About the Road

The Michigan Road was probably the most important transportation route in the fledgling State of Indiana.

Stone bridge, Ripley County

It connected the Ohio River to Indianapolis to Lake Michigan, opening the state to commerce and settlement. It was used by the pioneer, as a path to freedom by the runaway slave, and as the trail down which the Native American was removed from their lands.

Commissioned by the Indiana State Legislature in 1826, the Michigan Road connected Madison on the Ohio River to Michigan City on Lake Michigan via Indianapolis, the new state capital. From there, it cut through dense forest on its way to South Bend and to what would become Michigan City.

Wide highway, St. Joseph County

The Michigan Road tells the history of our State through its geography, its people, and its architecture. Through our forests, small towns, cities, and farms this one road showcases what it means to be a Hoosier and how our state was built.

The Michigan Road still exists, and you can drive it end to end today. What was once a dirt path through the woods is now a series of county, state, and US highways, officially recognized by the State of Indiana as a Historic Byway.

Heritage farm, Carroll County

The Michigan Road winds its way through fourteen counties and more than two dozen communities. It connects the north with the south and touches all of the topography we recognize as home in Indiana.

Counties through which the Michigan Road passes: LaPorte, St. Joseph, Marshall, Fulton, Cass, Carroll, Clinton, Boone, Hamilton, Marion, Shelby, Decatur, Ripley, and Jefferson.

Cities and towns through which the Michigan Road passes: Michigan City, New Carlisle, South Bend, Lakeville, LaPaz, Plymouth, Argos, Rochester, Fulton, Metea, Logansport, Burlington, Michigantown, Kirklin, Indianapolis, Shelbyville, Greensburg, Napoleon, New Marion, and Madison.