M-15 Pure Michigan Byway

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Pure Michigan Byways

View the Pure Michigan Byways and Tour Routes Driving Guide Here!

The 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:

  • Scenic Heritage Routes - a state highway having outstanding natural beauty;
  • Historic Heritage Routes - a state highway having outstanding historic buildings, and resources along its length; and
  • Recreational Heritage Routes - maintained not only to serve the recreational driver, but also to capture that recreational setting of the facility or area itself, and set the mood for the recreational experience.[1]

On December 17, 2014, the Michigan State Senate passed House Bill 5072 to change the name from Heritage Route to Pure Michigan Byway.  The Governor signed the bill into law on December 30, 2014. 

M-15 Pure Michigan Byway

View the M-15 Pure Michigan Byway Corridor Management Plan 2019 Update Here!

The M-15 Pure Michigan Byway (Pathway to Family Fun Recreational Heritage Route) runs 86 miles from its northern terminus of M-15 east of downtown Bay City to its southern terminus in Clarkston in northern Oakland County. 

 The Route parallels I-75 offering motorists many pleasant surprises and a welcome diversion from fast paced freeway travel.   The Route is also known for the many summer festivals, parades, outdoor concerts and antique shopping offered in its quaint Villages.  There is also ample camping, fishing and hiking as well as the notable Murphy Lake State Game area a few miles from Millington.  The northern terminus of the Route concludes just east of downtown Bay City where marinas, museums, galleries, a lighthouse and a magnificently restored city hall awaits travelers. 

EMCOG provides assistance to the M-15 HR Management Committee as part of our annual MDOT Work Program. For more information contact the EMCOG offices at 989-797-0800.

[1] Source: MDOT