New 2009 state transportation map features Michigan's scenic roadside parks and turnouts
January 22, 2009 -- Michigan's scenic roadside parks and turnouts are featured in the newest edition of the state transportation map, which is now available at Travel Michigan Welcome Centers and Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) offices.
The 2009 map features a unique variety of parks throughout the state, from the Huron Shores Roadside Park located near Cheboygan (featured on the cover), to the spectacular Cut River Bridge Roadside Park in the Upper Peninsula, to the peaceful tranquility of Bellamy Creek in Ionia County. There are more than 80 roadside parks in Michigan, and dozens more scenic turnouts.
"Michigan's roadside parks are hidden treasures, just waiting to be discovered," said State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle. "They are located mostly on rural state highways and are the perfect spots to relax, hike, take pictures, or enjoy one of the Great Lakes. We have a history in Michigan of preserving these park-like areas for travelers. In fact, the first roadside park in the nation was created by Herbert Larson in 1919 on US-2 near Iron River."
To help find roadside parks, an online map is now available on the MDOT Web site at www.michigan.gov/roadsidepark
. Scroll over a roadside park symbol, a solid green triangle, to get more details, including location, photos and special features of the park, such as artesian wells, walking trails, or historical markers.
Some parks have unique history lessons to tell. For instance, White Rock Roadside Park in Huron County is the site of boulders used as boundary markers to define the territory in the Treaty of Detroit in 1807, while a park outside Lansing teaches about the Grand River Trail, which began as a Native American trail and later became a plank road. For more information on Michigan's Historical Marker program, go to www.michigan.gov/markers
Department staff plans to add more photos and information to this special online feature, which is the first time roadside parks have been viewable on the Web.
Steudle said there are several important updates on the map, including a green car symbol to help motorists easily locate carpool lots, updated information about state parks, and the addition of the mastodon to the list of state symbols (Michigan's state fossil since 2002). Also, the 14th, and newest, Welcome Center in Detroit was added.
A Web-based version of the map is available in PDF format. There are 26 city maps available online.
About 1.5 million maps will be produced this year, at a cost of 14 cents per copy. To view the online version of the map, get more details, report a suspected error, or request a free copy of the state transportation map, go to the MDOT Web site: www.michigan.gov/statemap
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