve made over the last 5 years as memorials for friends that I’ve lost and people who have influenced me. If you’d like a really nice photo in the early morning sunrise let me know. I’ll forward that and some others I’ve made. I’m still looking for a publisher. Actually, I knock them down right after I have the shot I want so that people won’t climb them and injure themselves. Bob Ashley

  3. jkgphotos said,

    June 4, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Bob, thanks for you comment. We’ve, my husband and I, have also done some of these rock formations in Maui also as memorials. We look forward to our annual trip back up to Mackinac Island this year and will be anxious to see what we find along the shoreline when we bike around the island.

    • October 2, 2012 at 8:46 pm

      I have been to the island many times and I love your work. I I have started my own little rock collection and stack them in my flower beds. People ask me “Do you glue them or something?” I say “No”, and they ask “What if they fall over?” and I tell them “I get to create a new piece of artwork.”

      • jkgphotos said,

        October 2, 2012 at 9:14 pm

        Glad to hear of someone else loving the island like we do and thanks so much for stopping by my blog. We also have a few rocks stacked in our yard nothing compared to what we’ve seen on the island, but it’s still fun.

  4. June 3, 2013 at 10:17 am

    What or who stacks all the rocks on Mackinac island?

    • jkgphotos said,

      June 3, 2013 at 10:28 am

      Carin, I’m not really sure. I think it may be some visitors to the island and maybe some resident home owners. This past fall, we didn’t really see a lot of stacked rocks when we rode around the island. Sorry I couldn’t have been more help.I find it interesting, however, as it is something we’ve seen every year in Hawaii on Maui and I’m sure you’ll find the stacking rocks on other islands.

  5. Kelly said,

    July 14, 2013 at 8:03 am

    Just came back from Mackinac Island yesterday. Noticed many of the stacked rocks on the shores on the island heading towards the ARCH ROCK (below on Shore Lake Road) and even some were stacked in tree branches nearby the road and tree trunks…there was a man who got off his bike who waded out into the water on a sand dune near the shore and began building numerous piles. Interesting to watch and I can tell the man was in his own zen doing this task. It is a way for visitors to make their mark I suppose but been wondering who started it but they are interesting to see the different formations ..would be nice to know what signifance to the person they represent, but I can only wonder.

    • jkgphotos said,

      July 14, 2013 at 10:39 am

      Kelly, we’re heading up to Mackinac Island in Oct. so I might just ask around to some of the local residents as to why they do this. It is very interesting. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  6. Samantha Steiner said,

    August 13, 2013 at 7:21 am

    We had a girls get-a-way to Mackinac Island over the weekend! I must say it was a fun filled 2 days, wish it would have lasted longer but we will definitely go back! We took the 11 mile bike tour around the island and stopped to stack our own rocks, mainly to “leave our mark” in a good spiritual way! It just felt good for the 3 of us to build something together. After finished, we took off our shoes, laid them in front of our rock formation and snapped a great photo!!

    • jkgphotos said,

      August 13, 2013 at 8:14 am

      Samantha, so happy you were able to see the island and make a few memories. It is our special vacation spot and I doubt we would ever miss a year going back to visit. Next time we bike around the island I’ll think of you when I come across some stacking rocks.

  7. June 30, 2014 at 6:48 am

    Mackinac Island is our favorite place! We build a rock cairn every visit.

    • jkgphotos said,

      June 30, 2014 at 7:37 am

      It’s our favorite destination spot as well! We’ve stacked rocks as well. We’ll be up there the end of September this year and ALWAYS look forward to it.

      • Marie said,

        July 24, 2015 at 2:46 pm

        I found this explanation on a website for Mackinac Island.
        Rock cairns are small mounds of stones and pebbles built to mark biking and hiking trails, as a memorial to having been somewhere, or as a simple art form.

        It is traditional for each person passing by a cairn to add a stone, as a small bit of maintenance to counteract the effects of wind and weather. Often the habit is to only add to the top, and to use a smaller stone than the previous top stone, resulting in a precarious stack of tiny pebbles.

  8. January 15, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    Absolutely beautiful photo. Thank you for sharing it with us.

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