We’ve Seen the Signs: The 45th Parallel Line That Cuts Thru Upper Michigan
There are a few of these throughout the upper half of the Michigan Mitten that reach from the Leelanau Peninsula straight across to Alpena. The road signs that tell you you're crossing over the 45th Parallel Line - the line that marks the halfway point between the North Pole and The Equator.
Not only does the 45th Parallel line cut through the northern half of Michigan's Lower Peninsula, but also from Oregon to Maine. Not to mention China, France, Italy and Russia.
The major Michigan highways that head north (and south) have these signs along the road. There are also a good number of the smaller, less-traveled roads that have the older signs that were erected back before the major highways were laid. These signs have always made for good photo ops that tourists have sent back to relatives (“hey, look where I am! Guess where this is”). Well, heck, I had my picture taken with one, too, back in the 1970s.
If you ever spot one of the real old ones, grab a shot of it. Otherwise, the typical, more updated green ones will do. Most any paved road heading north may have one...the less-traveled roads, the better chance of finding one of the really old signs.
Not all 45th Parallel markers are signs; there is a marker in Kewadin that's a giant monument that was made with rocks from all 83 Michigan counties. It's also known as the Hugh J. Gray memorial rock (Kewadin also has a regular road sign marker).
In the gallery below, you'll see a variety of these signs, including the monument in Kewadin and another unique one in Manistee...and a few from other parts of North America.
Michigan's 45th Parallel Markers