Where Exactly Does ‘Up North’ Begin in Michigan?
When do you consider you're "Up North" in Michigan? It seems everyone has a different answer to that question.
Do you need to cross the Mackinac Bridge and enter the Upper Peninsula to be truly Up North? Is there any area in the Northern Lower Peninsula that qualifies as Up North. Mackinaw City? How about Claire, the junction of US 10 and US 127 has long billed itself as the "Gateway to Northern Michigan."
The discussion began recently on the "You're Not 'Up North' Until You Cross the Mackinac Bridge!!!" Facebook page (so it's no question where they think Up North begins - those three exclamation points are in the name of the page.)
A commenter on that page put forth the idea that Up North begins at Wolverine. The small village is located at Exit 301 along I-75, some 38 miles south of the Mackinac Bridge. That statement stirred up quite the conversation.
There are some Yoopers who think the Bridge doesn't event count as the beginning point for Up North. They point to M-28, which runs roughly 35 miles as-the-crow-files north of the Mackinac Bridge. How about the Portage Lift Bridge between Houghton and Hancock and the only link to the Keweenaw Peninsula? One Yooper chose that bridge as the true border to Up North.
The argument for Claire doesn't mean much to Metro Detroiters, who wouldn't pass the community when travelling to northern Michigan on I-75. So they threw out ideas like the Zikwaukee Bridge or Standish as the beginning of Up North.
Or you could take this stance and find lots of disagreement, particularly from Trolls, Anything south of Grayling is basically northern Ohio.
Perhaps Up North in Michigan is truly a state of mind and if you think you're Up North, then you are.