Michigan Highways: Since 1997.

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Heritage Routes (Pure Michigan Byways)

Michigan Heritage Route markersThe Michigan Heritage Route Program, created by the Public Act 69 of 1993, is designed to identify, inventory, protect, enhance, and in some cases, promote state trunklines and adjacent land with distinctive or unique scenic, cultural, or historic qualities. The normal process for Heritage Route nomination within the Michigan Heritage Route Program follows a standard eight-step procedure: formation of a nominating team, identification of potential routes, evaluation of the highway using a roadside inventory, selection of route to be nominated, preparation of a management plan, evidence of local support, preparation of nomination/application, and submission of application.

There are three categories of Heritage Routes, each linked below with detailed listings for each route, including the limits of the Route, its length, notes and related links:

Pure Michigan Byways

On December 17, 2014, the Michigan State Senate passed House Bill 5072 to change the name from
Heritage Route to Pure Michigan Byway. According to an MDOT report, "This action is part of a rebranding and reinventing of the program to align it with statewide travel and tourism initiatives." The House Bill, sponsored by Rep. Peter Pettalia, amended Public Act 69 of 1993 and removes references to Michigan Heritage Routes and replaces them with references to "Pure Michigan Byways", requires MDOT to designate all Michigan Heritage Routes as Pure Michigan Byways within one year after the bill's effective date, and allows MDOT to designate portions of a road as a Pure Michigan Byway. The Governor signed the bill into law on December 30, 2014.

The existing Heritage Route markers posted along each route will be replaced with new markers developed in cooperation with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, MDOT, and the various Byway committees. The new markers will incorporate the "Pure Michigan" campaign logo and the word "Byway," which is used nationwide in 45 other state programs. The new legistlation also adds three new "intrinsic qualities" (categories) to the program—Cultural, Archaeological, and Natural—to augment the existing Scenic, Historic and Recreational categories. The additional categories will allow for more flexibility with the types of routes which can be accepted into the program.

The transition from Heritage Routes to the new Pure Michigan Byways is scheduled to occur during 2015 with new signs posted in the field. Until that happens, however, the existing Heritage Routes will be listed on this site under their original categories.

Jump to: Scenic Heritage Routes | Historic Heritage Routes | Recreational Heritage Routes

List of Michigan Heritage Routes (Pure Michigan Byways)

Heritage Route Route Counties
Scenic Heritage Route MarkerScenic Heritage Routes:
Leelanau Scenic Heritage Route M-22, M-109, M-204 Leelanau
Old Mission Peninsula Scenic Heritage Route M-37 Grand Traverse
Copper Country Trail Scenic Heritage Route & National Byway US-41 Houghton, Keweenaw
M-119 Tunnel of Trees Scenic Heritage Route M-119 Emmet
Tahquamenon Scenic Byway M-123 Chippewa, Luce
Historic Heritage Route MarkerHistoric Heritage Routes:
Iron County Heritage Trail US-2 Iron
US-12 Heritage Trail US-12 Berrien, Cass, St Joseph, Branch, Hillsdale, Lenawee, Washtenaw, Wayne
Center Avenue Heritage Route/Bay City Historic Route M-25 Bay
Marshall's Territorial Road Historic Heritage Route BL I-94 Calhoun
Monroe Street Heritage Route M-125 Monroe
Recreational Heritage Route MarkerRecreational Heritage Routes:
Woodward Avenue Recreational Heritage Route M-1, BL I-75,
Wayne, Oakland
Pathway to Family Fun Recreational Heritage Route M-15 Oakland, Genesee
Huron Shores Recreational Heritage Route US-23 Arenac, Iosco, Alcona, Alpena, Presque Isle, Cheboygan
U.P. Hidden Coast Recreational Heritage Route M-35 Menominee, Delta
I-69 Recreational Heritage Route I-69 Branch, Calhoun
Chief Noonday Recreational Heritage Route M-179 Allegan, Barry
Proposed North Huron (M-134) Recreational Heritage Route M-134 Mackinac, Chippewa


Additional Information