M-123 (Michigan)

From the AARoads Wiki: Read about the road before you go
(Redirected from M-123 (Michigan highway))
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Route information
Maintained by MDOT
Length96.071 mi[1] (154.611 km)
Major junctions
South end I-75 near St. Ignace
Major intersections
North end M-28 near Newberry
CountryUnited States
CountiesMackinac, Chippewa, Luce
Highway system
M-122 M-124

M-123 is a state trunkline highway in the eastern Upper Peninsula of the US state of Michigan. It is one of only a few highways in Michigan that curve around and form a U-shape. In fact, M-123 has three intersections with only two state trunklines; it meets M-28 twice as a result of its U-shaped routing. M-123 also has a rare signed concurrency with a county-designated highway in Michigan; in Trout Lake, there is a concurrency with H-40. All of M-123 north of M-28 is a scenic byway within the Pure Michigan Byway system.

The highway was first designated before 1936 along a section of its current routing. Sections added since then encompass segments formerly belonging to US Highway 2 (US 2) and M-48. The last changes came to the highway in 1962 and 1963, when the northern end was extended and the southern end was truncated slightly.

Route description

M-123 serves a thinly-populated section of the state.[3] Much of the highway passes through the eastern unit of the Hiawatha National Forest.[4] No part of the highway is listed on the National Highway System, a system of strategically important highways.[5] The section of highway north of the two M-28 junctions is both a Michigan Scenic Heritage Route and part of the Lake Superior Circle Tour.[6]

Rogers Park to Paradise

The southern terminus of the highway is at exit 352 along Interstate 75 (I-75) north of St. Ignace in Rogers Park. The roadway also connects to County-Designated Highway H-63 (Old US Highway 2) at the interchange. From the interchange north, the highway runs northwest as Tahquamenon Trail to the community of Allenville near Brevort Lake in Brevort Township. Here it meets H-57. Just north of Allenville, the trunkline crosses through the adjacent community of Moran. Allenville was a stop on the Detroit, Mackinac and Marquette Railroad (DM&M), and Moran was named after William B. Moran, one of the early settlement's founders.[7] North of Moran the roadway runs parallel to the DM&M's abandoned rail right-of-way and passes by the Fred Dye Nature Sanctuary. Before crossing into Chippewa, the highway passes through the community of Ozark, home of a rock quarry. North of the county line is the community of Trout Lake, where M-123 meets and merges with H-40 across railroad tracks and through town near Wegwaas, Frenchman and Carp lakes. Continuing to the north, the highway is renamed Deerfoot Road and serves the Three Lakes Campground, a unit of the Hiawatha National Forest, before meeting M-28 at Eckerman.[6][8]

The concurrency of M-123 and H-40 in Trout Lake

M-123 is designated as a Scenic Heritage Route north of M-28.[9] Here it continues northwest to East–West Road and turns to run along the shores of Whitefish Bay and cross the Tahquamenon River near its mouth. Continuing along the bay as Whitefish Road, M-123 meets the community of Paradise, the northernmost point along the highway. It is here that M-123 intersects Whitefish Point Road, which continues north to Whitefish Point, home of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. In either direction, M-123 runs southbound from Paradise, changing direction. Continuing east of Paradise, M-123 is the only paved road that serves the Tahquamenon Falls State Park and the Whitefish Point region.[6][8]

Tahquamenon Falls State Park

The Tahquamenon Falls are a major tourist attraction along the route of M-123.

The Tahquamenon Falls State Park is a 46,179-acre (18,688 ha) state park in Michigan. It is the second largest of Michigan's state parks. Bordering on Lake Superior, most of the park is located within Chippewa, with the western section of the park extending into Luce. The park follows the Tahquamenon River as it passes over Tahquamenon Falls and drains into Whitefish Bay, Lake Superior. The Tahquamenon Falls include a single 50-foot (15 m) drop, the Upper Falls, plus the cascades and rapids collectively called the Lower Falls. During the late-spring runoff, the river drains as much as 50,000 US gallons (190,000 L) of water per second, making the upper falls the second most voluminous vertical waterfall east of the Mississippi River, after only Niagara Falls.[10]

Paradise to Newberry

East of Paradise, M-123 runs along the Tahquamenon River inside the state park boundaries. Past the park, the highway is known as Falls Road in Luce. The trunkline turns southwest at the county line. It runs south and west across Murphy Creek and the Auger River before intersecting with H-37 at Four Mile Corner. The highway crosses a branch of the Tahquamenon River one last time before becoming Newberry Avenue in the city of Newberry. The highest annual average daily traffic, a measure of traffic volume, was recorded by the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) for M-123 in 2007 along Newberry Avenue at 7,500 vehicles.[11] South of downtown, M-123 meets M-28 a second time west of Twin Lake. This intersection is the "northern" terminus of the 96.1-mile (154.7 km) highway.[6][8]


The construction of M-123 started in the 1930s near Eckerman, the location of the current eastern M-28/M-123 junction. By 1936, M-123 was designated running north of M-28 on 10 miles (16 km) of hard-surface pavement. At this time, US 2 is routed along Worth Road and uses roadway later used by M-123 from Moran to Rogers Park, and M-48 was routed north of Newberry to Four Mile Corner.[2] The first extension of M-123 southward from Eckerman, through Trout Lake to Rogers Park north of St. Ignace, came in 1954. Part of this routing in Trout Lake uses M-48 (now a portion of H-40). An additional extension is shown north to the Tahquamenon River Bridge, lengthening the highway to the north on the April 15, 1954 official state map.[12] The section north to the Tahquamenon River Bridge is remarked on the October 1, 1954 state map as a county road, however.[13] In 1957, M-123 was permanently extended north to the bridge,[14] and in 1962 the final extension north to Paradise and south to Newberry was completed. From Four Mile Corner south, M-123 replaced M-117 to a new terminus at M-28 south of Newberry.[15] The southernmost section of roadway between the I-75/US 2 freeway and H-63 (Old US 2) was transferred to Mackinac County for maintenance with the opening of the freeway in 1963.[16]

On November 9, 2007, MDOT expanded the Tahquamenon Scenic Heritage Route designation previously applied to M-123. This expanded the designation to all of the highway north of M-28, recognizing it for its "outstanding natural beauty" and the scenic views of "rivers, forests, trails and Tahquamenon Falls State Park."[17] Previously, the designation was limited to between Luce County Road 500 to Galloway Creek. The expansion was planned by the Eastern Upper Peninsula Regional Planning & Development Commission along with local governments and businesses.[17]

Major intersections

MackinacRogers Park0.0000.000 I-75 (Prentiss M. Brown Freeway) / LHCT – Sault Ste. Marie, St. IgnaceExit 352 on I-75
H-57 west (Brevort Lake Road)
ChippewaTrout Lake Township21.82435.122
H-40 east (Trout Lake Road) – Rudyard
Eastern terminus of H-40 (former M-48) concurrency
Trout Lake22.49136.196
H-40 west – Rexton
Western terminus of H-40 concurrency
M-28 / LSCT east – Newberry, Sault Ste. Marie
Eastern junction; the LSCT joins M-123
Whitefish Township44.44871.532 Whitefish Bay National Forest Scenic Byway (Lake Superior Shoreline Road)Eastern terminus of WBNFSB
Paradise55.43589.214Whitefish Point Road – Whitefish PointM-123 changes from northbound to southbound
LuceMcMillan Township88.094141.774
H-37 north (CR 407) – Deer Park
M-28 / LSCT west – Munising, Sault Ste. Marie
LSCT continues westward along M-28
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b Michigan Department of Transportation (2021). Next Generation PR Finder (Map). Michigan Department of Transportation. Retrieved October 11, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Michigan State Highway Department & Rand McNally (June 1, 1936). Official Michigan Highway Map (Map). [c. 1:850,000]. Lansing: Michigan State Highway Department. § B10. OCLC 12701143.
  3. ^ United States Census Bureau (n.d.). "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  4. ^ Rand McNally (2008). "Michigan" (Map). The Road Atlas (2008 ed.). c. 1:1,267,200. Chicago: Rand McNally. p. 50. §§ D7–F8. ISBN 0-528-93981-5.
  5. ^ Michigan Department of Transportation (April 23, 2006). National Highway System, Michigan (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Lansing: Michigan Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 4, 2012. Retrieved October 7, 2008.
  6. ^ a b c d Michigan Department of Transportation (2007). Michigan: Official Department of Transportation Map (Map). c. 1:975,000. Lansing: Michigan Department of Transportation. §§ B9–D11. OCLC 42778335. Archived from the original on August 27, 2019. Retrieved August 26, 2019 – via Archives of Michigan.
  7. ^ Romig, Walter (1986). Michigan Place Names. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. pp. 19, 379. ISBN 978-0-8143-1838-6 – via Google Books.
  8. ^ a b c Google (October 11, 2008). "Overview Map of M-123" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved October 11, 2008.
  9. ^ Michigan Department of Transportation (November 9, 2007). "Scenic Heritage Routes". Michigan Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on December 9, 2008. Retrieved August 15, 2008.
  10. ^ Michigan Department of Natural Resources (2007). "Tahquamenon Falls State Park Detail". Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Retrieved October 11, 2008.
  11. ^ Michigan Department of Transportation (2007). Statewide AADT Map (PDF) (Map). Scale not given. Lansing: Michigan Department of Transportation. Retrieved October 7, 2008.
  12. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (April 15, 1954). Michigan Water Wonderland: Official Highway Map (Map). [c. 1:918,720]. Lansing: Michigan State Highway Department. §§ B10–C10. OCLC 12701120. Retrieved October 17, 2019 – via Michigan History Center.
  13. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (October 1, 1954). Official Highway Map (Map). [c. 1:918,720]. Lansing: Michigan State Highway Department. §§ B10–C10. OCLC 12701120.
  14. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (October 1, 1957). Official Highway Map (Map). [c. 1:918,720]. Lansing: Michigan State Highway Department. § B10. OCLC 12701120, 367386492.
  15. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (1962). Official Highway Map (Map). [c. 1:918,720]. Lansing: Michigan State Highway Department. §§ B9–C10. OCLC 12701120, 173191490. Retrieved October 17, 2019 – via Michigan History Center.
  16. ^ Michigan State Highway Department (1963). Official Highway Map (Map). [c. 1:918,720]. Lansing: Michigan State Highway Department. § C10. OCLC 12701120. Retrieved October 17, 2019 – via Michigan History Center.
  17. ^ a b Lake, James (November 9, 2007). "M-123 Tahquamenon Scenic Heritage Route expanded" (Press release). Michigan Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on October 7, 2012. Retrieved October 11, 2008.

External links