Michigan Highways: Since 1997.

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M-22 & M-109 junction route signage in Glen Arbor, Michigan
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Former M-108
M-109 Route Marker On to Next Route:
Former M-110
Southern Terminus:    M-22 two miles northeast of Empire (cnr Dune Hwy & Leelanau Hwy)
Northern Terminus:    M-22 in downtown Glen Arbor (cnr Harbor Hwy & Ray St)
Length: 6.799 miles
Maps: Route Map of M-109
Notes: M-109 is a loop-route with both termini at M-22, carrying travellers through the heart of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
  All of M-109 (along with sixty miles of M-22 and M-204) has been designated as a Scenic Heritage Route as the Leelanau Scenic Heritage Route. The Heritage Route Committee works to protect the natural and rural landscape with its many vistas and open spaces such as the orchards, vineyards, fields, hills, valleys, forests, waterways, and the historic and recreational attributes. The Committee members include representatives from the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Leelanau County, each township and village, MDOT, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, organizations, and local citizens.
  In 2001, M-109 is officially given the memorial highway designation of "D.H. Day Highway," named for David H. Day (1852–1928) who, among many other things, once owned the entirety of the community of Glen Haven. Day also donated the land for D.H. Day State Park, now the D.H. Day Campground within the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, and the D.H. Day farm and historic barn are located on M-109/Dune Hwy south of Glen Haven. The National Park Service has a page briefly detailing Day's life.
  Until June 1996, the short (0.433-mile long) M-209 existed as a state trunkline spur route from M-109 at the 90º turn (from Dune Hwy onto Harbor Hwy) northerly into Glen Haven. Today, the former M-209 is a county road named Glen Haven Rd.
  In 1977, National Park Service officials recommended a "Glen Arbor bypass" roadway as part of an overall plan for new scenic highways related to the development of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. It would begin along M-109 near the D.H. Day Campground just east of Glen Haven, travel along the foot of the Day Forest Bluff, pass over M-22 south of Glen Arbor before continuing easterly and northeasterly back to M-22 at Westman Rd. The $4.3 million, four-mile highway would have been grade separated at existing roads and may have borne the M-109 designation west of M-22 or, if no access were constructed at the M-22 overpass, possibly along the entire bypass. It is, however, essentially a moot point since no such bypass was ever constructed.
  In "State Trunkline Needs, 1960–1980," a set of maps prepared by the State Highway Dept's Office of Planning, Programming Division in 1960 showing possible additions, upgrades and improvements to the state trunkline system over the ensuing twenty years. While MSHD staff recommended retaining all of M-109 as a state trunkline highway route, it also suggested turning existing M-22 between the two M-109 junctions back to county control! All of M-109, assumedly, would be redesignated as part of M-22. (M-209 was proposed to be retained under this plan as well.) Obviously, this proposal never came to pass.
History: 1928 (Mar 13) – State Highway Commissioner Fred F. Rogers recommends more than 370 miles of additional state trunkline highway mileage be added to the system as a State Administrative Board meeting. Any mileage added would not be maintained by the state until the following year, however, according to Rogers. Among the 370 miles are the five miles from M-22 north of Empire to Glen Haven.
  1928 (Jun 28) – The new 5.1-mile state trunkline route is established in southwest Leelanau Co, beginning at M-22 just north of Empire and continuing northerly via present-day Dune Hwy on the west side of Glen Lake, terminating at the hamlet of Glen Haven near D.H. Day State Park. Ironically, the first 4.9 miles of this route were once part of the route of M-22 from 1914–1921, when M-22 was transferred to a new alignment to the east.
  1932 (Oct 29) – The road connecting Glen Haven with M-22 at Glen Arbor (present-day Harbor Hwy) is assumed into the state trunkline system as part of M-109, thus making M-109 a loop route off M-22 from just north of Empire to Glen Arbor. At some point, the 0.433-mile spur route from the 90° turn in the route of M-109 just south of Glen Haven is given its own trunkline designation: M-209. It is unclear when M-209 is first signed as its own independent route, however.
  1939 (Jul 13) – A slight realignment on the west side of Glen Lake shortens M-109 by approximately 0.2 mile.
  1995 (June 30) Updated 2023-11 – The spur route M-209 from M-109 into Glen Haven is transferred to local control and the M-209 designation is decommissioned. Former M-209 is now simply referred to as Glen Haven Rd.
  2001 – The Michigan state legislature officially bestows upon M-109 the memorial highway designation "D.H. Day Highway."
  2002 – The Michigan state legislature officially designates all of M-109 as part of the Leelanau Scenic Heritage Route. The route also includes M-22 south of M-109 to Empire and M-22 northeast of Glen Arbor to Northport, then southerly to Traverse City, in addition to M-204 between Leland and Suttons Bay.
Controlled Access: No portion of M-109 exists as freeway or expressway.
NHS: No portion of M-109 is on the National Highway System (NHS).
Circle Tour:
Lake Superior Circle Tour Marker Lake Michigan Circle Tour LOOP: Entire length of M-109.
Pure Michigan Byway:
Scenic Heritage Route Marker Leelanau Scenic Heritage Route: Entire length of M-109.
Memorial Highways:  The following Memorial Highway designations have been officially assigned to parts of M-66 by the Michigan Legislature:
  • D.H. Day Highway – Comprising all of "Highway M-109 located in Leelanau County..." From MDOT: "David H. Day born in Ogdensburg, New York July 10, 1854. Mr. Day was responsible for the development of the Leelanau region. He was president of the Western Michigan Development Bureau for 19 years, out of which finally grew the Michigan Tourist and Resort Association, and in 1920 became the first State Park Commissioner. Mr. Day died in the Spring of 1928."
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