Forest Highway 16

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Federal Forest Highway 16

FFH-16 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by ICRC, HCRC, OCRC, and USFS
Length50.504 mi[1][a] (81.278 km)
HistoryMarked on maps in 1983 as "H-16"
Major junctions
South end CR 436 in Stambaugh Township
Major intersections US 2 in Stambaugh Township
North end M-38 near Nisula
CountryUnited States
CountiesIron, Houghton, Ontonagon
Highway system
H-15 H-33

Federal Forest Highway 16 (FFH 16) is a forest highway in the western Upper Peninsula of the US state of Michigan that runs through the Ottawa National Forest in Iron, Houghton and Ontonagon counties. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has erroneously marked it as H-16 on their official state map. FFH 16 is designated by the US Forest Service (USFS) with maintenance shared by the county road commissions (ICRC, HCRC, OCRC, respectively). Although the MDOT maps would suggest that it is a part of the County-Designated Highway System (CDH system), it is not. The three counties in question do not participate in the system, and the roadway falls in the middle of the G zone for numbering purposes.

Route description

FFH 16 starts at an intersection with County Road 436 (CR 436, Smokey Lake Road) near Horseshoe Lake in rural Iron County's Stambaugh Township.[a] The roadway runs north from this location east of Smokey Lake through forest lands that are part of the Ottawa National Forest. Near Golden Lake and the Golden Lake National Forest Campground, FFH 16 and US Highway 2 (US 2) intersect. FFH 16 continues north and curves to the northwest around the end of Golden Lake. The routing of the road provides access to several more lakes in rural Iron County such as Paint, Silk and Hehe lakes, as well as an older routing of US 2, before crossing into southern Houghton County.[2][3]

In Houghton County, FFH 16 and M-28 meet in the Duncan Township community of Kenton. The former roadway turns east and runs concurrently along the latter one for approximately a quarter mile (0.4 km) before turning northward again, leaving town near the cemetery. The forest highway tracks due north until Bob Lake. There the roadway meanders through the area near another National Forest campground and crosses into eastern Ontonagon County. FFH 16 crosses back into Houghton County one last time. Immediately after crossing the county line, the forest highway terminates at an intersection with M-38 west of the community of Nisula.[2][3]


A new county-designated highway appeared on maps for the first time in 1983, H-16; it was marked as running between US 2 and M-28 only.[4] This designation was removed in the 1985 edition of the map.[5] The H-16 label reappeared in 1992; this time it was shown continuing south toward the Wisconsin state line and north to M-38, along the routing of FFH-16.[6] The roadway is part of the Forest Highway System that is funded and administered by the US Forest Service and the Federal Highway Administration;[7] the system was created by the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1921.[8] The highway has never been included in the CDH system as Iron, Houghton and Ontonagon counties do not participate in the system,[3] and the Upper Peninsula east of US 41 is the G zone, not the H zone.[9]

Major intersections

IronStambaugh Township0.0000.000 CR 436 (Smokey Lake Road)Southern terminus; Smokey Lake Road continues to Wisconsin Highway 17 at state line
5.4248.729 US 2 – Ironwood, Iron River
M-28 – Wakefield, MarquetteFFH-16 travels concurrently with M-28
OntonagonNo major intersections
HoughtonNisula50.50481.278 M-38 – Ontonagon, BaragaNorthern terminus off the Ontonagon–Houghton county line
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b c The MDOT map shows FFH-16 continuing south along Smokey Lake Road to the state line,[3] but the MDOT Physical Reference Finder Application indicates that FFH-16 terminates at Smokey Lake Road.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Michigan Department of Transportation (2021). Next Generation PR Finder (Map). Michigan Department of Transportation. Retrieved October 11, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Google (July 28, 2010). "Overview Map of FFH 16" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved July 28, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d Michigan Department of Transportation (2010). Uniquely Michigan: Official Department of Transportation Map (Map). c. 1:975,000. Lansing: Michigan Department of Transportation. §§ B3–C3. OCLC 42778335, 639960603.
  4. ^ Michigan Department of Transportation (1983). Say Yes to Michigan!: Official Transportation Map (Map). c. 1:918,720. Lansing: Michigan Department of Transportation. §§ B3–C3. OCLC 12701177. Retrieved October 17, 2019 – via Michigan History Center.
  5. ^ Michigan Department of Transportation (1985). Yes Michigan: Official Transportation Map (Map). c. 1:918,720. Lansing: Michigan Department of Transportation. §§ B3–C3. OCLC 12701177. Retrieved October 17, 2019 – via Michigan History Center.
  6. ^ Michigan Department of Transportation (1992). Celebrate the Great Lakes, Yes Michigan: Michigan Department of Transportation Map (Map). c. 1:918,720. Lansing: Michigan Department of Transportation. §§ B3–C3. OCLC 42778335, 318947496. Retrieved October 17, 2019 – via Michigan History Center.
  7. ^ Office of Federal Lands Highway. "Forest Highways Fact Sheet" (PDF). Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved July 28, 2010.
  8. ^ Office of Federal Lands Highway (December 18, 2009). "Forest Highways". Federal Highway Administration. Archived from the original on August 18, 2010. Retrieved July 28, 2010.
  9. ^ "County Primary Road Marking System Okayed". The Holland Evening Sentinel. October 5, 1970. p. 6. ISSN 1050-4044. OCLC 13440201. Retrieved May 17, 2017 – via

External links