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M-22 & M-109 junction route signage in Glen Arbor, Michigan
Pure Michigan BywaysScenic Heritage Route Marker

Scenic Byways & Heritage Routes

Below are listings and details for each of the current Scenic Byways & Heritage Routes around the state, including the limits of the Route, its length, notes and related links.

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US-2 Route MarkerUS-2 Route MarkerPure Michigan BywaysPure Michigan Byways

Top-of-the-Lake
Scenic Byway

Western End:   New! Jct US-2 & M-149 in Thompson, west of Manistique
Eastern End:   New! Jct BL I-75 & I-75 (at I-75 Exit 352) at Evergreen Shores north of St Ignace
Length: New! 97.0 miles
Notes: New! The Top-of-the-Lake Scenic Byway was designated on October 7, 2017 to run along US-2 from M-149 in Thompson in southwest Schoolcraft Co, easterly through Manistique, Gulliver and into Mackinac Co, continuing through Naubinway, Epoufette, and Brevort, to I-75 at St Ignace, then through downtown St Ignace via BL I-75 to the northern terminus of that route at Evergeen Shores. Initial work to designate the byway began in January 2016 with Naubinway resident Bruce Gustafson and continued with direct involvement by MDOT, the Top of the Lake Community Association, and the Eastern Upper Peninsula Regional Planning and Development Commission.
  US-2 Top of the Lake Scenic Byway logoUpdated 2023-05 The original name of the Top-of-the-Lake Pure Michigan Byway was proposed as the Top-of-the-Lake Scenic Byway, but altered prior to its official dedication. As such, the byway is listed here as a Scenic Byway. The byway was also originally proposed to only occupy the 42-mile stretch of US-2 between St Ignace and Naubinway, completely within Mackinac Co, but was expanded westerly first to Manistique in Schoolcraft Co, then an additional seven miles to the community of Thompson west of Manistique, while the entirety of BL I-75 in St Ignace was also added at a meeting of the interested parties on March 2, 2017. The decision to more than double the original route of the byway initially did not set well with the original proponents, fearing it would dilute the potential economic benefit focused on the greater Naubinway area, but eventually began to support the longer route. At some point after it was designated, the byway reverted back to the Top-of-the-Lake Scenic Byway and it is now listed here as such.
Weblinks: New! 2023-05 US-2 Top of the Lake Scenic Byway – official byway website from the Eastern Upper Peninsula Regional Planning & Development Commission
  New! US-2 Top of the Lake Pure Michigan Byway to be dedicated Oct. 6 – a September 20, 2017 press release by the State of Michigan.
  US-2 Route Listing
  BL I-75 (St Ignace) Route Listing
   
M-22 Route MarkerM-109 Route MarkerM-204 Route MarkerLeelanau Scenic Heritage Route logo

Leelanau
Scenic Heritage Route

Southwest End:   Updated M-22 & Manning Rd on the Benzie/Leelanau Co line south of Empire
Southeast End:   Jct M-72 at the northwestern edge of Traverse City (south of Greilickville)
Length: Updated 67.93 miles
Notes: From MDOT: "Michigan highways M-22, M-109 and M-204 serve as major transportation roads for Leelanau County and provide the viewing of some of the country’s most scenic and diverse vistas. Small towns, settled crossroads and tree-lined streets greet visitors along the 70-mile route on Northwest Michigan’s Leelanau Peninsula. Beautiful Lake Michigan waters cradle the landmass punctuated with rivers, lakes, streams, orchards, vineyards and farm fields. Its scenic attributes and rural characteristics led a concerned group of residents to achieve Heritage Route designation. This distinction ensures that the rural character of the county remains in its current state and is managed in a manner that highlights the intrinsic qualities of the peninsula."
  Updated As of 2002, the M-22 Scenic Heritage Route now also encompasses all of M-204 linking M-22 between Suttons Bay and south of Leland, as well as all of M-109 which loops off M-22 between Glen Arbor and north of Empire. As such, it's now being referred to as the Leelanau Scenic Heritage Route. Additionally, the portion of M-22 between the two junctions with M-109—northeast of Empire and in downtown Glen Arbor—is not on the route, although it does serve as the mainline route for the Lake Michigan Circle Tour between those points. (M-109 is designated as a Lake Michigan Circle Tour Loop.)
  New! When new Pure Michigan Byway signs were erected along M-22 in Leelanau Co replacing the former Scenic Heritage Route markers in 2016–17, the route of the Byway itself was apparently extended southerly to begin at the Benzie/Leelanau Co line south of Empire as opposed to commencing at the M-72 jct in Empire, as all materials on the route had previously shown. Whether this was a signing error or an official extension of the Byway portion of M-22 is not clear, but the length of the route has been revised to include this 2.7-mile extension.
Weblinks: Leelanau Scenic Heritage Route - from the Northwest Michigan Coucil of Governments. (New website link, 8/12/2013.)
  Scenic Heritage Route M-22 Leelanau County Guidebook from the Leelanau County website(New website link, 3/2015.)
  Stabenow, Levin Announce Three Grants for Michigan's Scenic Byways from Senator Levin (archived at the Internet Archive).
  M-22 Route Listing
  M-109 Route Listing
  M-204 Route Listing
   
M-22 Route MarkerPure Michigan Byways

M-22 Benzie Manistee
Pure Michigan Byway

Southern End: New! Southern terminus of M-22 at jct US-31 northeast of Manistee
Northern End: New! M-22 & Manning Rd on the Benzie/Leelanau Co line south of Empire
Length: New! 49.45 miles
Notes: New! From NetworksNorthwest: "The purpose of designating M-22 a Pure Michigan Byway is to recognize this unique highway for its natural scenic beauty, its cultural and historical resources, and abundance of recreational opportunities while working to preserve and celebrate the rural character and also attracting visitors and residents to play, work and shop. The corridor has a rich history tied to its geographic location, natural resources, and the spirit of the people in the community."
      "Travelers along M-22 will experience a two-lane, rural road with scenic vistas of working farms, relatively long stretches of forested land, rolling hills, Lake Michigan views, inland lakes, rivers. The corridor features access to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, nature preserves, agricultural areas and agri-tourism experiences, and the communities of Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, Onekama, Arcadia, Elberta, and Frankfort. These assets provide many opportunities to experience M-22’s intrinsic scenic, recreational, historical, cultural, and natural qualities."
  New! The official designation ceremony for the byway was held on October 5, 2016 at the Camp Arcadia Ampitheater in Arcadia. Representatives from the Michigan Department of Transportation, Alliance for Economic Success, Travel Michigan and other organizations were in attendance.
  New! The first major marketing and promotion activities for the M-22 Benzie Manistee Pure Michigan Byway, including the development of a website, brochures, a wayfinding guide and a presence on social media was completed in September 2019.
Weblinks: New! 2023-05 M-22 Pure Michigan Byway – prepared by Networks Northwest in coordination with Parallel Solutions LLC and Alliance for Economic Success
  New! M-22 Benzie-Manistee Pure Michigan Byway: Corridor Management Plan, 2017–2021 – prepared by Networks Northwest in coordination with Parallel Solutions LLC and Alliance for Economic Success
  New! M-22 in Benzie and Manistee counties now a Pure Michigan Byway– a State of Michigan press release from October 2016.
  New! "M-22's scenic Northern Michigan route to become newest state byway" – a September 2016 article in the Grand Rapids Press.
  New! "M-22 Designated Pure Michigan Byway" – an October 2016 article in the Manistee County Press.
  M-22 Route Listing
   
M-55 Route MarkerPure Michigan Byways

M-55 Recreational
Scenic Byway
(Proposed)

Western End: New! 2023-11 Western terminus of M-55 at jct US-31 near Manistee
Eastern End: New! 2023-11 Eastern terminus of M-55 at jct US-23 in downtown Tawas City
Length: New! 2023-11 150.973 miles
Notes: New! 2023-11 A new "recreational scenic" byway was proposed in 2023 to take in the whole length of M-55 across the entire Lower Peninsula, from Manistee on Lake Michigan to Tawas City on Lake Huron. The verbiage on MDOT's website refers to the route as the "M-55 Recreational Scenic Byway," implying the route may be categorized as both a recreational and a scenic Pure Michigan Byway, which would be a first in the program dating back to the debut of the Heritage Routes. From MDOT's website:
"The Houghton Lake Area Tourism Bureau reached out to Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) with a desire to create an M-55 Recreational Scenic Byway Route that crosses the state of Michigan from Manistee County to Iosco County, a designation that would highlight the diverse recreational opportunities and unique characteristics that could attract more visitors to a Michigan coast-to-coast trunkline. Supporting points of interest were highlighted along the M-55 corridor in Roscommon County and outward towards both Manistee and Tawas. This designation will help protect regional attributes, views, and pastoral land use. It will provide funding opportunities for new and existing improvements to infrastructure, protection of special assets and resources, and provide marketing opportunities to attract visitors and encourage economic growth to the area."
  New! 2023-11 Until it is made clear, this proposed Pure Michigan Byway will be listed both here in the Scenic Byways section as well as in the Recreational Byways section.
  New! In October 2023, both the Missaukee County Board of Commissioners and the Cadillac City Council approved motions urging MDOT to designate the M-55 Pure Michigan Byway as soon as possible.
Weblinks: New! 2023-11 Coast to Coast on MI 55, A Pure Michigan Byway – an ArcGIS Storymap prepared by MDOT
  M-55 Route Listing
   
M-134 Route MarkerM-134.com logo

North Huron Scenic Byway

Western End: I-75 at Exit 359, fourteen miles north of St Ignace
Eastern End: On Drummond Island at "Four Corners," south of the community of Drummond
Length: 50 miles (including Drummond Island Ferry)
Notes: Updated The North Huron Byway was the first route to be designated under the revamped and redesignated Pure Michigan Byways program. It had been under study since 2006 and a Corridor Management Plan was created in 2010 by the Eastern U.P. Regional Planning & Development Commission using the designation "M-134 North Huron Recreational Heritage Route." However, when the process finally proceeded to the implementation phase, it was officially unveiled on October 16, 2015 as the "North Huron Byway." The official announcement of the M-134 Byway designation occurred at the Clark Township Community Center in Cedarville.
  M-134.com logoNew! While under development as a Heritage Route, the North Huron Byway was slotted under the Historic Heritage Route category. However, since that time the name of the route has transformed into the North Huron Scenic Byway and, as such, has been moved to the Scenic Byways category.
  The following detailed history of the M-134 Heritage Route proposal was excerpted from the EUPRPDC Executive Summary on the route: "During 2006 a group of stakeholders from Clark Township gathered to discuss the potential for developing a non-motorized pathway between Cedarville and Hessel. From these discussions grew a much larger and collaborative effort, now known as the North Huron Scenic Pathway. The proposed pathway would run from downtown St. Ignace to Drummond Island, spanning over 70 miles. The Pathway committee composed of volunteers and local government officials began meeting monthly to discuss strategies for developing this pathway and by the spring of 2007 had identified the completion of a Preliminary Engineering Study as the first step towards pathway development. This study was completed in May of 2008 and provides the Committee with preferred and alternate route locations as well as detailed engineering specifications, including cost estimates for segments of the pathway. Throughout the process of developing this Study, the Committee also began to fully realize the numerous recreational opportunities along M-134, a segment of State highway which had long been locally contemplated as a Heritage Route. Once the Preliminary Engineering Study was completed, many of these same stakeholders reconvened to begin the pursuit of Recreational Heritage Route Designation for M-134 from its starting point at Interstate 75 to the Townline Road and M-134 (Four Corners) on Drummond Island."
  On September 13, 2010, the Chipprewa County Board of Commissioners officially adopted a resolution in support of the proposed M-134 Recreational Heritage Route and encouraged MDOT to move forward with its designation.
Weblinks: North Huron Scenic Byway – an informational page from the Eastern U.P. Regional Planning & Development Commission
  North Huron Recreational Heritage Route Corridor Management Plan – from the Eastern Upper Peninsula Regional Planning & Development Commission.
  Plan Would Make M-134 a Heritage Route – an October 23, 2008 article in The St. Ignace News.
  New! M-134 becoming first new Pure Michigan Byway – the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) invites the public to the announcement of M-134's designation as a Pure Michigan Byway.
  M-134 Route Listing
   
M-37 Route MarkerOld Mission Peninsula Scenic Heritage Route logo

Old Mission Peninsula
Scenic Heritage Route

Southern End: Traverse City north city limit (just northeast of Peninsula Dr & Center Rd intersection)
Northern End: Northern terminus of M-37 at the Old Mission Lighthouse
Length: 17.26 miles
Notes: From NWMCOG: "It is because of the unique charm and breathtaking views that so many people visit the Old Mission Peninsula. Tourism is an integral part of the local economy, mainly agri-tourism. Because of the scenic attributes of inherent beauty and the rural characteristics displayed along this particular stretch of M-37, a concerned group of Peninsula Township residents and Township officials in 1995 began investigating the possibility of officially acknowledging the distinctiveness of this segment of roadway by designating it as a Michigan Scenic Heritage Route."
  From MDOT: "Traversing the full length of Old Mission Peninsula, the route runs 18 miles along rolling farmlands and the deep blue Grand Traverse Bay before ending at a historic 1870 lighthouse and park. Along the way, bluffs rise dramatically from the Lake Michigan shore to over 200 feet in some parts, offering breathtaking views of East and West Grand Traverse Bay amid the pastoral farmscapes of fruit trees and grapevines. Tourism, mainly agritourism, is integral to the local economy. The scenic attributes and rural characteristics displayed along this stretch of M-37 made it a natural for heritage route designation in 2007."
  The name of this route has evolved into the Old Mission Peninsula Scenic Heritage Route.
Weblinks: Old Mission Peninsula Scenic Heritage Route - official website from the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments.
  Old Mission Peninsula Scenic Heritage Route Guidebook - from the Peninsula Township website.
  Old Mission Peninsula Scenic Heritage Route - at the Peninsula Township website.
  "M-37 on Old Mission Peninsula may soon be scenic route" from the Traverse City Record-Eagle.
  M-37 Route Listing
   
M-119 Route MarkerCopper Country Trail Scenic Heritage Route logoAmerica's Byways route marker

Copper Country Trail
National Byway

Southern End: Houghton
Northern End: Jct M-26 in Copper Harbor
Length: 47 miles
Notes: From MDOT: "The first road designated as a Scenic Heritage Route was the eighteen-mile segment of US-41 from Central to Copper Harbor in Keweenaw County in the Upper Peninsula. The uniqueness of this road is its forest and how the trees, some as close sas three feet from the edge of the pavement, form a complete canopy over most of the entire length of the Heritage Route. This road provides access to such recreational resources as Lake Superior beaches, Copper Harbor, Historic Fort Wilkins state park, hunting, fishing, and fall color touring."
  The first 18 miles of the route were designated as a Scenic Heritage Route in 1994 from Central to Copper Harbor, then extended southwesterly to Mohawk in 2002 and then to Houghton in the spring of 2004. The Copper County Trail National Byway became the route's new designation in 2005 when federal approval came to add it to the America's Bywayps program.
Weblinks: Copper Country Trail National Byway - from the Western Upper Peninsula Planning & Development Region.
  New! Copper Country Trail National Byway - from the Keweenaw Convention & Visitors Bureau.
  New! Copper Country Trail National Scenic Byway, Michigan - from the FHWA's America's Byways website.
  New! Copper Country Trail National Byway Corridor Management Plan - from the Western Upper Peninsula Planning & Development Region.
  New! Copper Country Trail has new signs - an August 20, 2010 article from the Houghton Mining Gazette.
  Copper Country's U.S. 41 named National Scenic Byway from Keweenaw Now, a September 23, 2005 article regarding the designation of this route (archived at the Internet Archive).
  US-41 Route Listing
   
M-119 Route MarkerM-119 Tunnel of Trees Scenic Heritage Route logo

M-119 Tunnel of Trees
Scenic Heritage Route

Southern End: West city limits of Harbor Springs
Northern End: Northern terminus of M-119 in Cross Village
Length: 19.4 miles
Notes: Officially dedicated as a Scenic Heritage Route in June 2003. This is the famous "Tunnel of Trees" route connecting Harbor Springs with Cross Village in Emmet Co.
  "In June 2003, nearly 70 years after its inspiration, M-119 along the Lake Michigan shore was designated a scenic Heritage Route. This route is a 13-mile stretch of M-119 traveling through West Traverse, Friendship, Readmond and Cross Village townships. The area abounds in natural beauty and history. M-119 is not a road for those in a hurry. Cross Village, located at the northernmost point of the route, is a charming hamlet overlooking Lake Michigan. South of Cross Village the road meanders along the shoreline toward Harbor Springs, offering the traveler spectacular views of the lake and the Beaver Island archipelago. Considered by many to be one of the nation’s most scenic highways, the M-119 Heritage Route is unparalleled."
Weblinks: M-119 Tunnel of Trees Heritage Route from the Networks Northwest.
  M-119 Tunnel of Trees Guidebook: A Community Resource to Protect and Preserve PDF Icon –  from Networks Northwest
  M-119 Heritage Route Management Plan PDF Icon – from the Northwest Michigan Council of Governments (archived).
  M-119 Tunnel of Trees Scenic Heritage Route Corridor Management Plan Update 2018 PDF Icon – from Networks Northwest
  Guide to Michigan’s Iconic Tunnel of Trees on M-119 – guide to the M-119 "Tunnel of Trees" from MyNorth.com, publisher of Traverse magazine.
  Marking history: M-119's Tunnel of Trees route – a nice historic overview of the history of M-119 and its status as a heritage route from the Petoskey News (archived)
  Beauty at Risk: Protecting M-119 Corridor – from the Traverse City Record-Eagle (archived)
  M-119 Route Listing
   
M-119 Route MarkerTahquamenon Scenic Byway logo

Tahquamenon
Scenic Byway

Western End: M-28 at the western terminus of M-123 south of Newberry.
Eastern End: Jct M-28 & M-123 at Eckerman Corners in western Chippewa Co.
Length: 62 miles
Notes: Updated This the name of this Scenic Heritage Route first evolved into the Tahquamenon Scenic Heritage Route. Then as the entire Heritage Routes program transitioned to the Pure Michigan Byways branding in 2015, this route was one of the first to similarly rebrand as the Tahquamenon Scenic Byway.
  From MDOT: "The entire 62-mile loop of M-123 north of M-28 is designated a Scenic Heritage Route, recognizing the outstanding natural beauty of the area. Passing through both Luce and Chippewa counties in the eastern Upper Peninsula, this route features views of Lake Superior, rivers, forests, trails, and Tahquamenon Falls State Park, which features the Upper Tahquamenon Falls. With a 50-foot drop, the falls are second only to Niagara Falls as the most voluminous vertical waterfall east of the Mississippi River. The route extends from Eckerman Corner at M-28 on the east end, north through Paradise, then heads west through northern Luce County and southwest through the Village of Newberry where it terminates at M-28."
  On November 9, 2007, MDOT expanded the Tahquamenon Scenic Heritage Route to include the entire northern loop of M-123, recognizing the outstanding natural beauty of the area.
Weblinks: Updated Tahquamenon Scenic Byway - the primary travel and information website for the Route.
  Updated Tahquamenon Secnic Byway - informational page from the Eastern Upper Peninsula Regional Planning & Development Commission.
  New! M-123 Scenic Byway Management Plan - from the Eastern Upper Peninsula Regional Planning & Development Commission.
  Updated M-123 Tahquamenon Scenic Heritage Route Expanded - a November 2007 press release from MDOT regarding the expansion of the Route to encompass the entire "northern loop" of M-123 (archived at the Internet Archive).
  M-123 Route Listing
  Tahquamenon Falls State Park
   

 

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