Michigan Heritage Route
|Michigan Heritage Routes|
Highway markers for Historic, Recreational, and Scenic Heritage Routes
Map of the Michigan Heritage Routes
Historic Recreational Scenic
|Maintained by MDOT|
|Formed:||June 22, 1993|
|Length:||880.949 mi (1,417.750 km)|
|Interstates:||Interstate nn (I-nn)|
|US Routes:||US Highway nn (US nn)|
A Michigan Heritage Route is the designation for a segment of the State Trunkline Highway System in the US state of Michigan that is a "scenic, recreational, or historic route that is representative of Michigan's natural and cultural heritage." The designation was created by the state legislature on June 22, 1993, and since then five historic, six recreational and five scenic heritage routes have been designated by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) in both the Upper and Lower peninsulas of the state. Another three have been proposed.
To be listed as a Heritage Route, a road must be a state trunkline highway, and it must be nominated through a two-stage process. Candidates are evaluated based on a set of objective criteria by MDOT in a process that can take several years to complete. The criteria includes a highway's relationship to sites or districts on the National Register of Historical Places, recreational areas, or scenic landscapes. Each candidate must be supported by local stakeholders, including the appropriate local units of government. Each Heritage Route has a local organization that produces a management plan for the roadway and the preservation of its surrounding environment.
Working with local communities, organizations, and government agencies, the Heritage Route Program strives to identify roads that access Michigan's unique natural, scenic, historic, recreational, and cultural resources. The program also attempts to preserve the unique and irreplaceable qualities of selected corridors, improve distinct roads in a careful and considerate way, promote a greater awareness of and appreciation for the state's scenic, recreational, historical and cultural resources. These actions provide economic benefits by stimulating tourism. The MDOT director compiles a report annually that is submitted to the governor, members of the Michigan Legislature and member of the State Transportation Commission; this report details any new additions in the previous year and any changes or deletions affecting the system.
Additions to the system are made when local organizations apply to MDOT through a two-stage process. First, a local organization proposes the addition, verifying that the suggested heritage route is a state trunkline highway and noting which local governments support the designation. MDOT reviews this pre-application to determine initial eligibility. If the proposed heritage route is determined to be eligible, the organization is asked to submit a full application to the department for approval. The full process can take up to seven years to complete.
Types and requirements
The three types of heritage routes are defined in Public Act 69 of 1993, the legislation that established the system. The Legislature defined these types to be:
- significant to the history, archeology, architecture, engineering, or culture of this state.
- facilities normally associated with leisure-time activities, including, but not limited to, parks, public access sites, wildlife refuges, forest areas, marinas, swimming areas, hiking trails, and sightseeing areas.
- an area of outstanding natural beauty whose features include, but are not limited to, significant natural features such as vegetation, land form, water, and open areas with exceptional vistas and views, that singly or in combination make that area unique and distinct in character.
In establishing specific objective criteria related to the selection of potential heritage routes, MDOT has set up limitations on these classifications. Regardless of classification, all heritage routes are supported with a management plan for the corridor designed to deal with protection, preservation and enhancement of the roadway. All routes are given specific termini points with a reasonable length. They must also have the backing of local units of government, landowners and organizations.
Historic routes are assessed based on the numbers of sites listed, or eligible for listing, on the National Register of Historic Places. These sites need to be visible from the heritage route, or in the case of historic districts, a "substantial portion of the district must lie adjacent to the highway". Historic routes must also have promotional plans and demonstrate coordination with state agencies related to state history.
Recreational routes must be used mainly for recreational purposes, connecting to one or more recreation sites. Recreational routes can also connect multiple sites together with a common theme, and they are also assessed on their scenic qualities with lower inclusion standards than scenic routes.
Scenic routes must exclude commercial or industrial zones adjacent to the trunkline. These roads are also assessed on qualities such as the uniqueness, vividness, intactness, unity and viewshed of the roadway and its surrounding environment as set up in department guidelines.
The Michigan Heritage Route System was created after Public Act 69 of 1993 was signed into law on June 22, 1993, going into effect immediately. The law required MDOT to set up specific criteria and procedures related to selecting and maintaining heritage routes, subject to approval of the Legislature. Since the program was put into operation in 1993, 16 heritage routes have been approved by the department. The first two were approved in 1995 at opposite ends of the state: a scenic route along US Highway 41 (US 41) in the Keweenaw Peninsula region of the northern Upper Peninsula (UP) and a historic route along M-125 in downtown Monroe in the southeastern corner of the Lower Peninsula (LP). The first recreational route was approved in 1998 along M-15 in the southeastern LP. The last, the Old Mission Peninsula Scenic Heritage Route along M-37 north of Traverse City, was approved in 2008. Since 2008, local groups have proposed the creation of a heritage route along the former West Michigan Pike on the western side of the Lower Peninsula, a loop around Ontonagon County, and a route along M-134 in the eastern UP.
The Legislature proposed another change to the system in 2013. The roads in the system would become "Pure Michigan Byways" under House Bill 5072 introduced in the state House of Representatives. The bill passed the House in March 2014, As of December 16, 2014[update], the bill has been passed in the state Senate and ordered enrolled by the House during the lame duck session. Sponsors of the bill tout the promotional benefits of including the highways in the Pure Michigan tourism advertising campaign and say that the change "allows the state to comply with federal changes, which require the word 'route' be changed to 'byway'."
There are five historic, six recreational and five scenic heritage routes in Michigan, with three additional routes in various stages of proposal.
|Type||Name||Length (mi)||Length (km)||Southern or western terminus||Northern or eastern terminus||Designated||Description||References|
|Historic||Bay City Historic Heritage Route||1.474||2.372||Madison Avenue in Bay City||Livingston Street in Bay City||October 23, 1997||Follows M-25 through the Center Avenue Neighborhood Residential District in Bay City, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places|||
|Proposed||Bridge to the Clouds||82.389||132.592||Loop in Ontonagon County||—||Would follow US 45, M-26, M-38, M-64, and M-28 connecting Bruce Crossing, Ontonagon, Silver City and Bergland|||
|Recreational||Chief Noonday Trail Recreational Heritage Route||16.963||27.299||US 131 in Bradley||M-43 near Hastings||1998||Follows M-179 in Allegan and Barry counties providing access to Gun Lake and the Yankee Springs State Recreation Area|||
|Scenic||Copper Country Trail||47.617||76.632||Portage Lake Lift Bridge in Hancock||M-26 in Copper Harbor||September 26, 1995||Follows US 41 in the Copper Country; also designated as a National Scenic Byway by the Federal Highway Administration; first Scenic Heritage Route in the state|||
|Recreational||I-69 Recreational Heritage Route||47.188||75.942||Indiana state line south of Kinderhook||Calhoun–Eaton county line||October 8, 2004||Follows I-69 from the Indiana state line in Branch and Calhoun counties in the southern Lower Peninsula|||
|Historic||Iron County Heritage Trail||15.577||25.069||M-189 (4th Avenue) in Iron River||5th Street in Crystal Falls||July 27, 2000||Follows US 2 through Iron County past sites such as the Iron County Courthouse and the local museums on the area's iron mining heritage|||
|Scenic||Leelanau Scenic Heritage Route||81.007||130.368||Benzie–Leelanau county line south of Empire||M-72 in Traverse City||2002||Follows M-22 (66.956 mi, 107.755 km and M-109 (6.831 mi, 10.993 km) around the Leelanau Peninsula, along the Lake Michigan and Grand Traverse Bay shorelines and includes M-204 (7.220 mi, 11.619 km) across the peninsula|||
|Historic||Marshall's Territorial Road Heritage Route||2.052||3.302||Western Marshall city limits||Eastern Marshall city limits||January 11, 2001||Follows Business Loop I-94 along the former Territorial Road in downtown Marshall past 30 historical markers and four museums|||
|Historic||Monroe Historic Heritage Route||2.115||3.404||Southern Monroe city limits||Northern Monroe city limits||1995||Follows M-125 through downtown Monroe and next to the East Elm–North Macomb Street Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places|||
|Proposed||North Huron Recreational Heritage Route||50.233||80.842||I-75 north of St. Ignace||Four Corners on Drummond Island||—||Would follow M-134 along the Lake Huron shoreline across the southeastern section of the Upper Peninsula and onto Drummond Island|||
|Scenic||Old Mission Peninsula Scenic Heritage Route||17.304||27.848||Peninsula Drive north of Traverse City||Cul-de-sac at Old Mission Lighthouse||March 7, 2008||Follows M-37 along the Old Mission Peninsula north of Traverse City through vineyards and orchards bounded by the East and West arms of Grand Traverse Bay|||
|Recreational||Pathway to Family Fun Recreational Heritage Route||72.765||117.104||Waldron Road in Clarkston||M-25 in Bay City||July 8, 1998||Originally called the "Miles to Smiles Recreational Heritage Route"; follows M-15 from Clarkston in Oakland County to Bay City providing access to parks and campgrounds in the area|||
|Recreational||Sunrise Side Coastal Highway||193.061||310.702||Cedar Street in Standish||Nicolet Avenue in Mackinaw City||May 6, 2004||Follows US 23 along the Lake Huron shoreline|||
|Scenic||Tahquamenon Scenic Heritage Route||62.505||100.592||M-28 south of Newberry||M-28 near Eckerman||November 9, 2007||Follows M-123 in an inverted U-shape north of M-28 in Luce and Chippewa counties past the Tahquamenon Falls State Park|||
|Scenic||Tunnel of Trees Scenic Heritage Route||21.028||33.841||Western Harbor Springs city limits||C-66/C-77 (State Road) in Cross Village||January 1, 2003||Follows M-119 through the "Tunnel of Trees"|||
|Recreational||UP Hidden Coast Recreational Heritage Trail||64.451||103.724||Wisconsin state line in Menominee||Mather Avenue in Gladstone||August 28, 2007||Follows M-35, US 2, and US 41 proving access to recreational areas along the Green Bay and Little Bay de Noc|||
|Historic||US 12 Heritage Trail||210.367||338.553||Indiana state line in New Buffalo||Woodward Avenue in Detroit||June 9, 2004||Follows US 12 parallel to the route of an original 19th-century stagecoach trail from Detroit to Chicago across the southern Lower Peninsula, including segments previously designated separately along Michigan Avenue in Saline and in Lenawee County|||
|Proposed||West Michigan Pike||356.527||573.775||Indiana state line south of Niles||Mackinaw City||—||Would follow US 31 northward along the route of the former West Michigan Pike and along the Lake Michigan shoreline|||
|Recreational||Woodward Avenue Recreational Heritage Route||25.475||40.998||Jefferson Avenue in Detroit||Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard in Pontiac||August 4, 1999||Follows M-1 and BL I-75/BUS US 24 (Woodward Avenue) connecting to museums, theaters and parks in Metro Detroit; also designated the Automotive Heritage Trail All-American Road by the Federal Highway Administration and a part of the MotorCity National Heritage Area|||
US 12 (Iron Brigade Memorial Highway) in Pittsfield Township
Woodward Avenue during the Woodward Dream Cruise in 2007
Michigan has three National Forest Scenic Byways that run along county roads, which are ineligible to be Michigan Heritage Routes:
- Black River National Forest Scenic Byway
- River Road National Forest Scenic Byway (also a National Scenic Byway)
- Whitefish Bay National Forest Scenic Byway
- Michigan Legislature (June 22, 1993). "Public Act 69 of 1993: Michigan Heritage Routes" (PDF). Michigan Compiled Laws. Michigan Legislative Council. p. 1. Archived from the original on October 27, 2014. Retrieved July 14, 2012.
- Michigan Department of Transportation (2009). MDOT Physical Reference Finder Application (Map). Cartography by Michigan Center for Geographic Information. http://www.mcgi.state.mi.us/prfinder/. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
- Staff (n.d.). "Michigan: State Program". National Scenic Byway Program. Federal Highway Administration. Archived from the original on April 14, 2013. Retrieved July 14, 2012.
- Staff. "Drive Home Our Heritage". Highway Programs. Michigan Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on August 16, 2014. Retrieved January 7, 2012.
- Steudle, Kirk T. (April 24, 2014). "Annual Report on the Status of Michigan's Heritage Route Program" (PDF) (Letter to Rick Snyder, Members of the Michigan State Legislature and Members of the Michigan State Transportation Commission). Lansing, MI: Michigan Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on October 27, 2014. Retrieved October 14, 2014.
- Staff (August 20, 2010). "How to Apply". Highway Programs. Michigan Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on August 16, 2014. Retrieved October 14, 2014.
- "Will Old US 31 Become a Michigan Heritage Route?". The Muskegon Chronicle. Chronicle News Service. March 31, 2008. Archived from the original on May 26, 2014. Retrieved April 13, 2014.
- Michigan Heritage Route Program (n.d.). Selection Criteria (PDF). Michigan Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on October 27, 2014. Retrieved October 14, 2014.
- Staff (n.d.). "Copper Country Trail: Official Designations". America's Byways. Federal Highway Administration. Archived from the original on June 21, 2013. Retrieved July 14, 2012.
- Meyer, Zlaty (June 29, 2008). "You Haven't Lived Here Until ... You've Topped Out At Copper Harbor". Detroit Free Press. p. B4. ISSN 1055-2758.
- Staff (n.d.). "Monroe Street (M-125)". America's Byways. Federal Highway Administration. Archived from the original on October 18, 2011. Retrieved July 14, 2012.
- Staff (n.d.). "Monroe Street (M-125): Official Designations". America's Byways. Federal Highway Administration. Archived from the original on December 30, 2011. Retrieved July 14, 2012.
- Eastern Michigan Council of Governments (2013). M-15 Recreation Heritage Route Revised Management Plan. M-15 Heritage Route Management Committee. pp. 4, 7, 9.
- Skinner, Victor (March 7, 2008). "M-37 on Old Mission Designated Scenic Route". Traverse City Record-Eagle. OCLC 30098364. Archived from the original on April 14, 2014. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
- Michigan Department of Transportation (n.d.) (PDF). Michigan Byways (Map). Scale not given. Cartography by MDOT. http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mdot/MichiganHeritageRoutesByways11_12_406214_7.pdf. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
- Hubbard, Brandon (November 15, 2013). "Iconic State Highways Could Get Pure Michigan Name Change". Petoskey News-Review. Archived from the original on October 27, 2014. Retrieved October 14, 2014.
- Lehndorff, Becky (March 27, 2014). "Route US 23 Closer to Becoming Part of Pure Michigan Campaign". The Alpena News. Archived from the original on October 27, 2014. Retrieved October 14, 2014.
- Staff (n.d.). "House Bill 5072 (2013)". Michigan Legislative Council. Retrieved December 16, 2014.
- Maxwell, Terrion (October 23, 1997). "Bay City Receives Historic Heritage Route Designation" (Press release). Michigan Department of Transportation. Archived from 23, 1997 the original on December 12, 2008. Retrieved May 10, 2008.
- Center Avenue Heritage Route Trust (n.d.). "Center Avenue Heritage Route (M-25)". Heritage Route Application, Appendix B: Regional and Route Location Maps (Map). Scale not given. Cartography by unknown.
- Daly, Matthew L.; Herman, Jennifer L. & Hannan, Caryn, eds. (2008). Michigan Encyclopedia. vol. 1. Hamburg, MI: State History Publications. p. 99. ISBN 978-1-8785-9294-1.
- Randall, Gary L. (February 3, 1999). "House Chamber, Lansing, Wednesday, February 3, 1999". Journal of the House of Representatives, 90th Legislature. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
- Township of Yankee Springs (n.d.). "Chief Noonday Trail Corridor Map" (Map). Scale not given. Cartography by unknown.
- Google Inc. "Overview Map of M-179". Google Maps (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=M-179+E%2F129th+Ave%2FCo+Rd+42&daddr=M-179+E&hl=en&geocode=FeJ8igIdMunk-g%3BFfa4igIdwMTp-g&mra=dme&mrcr=0&mrsp=1&sz=11&sll=42.638975,-85.466845&sspn=0.475824,0.465546&ie=UTF8&t=h&z=11. Retrieved February 8, 2011.
- Baker, Gary (October 9, 2004). "Stretch of I-69 Designated as MDOT Recreation Heritage Route". Coldwater Daily Reporter. News section. ISSN 0745-6794.
- "Attachment A: Narrative Description of Proposed Route". I-69 Recreation Heritage Route Application. I-69 Recreation Heritage Route Management Team. n.d. p. 1.
- Friends of the Iron County Heritage Trail (October 2013). "Figure 2: Corridor Map". Iron County Heritage Trail Corridor Management Plan (Map). Cartography by Western UP Planning & Development. pp. 1, 7.
- Nelson, Steve (July 27, 2000). "Designation of the Iron County Heritage Trail" (Letter to Margaret Barondess). Crystal Falls, MI: Michigan State University Extension.
- Leelanau Scenic Heritage Route Committee (n.d.). "The Leelanau Scenic Heritage Route" (PDF). Northwest Michigan Council of Governments. p. 6. Retrieved July 14, 2012.
- Hinde, Jill (January 12, 2001). "West Michigan Avenue Designated as a Michigan Heritage Route". The Marshall Chronicle. p. 1. Retrieved August 4, 2013 – via NewspaperArchive.com.
- "Marshall's Michigan Avenue Honored as Michigan Heritage Route (Historic)". The Marshall Chronicle. October 29, 2001. p. 15. Retrieved August 4, 2013 – via NewspaperArchive.com.
- "Year 2000 Nomination Form". Monroe Historic Heritage Route Corridor Management Plan. City of Monroe. 2000.
- Staff (November 11, 2009). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. Retrieved October 14, 2014.
- Eppley, Jonathan (October 23, 2008). "Plan Would Make M-134 a Heritage Route: Regional Planning Commission Sees Economic Benefits". St. Ignace News. p. A1. OCLC 36250796. Archived from the original on October 27, 2014. Retrieved July 14, 2012.
- North Huron Recreational Heritage Route Advisory Committee (2010). North Huron Recreational Heritage Route Corridor Management Plan (PDF). Eastern UP Regional Planning & Development Commission. Archived from the original on October 27, 2014. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
- M-37 Scenic Heritage Route Nominating Team (September 1, 2000). "M-37 Proposed Heritage Route". Old Mission Peninsula Scenic Heritage Route (Map). Scale not given. Cartography by Northwest Michigan Council of Governments, Michigan Center for Geographic Information. pp. 6, 22.
- Graham, David V. (July 8, 1998). "Road Less Traveled Getting Some Respect: M-15, Old 'Up North' Route Gets State Designation". The Flint Journal. p. C1. OCLC 9974225.
- "US 23 Heritage Route Gets Official Designation". Iosco County News-Herald (East Tawas, MI). May 12, 2004. Archived from the original on October 27, 2014. Retrieved July 14, 2012.
- Northeast Michigan Council of Governments; East Central Michigan Planning and Development Regional Commission (2009). US 23 Huron Shores Heritage Route Management Plan. Northeast Michigan Council of Governments.
- Lake, James (November 9, 2007). "M-123 Tahquamenon Scenic Heritage Route Expanded" (Press release). Michigan Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on October 7, 2012. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
- Tahquamenon Scenic Heritage Route Committee (2007). Tahquamenon Scenic Heritage Route Management Plan (PDF). Sault Ste. Marie, MI: Eastern UP Regional Planning and Development Commission. p. 2. Archived from the original on October 27, 2014. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
- Gray, Fred (June 26, 2003). "Scenic Heritage Route Dedicated Saturday". Petoskey News-Review. Archived from the original on October 27, 2014. Retrieved August 4, 2013.
- M-119 Tunnel of Trees Scenic Heritage Route Committee (2008). "M-119 Scenic Views". M-119 Tunnel of Trees Scenic Heritage Route Management Plan Update (Map). Scale not given. Cartography by Northwest Michigan Council of Governments.
- "MDOT Declares UP Road as Heritage Route". Negaunee, MI: WLUC-TV. August 28, 2007.
- UP Hidden Coast Recreation Heritage Route Planning Committee (September 2013). "Chapter 1: Introduction". UP Hidden Coast Recreation Heritage Route Management Plan. Escanaba, MI: Central Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Regional Commission. pp. 1–2.
- "US 12 Gains National Heritage Trail Moniker". The Blade (Toledo, OH). July 10, 2004. p. B1. OCLC 12962717. Retrieved July 14, 2012 – via Google News.
- SmithGroup JJR & Michigan State University Department of Park, Recreation and Tourism Resources (December 2003). US 12 Historic Heritage Trail Application & Corridor Management Plan. US 12 Heritage Trail Council. pp. ES‑1, 1‑3.
- Lupo, Lee (May 5, 2008). "Return of the Pike". The Muskegon Chronicle. Archived from the original on May 26, 2014. Retrieved April 13, 2014.
- Kloosterman, Stephen (December 8, 2011). "Get Your Kicks ... on the West Michigan Pike". Holland Sentinel. Archived from the original on May 26, 2014. Retrieved April 13, 2014.
- Ballou, Brian (August 4, 1999). "Woodward Winner Storied Avenue Labeled a Michigan Heritage Road: Plans In Works For Continuous Identity From Detroit To Pontiac". Detroit Free Press. p. B1. ISSN 1055-2758. Retrieved July 14, 2012. (subscription required (. ))
- Tamboer, Andrea (October 28, 2009). "Woodward Avenue (M-1) Gets All-American Road Designation". Detroit: Booth Newspapers. Archived from the original on October 27, 2014. Retrieved July 14, 2012.
- Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (1998). "Woodward Avenue Heritage Route Designation". Woodward Avenue Heritage Route Management Plan (Map). Scale not given. Cartography by SEMCOG. p. 9.
- Heritage Routes at Michigan Highways