M-203 (Michigan highway)
M-203 highlighted in red
|Maintained by MDOT|
|Length:||17.944 mi (28.878 km)|
|Existed:||1933 – present|
|Lake Superior Circle Tour loop|
|South end:||US 41 in Hancock|
|North end:||US 41 / M-26 in Calumet|
M-203 is a north–south state trunkline highway in the Upper Peninsula of the US state of Michigan. It connects McLain State Park with US 41 on each end in Hancock and Calumet. The trunkline has existed since commissioning in 1933 except a period of time when it was temporarily decommissioned.
The M-203 designation is maintained by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to provide access to McLain State Park. The trunkline is not listed on the National Highway System, a system of strategically important highways. No section of it is located on the Lake Superior Circle Tour, although it is the closest state trunkline to Lake Superior in the area. The highway runs through forest lands and city streets most of the way, with the section along the Portage Lake Canal being residential most of the way.
The southern terminus of M-203 is at the west end of a pair of one-way streets carrying US 41 through the City of Hancock at the bottom of Quincy Hill. Northbound US 41 follows Quincy Street while southbound traffic is directed along Hancock Street. The two directions merge along Lincoln Drive, and M-203 is the two-way, western continuation of Quncy Street west of Lincoln Drive, passing north of the St. Joseph Cemetery. M-203 then runs along the north shore of the Portage Lake Canal turning northward and northwesterly along the canal. South of the canal's northern entry to Lake Superior, MDOT measured the annual average daily traffic (AADT) at 820 vehicles in 2007.  By Bear Lake Road, M-203 turns east to the front gate of the state park running parallel to Lake Superior.
McLain State Park
McLain State Park is a Michigan state park on the Keweenaw Peninsula, in the Copper Country. It is located on M-203 halfway between Hancock and Calumet. The park is on the shore of Lake Superior, and most of the beach areas are rocky. However, a stretch of land on the edge of the park near the Keweenaw Waterway is sandy and good for swimming. This area is known as the Breakwaters, known to some locals as just the "Breakers".
Passing the park gate, M-203 continues northeasterly. The roadway skirts the northern shore of Bear Lake on the eastern end of the state park. At Lakeshore Drive, M-203 turns inland running due east to Cloverland Road then turning north and east along Veterans Memorial Highway. Along this section of roadway, the AADT was measured at 440 vehicles in 2007. The highway follows Veterans Memorial Highway through the neighborhood of Tamarack west of Calumet. From there it continues eastward, following Pine Street north of downtown Calumet, looping back to US 41/M-26. The northern terminus of M-203 is at the intersection of Pine Street and Calumet Avenue, 17.944 miles (28.878 km) away from the southern terminus in Hancock.
M-203 was first designated as a spur route from Hancock north to the state park in 1933. It was later cancelled as a state highway in 1939. This cancellation was reversed in late 1940. At this time, the M-203 designation was extended from McLain State Park north (on what was Houghton Co. Rd. 566) to Calumet. A construction project rerouted the roadway near the state park in 1963. The highway's routing was moved out of the park proper, bypassing it to the east. The road surface inside the park was partially obliterated in the process. No further changes to M-203's routing have been made since.
The entire highway is in Houghton County.
|Hancock||0.000||0.000||US 41 / LSCT||US 41 is Quincy Street for northbound traffic and Hancock Street southbound; southern end of LSCT loop route|
|Hancock Township||10.239||16.478||McLain State Park entrance|
|Calumet||17.944||28.878||US 41 / M-26 / LSCT (Calumet Avenue)||Northern end of LSCT loop route|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- Michigan State Highway Department & Rand McNally (July 1, 1933). Official Michigan Highway Map (Map). Scale not given. Lansing: Michigan State Highway Department.
- Michigan Department of Transportation (2009). Control Section/Physical Reference Atlas (Map). Scale not given. Lansing: Michigan Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 26, 2009.
- Michigan Department of Transportation (April 23, 2006). National Highway System, Michigan (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Lansing: Michigan Department of Transportation. Retrieved October 7, 2008.
- Michigan Department of Transportation (2008). Official Department of Transportation Map (Map). 1 in≈15 mi / 1 cm≈9 km. Lansing: Michigan Department of Transportation. § A4.
- Google (August 12, 2008). "Overview Map of M-203" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved August 12, 2008.
- Michigan Department of Transportation (2007). Statewide AADT Map (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Lansing: Michigan Department of Transportation. Retrieved October 5, 2008.
- "McLain State Park Detail". Michigan Department of Natural Resources. 2007. Retrieved August 12, 2008.
- Michigan State Highway Department & Rand McNally (December 1, 1939). Official Michigan Highway Map (Map) (Winter ed.). Scale not given. Lansing: Michigan State Highway Department. § A4.
- Michigan State Highway Department & Rand McNally (December 1, 1940). Official Michigan Highway Map (Map) (Winter ed.). Scale not given. Lansing: Michigan State Highway Department. § A4.
- Michigan State Highway Department (1963). Official Highway Map (Map). Scale not given. Lansing: Michigan State Highway Department. § A4.
- Michigan State Highway Department (1964). Official Highway Map (Map). Scale not given. Lansing: Michigan State Highway Department. § A4. OCLC 81213707.
- Michigan Department of Transportation & Michigan Center for Shared Solutions and Technology Partnerships (2009). MDOT Physical Reference Finder Application (Map). Michigan Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 9, 2010.
Route map: Bing