H-63 (Michigan county highway)
|Maintained by MCRC and CCRC|
|Length:||45.38 mi (73.03 km)|
|Existed:||c. October 5, 1970 – present|
|South end:||I-75 / BL I-75 near St. Ignace|
|M-28 near Dafter|
|North end:||BS I-75 in Sault Ste. Marie|
H-63 is a county-designated highway (CDH) in the Upper Peninsula of the US state of Michigan. The highway parallels the Interstate 75 (I-75) corridor between St. Ignace and Sault Ste. Marie. The road is called Mackinac Trail after the Upper Peninsula branch of an Indian trail used before European settlers reached the area. Originally, the roadway was built as a section of US Highway 2 (US 2) before being added to the CDH system in the 1970s.
H-63 serves as a two-lane alternative to the I-75 freeway across the eastern end of the Upper Peninsula. Between the northern side of St. Ignace, the roadway has connections to two state highways before running concurrently with M-48 near Rudyard. H-63 ends on the south side of Sault Ste. Marie.
H-63 starts a winding trail at Business Loop I-75 (BL I-75) north of St. Ignace in rural Mackinac County. From there, the highway heads northward towards the Kewadin Casino. The road then passes within viewing distance of I-75 past the Horseshoe Bay Wilderness. As it continues, H-63 has a connection to the southern terminus of M-123 with access to I-75 via a connecting road to M-123. After crossing to the west side of I-75, H-63 has access to I-75 via a connecting road to the western terminus of M-134. The CDH runs to the north and into Chippewa County. As it does so, H-63 turns away from I-75 as the latter curves northeastward. South of Rudyard and into center of the community, H-63 runs concurrently with M-48 for about three miles (4.8 km).
From Rudyard northward, H-63 turns northeasterly toward, and runs parallel to, I-75. At Kinross, there is an interchange between I-75 and M-80; H-63 has a brief concurrency with M-80 so that the latter can connect to all of the ramps in the interchange. The trail then crosses to the eastern side of I-75. Near Dafter, the CDH intersects M-28. Along this section, H-63 is roughly a half mile (0.8 km) away from the I-75 freeway at any given point as it continues northward to the Sault Ste. Marie area. H-63 terminates at its intersection with Business Spur I-75 (BS I-75) on the south side of the city.
The first transportation route in the area was the Mackinac Trail, used by Native Americans before the Europeans arrived in the area; the trail in the area was the Upper Peninsula branch of a longer route that also connected the modern-day Saginaw with Mackinaw City and the Straits of Mackinac. Until 1933, no roadway was built along the path of the Indian trail. After that year, US 2 was rerouted between St. Ignace and Sault Ste. Marie using the modern routing of H-63. This placed the Mackinac Trail on the state trunkline highway system for the first time. In 1962 and 1963, the state transferred the highway to county control when US 2 was rerouted to follow the completed I-75 freeway. With the transfer to local control, Mackinac Trail became a county road. Later, it was given the H-63 designation after October 5, 1970 as part of the County-Designated Highway System. The designation on the 1971 state map follows the routing used today.
||St. Ignace Township||0.00||0.00|| I-75 – St. Ignace, Sault Ste. Marie
BL I-75 south – St. Ignace
|4.67||7.52||To M-123 north – Trout Lake|
|12.00||19.31||To M-134 east / LHCT east – Cedarville|
||Rudyard Township||22.26||35.82||M-48 east – Pickford||Southern end of M-48 concurrency|
|Rudyard||25.17||40.51||M-48 west||Northern end of M-48 concurrency; access to I-75|
|25.31||40.73||H-40 west||Eastern terminus of H-40|
|I-75 / M-80 east – St. Ignace, Sault Ste. Marie||Short concurrency at the western terminus of M-80 so the latter can connect to all of the ramps in the I-75 exit 378 interchange|
|Dafter Township||39.02||62.80||M-28 – Munising, Marquette|
|Sault Ste. Marie||45.38||73.03||BS I-75 / LHCT – Sault Ste. Marie|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- "County Primary Road Marking System Okayed". Holland Evening Sentinel. October 5, 1970. p. 6.
- "MiGDL - Center for Geographic Information - Geographic Data Library". Michigan Department of Information Technology. May 2007. Retrieved February 4, 2008.
- Michigan Department of Transportation (2010). Official Department of Transportation Map (Map). 1 in.:15 mi/1 cm:9 km. Section B11–D10.
- Google Inc. Google Maps – Overview Map of H-63 (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=Unknown+road&daddr=45.926172,-84.7362829+to:45.9904371,-84.7342472+to:46.17034,-84.60745+to:46.24465,-84.57186+to:46.3055323,-84.4727995+to:46.3996631,-84.3956764+to:W+3+Mile+Rd&hl=en&geocode=FT57vAIduPry-g%3BFRzHvAId5gbz-ilfSfzx7fc1TTEshE1JlecOtQ%3BFSXCvQId2Q7z-imtXZzfmPg1TTH6Gxcum7-wnQ%3BFeSAwAIdJv70-iljDnuwGgQ2TTEyeY63LMrbGg%3BFSqjwQIdLIn1-inzRY4sNBs2TTFquss6SIaW5w%3BFfyQwgIdIQz3-ilFXyxWzRA2TTH4e6_C98SlSQ%3BFa8AxAIdZDn4-ikPjf4pCz42TTHpcp0A4FOebA%3BFYD5xAId_pD4-g&mra=dpe&mrcr=0&mrsp=6&sz=13&via=1,2,3,4,5,6&sll=46.427919,-84.38942&sspn=0.111813,0.128231&ie=UTF8&ll=46.26819,-84.48761&spn=0.897113,1.025848&t=h&z=10. Retrieved September 21, 2010.
- Mason, Philip P. (1959). Michigan Highways from Indian Trails to Expressways. Ann Arbor, MI: Braun-Brumfield. p. 18. OCLC 23314983.
- Michigan State Highway Department (May 1, 1933). Official Michigan Highway Map (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally. Section B11–D10.
- Michigan State Highway Department (September 1, 1933). Official Michigan Highway Map (Map). Cartography by Rand McNally. Section B11–D10.
- Michigan State Highway Department (1962). Official Highway Map (Map). Section B11–D10.
- Michigan State Highway Department (1963). Official Highway Map (Map). Section B11–D10.
- Michigan State Highway Department (1964). Official Highway Map (Map). Section B11–D10.
- Michigan Department of State Highways (1971). Official Highway Map (Map). Section E10–E11.