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My husband and I decided to take the motorcycles on a trip from Ann Arbor, to New Buffalo July 10 and 11. New Buffalo is a marina town on Lake Michigan. We took Michigan Ave, west 190 miles until we hit lake Michigan. New Buffalo is about an hour and a half from Chicago, and 5 miles from the Michigan/Indiana boarder. We rode about 10 hour’s each day. When we reached New Buffalow, we ate dinner, spent the night, had breakfast, then rode “US 12” home. (We crossed the Michigan/Indiana boarder just to say we did)
Taking the back roads, and skipping the freeways.
We really enjoyed the ride, and I found out first hand, the good and the bad choices I made on some of my gear”! “TIP”...
Be sure” you can get your rain pants on “over your boots”!
Side Bar – A little History:
Old U.S. 12 in Michigan runs from downtown Detroit to Chicago. It was replaced by Interstate 94 in 1962, and the state of Michigan re-routed the U.S. 12 designation to the former route of U.S. Highway 112.
It was an old highway that ran through the middle of the major towns and cities of Michigan between Detroit and Chicago. In most cases the road is still there, and is named either Michigan Avenue, Old U.S. 12 or the Red Arrow Highway, named after the 32nd Infantry Division2. It is still possible to drive the highway from downtown Detroit all the way to The Magnificent Mile in Chicago, with only a few places in which one is required to navigate around the interstate highway. The major break in Old U.S. 12 is in the middle of Michigan half way between the village of Parma and the city of Albion. It is at this point that I-94 cuts south to some degree and bisects the old highway, forcing a motorist to navigate north on smaller roads.
Prior to 1956, the Detroit-Ann Arbor segment of U.S. 12 was routed directly through Ann Arbor, through Plymouth Township, Livonia, and Redford Township, into Detroit, along the Plymouth-Ann Arbor Road corridor to Plymouth Road’s eastern terminus at U.S. 16, Grand River Avenue. U.S. 12 continued on Grand River Avenue, co-signed with U.S. 16, into downtown Detroit. Except for the co-signed Grand River Avenue segment, this route was designated as M-14 when U.S. 12 was rerouted to the Detroit Industrial and Willow Run Expressways, which became I-94 in 1962.
The highway is considered an important historic road like Route 66. Some of it had been the original Territorial Road of Michigan laid out in the early 1800s.
Michigan Avenue is one of the major pre-interstate roads of the state of Michigan. Running through the state east to west, it follows the former course of old US 12 which itself followed the earlier military territorial highway, the Chicago Road. Today the Michigan Avenue name follows a discontinuous route: from downtown Detroit to Hayes State Park in Lenawee County it follows the current route of US 12. West of this on the current US 12, the Michigan Avenue name is dropped and the road is known as simply “US 12” (west of the junction with US 127 the road is also known as “Chicago Road”).
From the eastern Jackson County boundary west to Battle Creek, it mostly follows the route of old US 12, although it has been routed over newer roads in places where I-94 was built over the former US 12. The Michigan Avenue designation ends on the west side of Kalamazoo, near US 131, and reappears only within the village of Paw Paw.