Know your Upper Peninsula Highways

The Upper Peninsula is full of unique roadways offering scenic views. Some sections are straight as an arrow (lookin’ at you Seney Stretch), one is the longest state highway in Michigan, another is the only state highway in the United States not to allow cars (I’m sure you can guess which). It’s also said that Copper Harbor is the furthest place you can live from an Interstate in the continental United States, a distance of 251 miles from I-39 in Wisconsin. If you’re new to the Upper Peninsula, don’t be fooled, these are not multi-lane divided highways, most are entirely small, two-lane highways.

Across the state of Michigan there are over 9,700 miles of state trunklines and 1,200 miles of Interstate. Michigan is home to 140 Michigan Trunklines, 15 US Highways, and 4 Interstates with 9 auxiliary Interstates (such as I-496, a section of I-96). The Upper Peninsula has 23 Michigan Trunklines, 4 US Highways, and one Interstate.

Study up, then go road tripping.

Michigan State Highways/Trunklines

  • Highway M-26 Highway M-26


    From: Greenland
    To: Copper Harbor
    Length: 96 miles
    Formed in 1933

    Contains the scenic Brockway Mountain Drive, one of the most beautiful roads for seeing the fall colors

  • Highway M-28 Highway M-28


    From: Wakefield
    To: Dafter Township
    Length: 290 miles
    Formed in 1919

    Longest state trunkline in Michigan (excluding Interstate or US Highways)

    One of two highways that span the width of the Upper Peninsula, US 2 being the other

    Includes the notorious Seney Stretch, the longest “straight as an arrow” section of highway in Michigan and one of the longest stretches east of the Mississippi

    Has several historic bridges including the abandoned Peshekee River Bridge in Michigamme.

  • Highway M-35 Highway M-35


    From: Menominee
    To: Negaunee
    Length: 128 miles
    Formed in 1919

    Named the U.P. Hidden Coast Recreation Heritage Route by MDOT

    Contains the historic Steel Bridge which was built in 1922

    The planned segment into Barga County was never built, in part because of the influence of the Hurton Mountain Club and Henry Ford

  • Highway M-38 Highway M-38


    From: Ontonagon
    To: Baraga
    Length: 42 miles
    Formed in 1968

    Formerly part of the planned M-35, though the Huron Mountains segment was cancelled

    There was originally a M-38 in the lower peninsula that was transferred to county jurisdiction in 1961

  • Highway M-48 Highway M-48


    From: Rudyard
    To: DeTour Village
    Length: 44 miles
    Formed in 1919

  • Highway M-64 Highway M-64


    From: Wisconsin state line
    To: Ontonagon
    Length: 64 miles
    Formed in 1930

    One of the last highways in Michigan to be paved in 1961

  • Highway M-67 Highway M-67


    From: Trenary
    To: Chatham
    Length: 12 miles
    Formed in 1919

  • Highway M-69 Highway M-69


    From: Crystal Falls
    To: Bark River
    Length: 65 miles
    Formed in 1926

  • Highway M-73 Highway M-73


    From: Wisconsin state line
    To: Iron River
    Length: 8 miles
    Formed in 1919

  • Highway M-77 Highway M-77


    From: Blaney Park
    To: Grand Marais
    Length: 43 miles
    Formed in 1919

  • Highway M-80 Highway M-80


    From: Kinross
    To: Kincheloe
    Length: 8 miles
    Formed in 1994

  • Highway M-94 Highway M-94


    From: K.I. Sawyer
    To: Manistique
    Length: 87 miles
    Formed in 1922

    M-94 crosses the Siphon Bridge in Manistique, unique for the fact that the bridge roadway is below water level, and acting like a siphon. The structure has been featured in Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

  • Highway M-95 Highway M-95


    From: Wisconsin state line
    To: Humboldt Township
    Length: 55 miles
    Formed in 1919

  • Highway M-117 Highway M-117


    From: Engadine
    To: Newberry
    Length: 14 miles
    Formed in 1941

  • Highway M-123 Highway M-123


    From: St. Ignace
    To: Newberry
    Length: 96 miles
    Formed in 1936

    Popular route accessing Tahquamenon Falls State Park and Paradise

    Designated the Tahquamenon Scenic Heritage Route

  • Highway M-129 Highway M-129


    From: Cedarville
    To: Sault Ste. Marie
    Length: 33 miles
    Formed in 1930

  • Highway M-134 Highway M-134


    From: St. Ignace
    To: Drummond
    Length: 50 miles
    Formed in 1939

    Includes the Drummond Island Ferry across the DeTour Passage, the cost of the ferry start at $12 per car, the ferry runs hourly most of the day

    One of only three state trunklines in Michigan on islands; the others are M-154 on Harsens Island and M-185 on Mackinac Island

    M-134 is one of two highways in Michigan to use a ferry connection; the other is US 10 between Ludington, Michigan, and Manitowoc, Wisconsin

  • Highway M-183 Highway M-183


    From: Fayette State Park
    To: Garden Corners
    Length: 16 miles
    Formed in 1985

  • Highway M-185 Highway M-185


    From: Mackinac Island
    To: Mackinac Island
    Length: 8 miles
    Formed in 1933

    Circles all of Mackinac Island

    The only car-free state highway in the United States

    Over a half million people travel along the trunkline in a year

    Regularly awarded as a place to bike, walk, and for its scenic views

    The first city ordinances banning all motorized vehicles from the island were passed on July 6, 1898

    In 1979, while filming Somewhere in Time, a car was brought on the island for Christopher Reeve’s character to drive

    The next time that a vehicle was permitted on the island was on July 6, 1998, to commemorate the original ordinance that prohibited cars from Mackinac Island

    The only known motor vehicle collision on Mackinac Island occurred on M-185 at the head of the Shepler passenger ferry dock on May 13, 2005, when the island’s fire truck slightly damaged the door on the island’s ambulance; both vehicles were responding to a report from the ferryboat that an injured passenger required medical attention. Before this incident, it was the only state highway that “never had an automobile accident”.

  • Highway M-189 Highway M-189


    From: WI-139
    To: US2
    Length: 8 miles
    Formed in 1932

  • Highway M-203 Highway M-203


    From: Hancock
    To: Calumet
    Length: 18 miles
    Formed in 1933

  • Highway M-221 Highway M-221


    From: Brimley
    To: Brimley
    Length: 3 miles
    Formed in 1945

    The shortest trunkline in the Upper Peninsula, but is still far from the shortest in Michigan, which is M-212 in Aloha State Park

  • Highway M-553 Highway M-553


    From: Gwinn
    To: Marquette
    Length: 20 miles
    Formed in 1998

    The newest designated state trunkline in the Upper Peninsula and was originally Marquette County Road 553

    The intersection with CR 480 in Sands Township is known as the Crossroads

    The section of M-553 known as Glass’ Corner has come to the attention of MDOT in 2012 as one of the more dangerous stretches of highway in the state

United States Highways

  • Highway US 2 Highway US 2

    US 2

    From: Ironwood
    To: St. Ignace
    Length: 305 miles
    Formed in 1926

    Longest highway in the Upper Peninsula
    Contains historic Cut River Bridge
    The entire route goes from Everett, WA to Houlton, ME crossing through Canada

  • Highway US 41 Highway US 41

    US 41

    From: Copper Harbor
    To: Menominee
    Length: 279 miles
    Formed in 1926

    The entire route goes from Copper Harbor, MI to Miami, FL

  • Highway US 45 Highway US 45

    US 45

    From: Watersmeet
    To: Ontonagon
    Length: 55 miles
    Formed in 1934

    The entire route goes from Ontonagon, MI to Mobile, AL

  • Highway US 141 Highway US 141

    US 141

    From: Covington
    To: Quinnesec
    Length: 51 miles
    Formed in 1928

    The entire route goes from Covington, MI to Bellevue, WI


  • Highway I-75 Highway I-75


    From: Mackinac Bridge
    To: Sault Ste. Marie
    Length: 57 miles
    Formed in 1959

    [The only section of Interstate in the Upper Peninsula Crosses the Mackinac Bridge The entire route goes from Sault Ste. Marie, MI to Hialeah, FL]

    [The only section of Interstate in the Upper Peninsula Crosses the Mackinac Bridge The entire route goes from Sault Ste. Marie, MI to Hialeah, FL]

Hopefully this will help you better navigate across the Upper Peninsula. There’s plenty to do and see, but the best stuff is always off the beaten path. A post on county roads will be much more extensive!

Information pulled from Wikipedia