The West Michigan Pike

West Michigan Pike

Now recognized as U.S. 31, the West Michigan Pike was developed from 1911 to 1922. With the rise of the automobile, the West Michigan Pike was designed specifically to bring vacationers from Chicago to Michigan’s west coast. 

When the logging industry began waning in Michigan, local communities experienced an economic downturn. Actively looking for a way to jumpstart the economy, businessmen in West Michigan were convinced the region’s resort trade would thrive if a well-marked, hard-surface road could be built.

With sand and deep ruts making West Michigan roads nearly impassable, the West Michigan Lakeshore Highway Association was founded in 1911 to promote the construction of the first improved highway along Lake Michigan. Once completed, the West Michigan Pike extended from the Indiana state line up to Mackinaw City.

Today, the region’s citizens and visitors enjoy the road’s access to leisure activities, seasonal cottages, boating, wine and microbrewing, agriculture and restaurants, and many other pursuits that reflect a fresh-coast lifestyle.