Michigan Roadside Attractions: 45th Parallel Markers
Michigan Roadside Attractions is a periodic feature on Travel the Mitten that will explore the many interesting things that can be found on the highways, byways and back roads of Michigan, ranging from the interesting to unusual.
The 45th parallel, marking the halfway point between the Equator and the North Pole, cuts through Michigan in the northern half of the Lower Peninsula. This line also passes through France, Italy, China, and Russia. In the United States it passes through Oregon, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Many of the major interstates and highways that head north and south (I-75, US-131, etc.) feature roadside signs noting the location, making for great photo opportunities.
You can find 45th parallel marker signs in or near Leland, Sutton’s Bay, Bellaire, Gaylord, Atlanta and Alpena. One of the most unique ones is the Hugh J. Gray memorial rock cairn in Kewadin. This cairn features a rock from each of Michigan’s 83 counties. Each 45th parallel sign in Michigan is a little bit different, and today we’ll take a look at three of these signs – keep an eye out for them on your travels in the northern Lower Peninsula!
US-23 in Alpena
Old Mission Lighthouse
US-131 north of Mancelona