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Michigan’s Shortest State Highway Once Dead-Ended Right At Lake Michigan

M209 Road
Thomas Baird via Historic Road Signs/Facebook

You won’t find it on any roadmap today, but M-209 was once a Michigan State Highway that ran right onto a Lake Michigan beach.

This highway was once the shortest “trunk line” in the state of Michigan running just 0.4 miles along Glen Haven Road near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Leelanau County in Michigan’s Northern Lower Peninsula.

The old photo was shared on Historic Road Signs Facebook page and shows the once dead end of M-209 at the shore of Lake Michigan with the warning to “Keep Out – Dune Cars Only” at the end of the road.

Chris Bessert’s outstanding Michigan Highways website tells the tale of the road – created in the 1920s and being decommissioned in 1995. Don’t be confused, however, if you’re traveling in the area:

Many publications from the National Park Service for Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore seem to still refer to the former M-209 as being the current designation for the route, even more than twenty years after its removal! Tourists and visitors should be advised there is no longer any physical reference to “M-209″ on any area roads.

The end of the road was at the Sleeping Bear Dunes Coast Guard Station. Today that point looks like this – captured by a traveler and shared on Google Maps.

Next: Surprise, The Mackinac Bridge Isn't the Longest in Michigan - This Is

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