Lower Peninsula of Michigan
Regions and major cities of the Lower Peninsula
|• Total||40,162 sq mi (104,020 km2)|
|• Density||240/sq mi (92/km2)|
The Lower Peninsula of Michigan – also known as Lower Michigan – is the southern and less elevated of the two major landmasses that make up the U.S. state of Michigan; the other being the Upper Peninsula, which is separated by the Straits of Mackinac. It is surrounded by water on all sides except its southern border, which it shares with Indiana and Ohio. Although the Upper Peninsula is commonly referred to as "the U.P.", it is uncommon for the Lower Peninsula to be called "the L.P."
Because of its recognizable shape, the Lower Peninsula is nicknamed "the mitten", with the eastern region identified as "The Thumb". This has led to several folkloric creation myths for the area, one being that it is a hand print of Paul Bunyan, a giant lumberjack and popular European-American folk character in Michigan. When asked where they live, Lower Peninsula residents may hold up their right palm and point to a spot on it to indicate the location.
The peninsula is sometimes divided into the Northern Lower Peninsula—which is more sparsely populated and largely forested—and the Southern Lower Peninsula—which is largely urban or farmland. Southern Lower Michigan is sometimes further divided into economic and cultural subregions.
The more culturally and economically diverse Lower Peninsula dominates Michigan politics, and maps of it without the Upper Peninsula are sometimes mistakenly presented as "Michigan", which contributes to resentment by "Yoopers" (residents of "the U.P").Yoopers jokingly refer to residents of the Lower Peninsula as "flat-landers" (referring to the region's less rugged terrain) or "trolls" (because, being south of the Mackinac Bridge, they "live under the bridge").
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it.(March 2009)
The Lower Peninsula is bounded on the west by Lake Michigan and on the northeast by Lake Huron, which connect at the Straits of Mackinac. In the southeast, the waterway consisting of the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, Detroit River, and Lake Erie separates it from the province of Ontario, Canada. It is bounded on the south by the states of Indiana and Ohio. This border is irregular: the border with Indiana was moved 10 miles northward from its territorial position to give Indiana more access to Lake Michigan,and its slightly angled border with Ohio was part of the compromise which ended the Toledo War.
At its widest points, the Lower Peninsula is 277 miles (446 km) long from north to south and 195 miles (314 km) from east to west. It contains nearly two-thirds of Michigan's total land area. The surface of the peninsula is generally level, broken by conical hills and glacial moraines usually not more than a few hundred feet tall, most common in the north. The highest point in the Lower Peninsula is not definitely established but is either Briar Hill at 1,705 feet (520 m), or one of several points nearby in the vicinity of Cadillac. The lowest point is at the shore of Lake Erie at 571 feet (174 m). The western coast features extensive sandy beaches and dunes produced by Lake Michigan and the prevailing winds from the west. The relatively shallow Saginaw Bay is surrounded by a similarly shallow drainage basin. Several large river systems flow into the adjacent Great Lakes, including the Kalamazoo, Grand, Muskegon, and Manistee rivers (Lake Michigan), and the Au Sable and Tittabawassee–Shiawassee–Saginaw rivers (Lake Huron). Because of the networks of rivers and numerous lakes, no point on land is more than six miles (9.7 km) from one of these bodies of water, and at most 85 miles (137 km) from one of the Great Lakes (near Lansing).
The American Bird Conservancy and the National Audubon Society have designated several locations as internationally Important Bird Areas.
The Lower Peninsula is dominated by a geological basin known as the Michigan Basin. That feature is represented by a nearly circular pattern of geologic sedimentary strata in the area with a nearly uniform structural dip toward the center of the peninsula. The basin is centered in Gladwin County where the Precambrian basement rocks are 16,000 feet (4,900 m) deep. Around the margins, such as under Mackinaw City, Michigan, the Precambrian surface is around 4,000 feet (1,200 m) down. This 4,000-foot (1,200 m) contour on the bedrock clips the northern part of the lower peninsula and continues under Lake Michigan along the west. It crosses the southern counties of Michigan and continues on to the north beneath Lake Huron.
Primary Interstate Highways have two digits on their shields; auxiliary Interstate Highways have three digits. Interstate Highways include:
U.S. Highways include:
The Great Lakes Circle Tour is a designated scenic road system connecting all of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River.
Michigan's Lower Peninsula can be divided into four main regions based on geological, soil, and vegetation differences; amount of urban areas or rural areas; minority populations; and agriculture. The four principal regions listed below can further be separated into sub-regions and overlapping areas.
A troll was what people from Michigan's Upper Peninsula called anyone who lived 'below the bridge,' the five-mile-long span that connected the Upper and Lower peninsulas.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Lower Peninsula .|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lower Peninsula of Michigan .|
Michigan is a state in the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest regions of the United States. Its name comes from the Ojibwe word mishigami, meaning "large water" or "large lake". With a population of approximately 10 million, Michigan is the tenth most populous state, the 11th most extensive state by area, and the largest by area east of the Mississippi River. Its capital is Lansing, and its largest city is Detroit. Metro Detroit is among the nation's most populous and largest metropolitan economies.
The Upper Peninsulaof Michigan – also known as Upper Michigan or colloquially the U.P. – is the northern and more elevated of the two major landmasses that make up the U.S. state of Michigan; it is separated from the Lower Peninsula by the Straits of Mackinac. It is bounded primarily by Lake Superior to the north, separated from the Canadian province of Ontario at the east end by the St. Marys River, and flanked by Lake Huron and Lake Michigan along much of its south. Although the peninsula extends as a geographic feature into the state of Wisconsin, the state boundary follows the Montreal and Menominee rivers and a line connecting them.
St. Ignace is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the county seat of Mackinac County. The city had a population of 2,452 at the 2010 census. St. Ignace Township is located just to the north of the city, but the two are administered autonomously.
Mackinaw City is a village in Emmet and Cheboygan counties in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 806 at the 2010 census; the population surges during the summer tourist season, including an influx of tourists and seasonal workers who serve in the shops, hotels and other recreational facilities there and in the surrounding region. Mackinaw City is at the northern tip (headland) of the Michigan's Lower Peninsula along the southern shore of the Straits of Mackinac. Across the straits lies the state's Upper Peninsula. These two land masses are physically connected by the Mackinac Bridge, which runs from Mackinaw City north to St. Ignace. Mackinaw City is also the primary base for ferry service to Mackinac Island, located to the northeast in the straits.
The Territory of Michigan was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from June 30, 1805, until January 26, 1837, when the final extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Michigan. Detroit was the territorial capital.
The following is an alphabetical list of articles related to the U.S. state of Michigan.
The Thumb is a region and a peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan, so named because the Lower Peninsula is shaped like a mitten. The Thumb area is generally considered to be in the Central Michigan region, east of the Tri-Cities and north of Metro Detroit. The region is also branded as the Blue Water Area.
Northern Michigan, also known as Northern Lower Michigan, is a region of the U.S. state of Michigan. A popular tourist destination, it is home to several small- to medium-sized cities, extensive state and national forests, lakes and rivers, and a large portion of Great Lakes shoreline. The region has a significant seasonal population much like other regions that depend on tourism as their main industry. Northern Lower Michigan is distinct from the more northerly Upper Peninsula and Isle Royale, which, obviously, are also located in "northern" Michigan. In the northernmost 21 counties in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, the total population of the region is 506,658 people.
Lake Algonquin was a prehistoric proglacial lake that existed in east-central North America at the time of the last ice age. Parts of the former lake are now Lake Huron, Georgian Bay, Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Nipigon, and Lake Nipissing.
Lake Maumee was a proglacial lake and an ancestor of present-day Lake Erie. It formed about 14,000 Years Before Present (YBP) as the Huron-Erie Lobe of the Laurentide Ice Sheet retreated at the end of the Wisconsin glaciation. As water levels continued to rise the lake evolved into Lake Arkona and then Lake Whittlesey.
Interstate 75 (I-75) is a part of the Interstate Highway System that runs north–south from Miami, Florida, to Sault Ste. Marie in the Upper Peninsula of the US state of Michigan. I-75 enters the state from Ohio in the south, north of Toledo, and runs generally northward through Detroit, Pontiac and Bay City, crosses the Mackinac Bridge, and ends at the Canadian border in Sault Ste. Marie. The freeway runs for approximately 396 miles (637 km) on both of Michigan's major peninsulas. The landscapes traversed by I-75 include Southern Michigan farmland, northern forests, suburban bedroom communities, and the urban core of Detroit. The freeway also uses three of the state's monumental bridges to cross major bodies of water. There are four auxiliary Interstates in the state related to I-75, as well as nine current or former business routes, with either Business Loop I-75 or Business Spur I-75 designations.
Mid Michigan, also called Central Michigan, is a region in the Lower Peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan. As its name implies, it is the middle area of the Lower Peninsula. Lower Michigan is said to resemble a mitten, and Mid Michigan corresponds roughly to the thumb and palm, stretching from Michigan's eastern shoreline along Lake Huron into the fertile rolling plains of the Michigan Basin. The region contains cities of moderate size, including Flint, Saginaw, and the state capital of Lansing.
US Highway 23 (US 23) is a north–south United States Numbered Highway that runs from Jacksonville, Florida, to Mackinaw City, Michigan. In the US state of Michigan, it is a major, 362-mile-long (583 km), north–south state trunkline highway that runs through the Lower Peninsula. The trunkline is a freeway from the Michigan–Ohio state line near Lambertville to the city of Standish, and it follows the Lake Huron shoreline from there to its northern terminus. Serving the cities of Ann Arbor and Flint, US 23 acts as a freeway bypass of the Metro Detroit area. Overall, the highway runs through rural areas of the state dominated by farm fields or woodlands; some segments are urban in character in the Ann Arbor, Flint and Tri-Cities areas. The section from Flint north to Standish also carries Interstate 75 (I-75) along a concurrency that includes a segment that carries almost 70,000 vehicles on a daily basis.
The Valparaiso Moraine is a recessional moraine that forms an immense U around the Lake Michigan basin in North America. It is a band of high, hilly terrain made up of glacial till and sand. It begins near the border of Wisconsin and Illinois and extends south through Lake, McHenry, Cook, DuPage and Will counties in Illinois, and then turns southeast, entering Indiana. From this point, the moraine curves northeast through Lake, Porter, and LaPorte counties of Indiana into Michigan. It continues into Michigan as far as Montcalm County.
Michigan consists of two peninsulas surrounded primarily by four of the Great Lakes and a variety of nearby islands. The Upper Peninsula is bounded on the southwest by Wisconsin, and the Lower Peninsula is bounded on the south by Indiana and Ohio. Both land masses are also separated from the Canadian province of Ontario by waterways of the Great Lakes, and from each other by the Straits of Mackinac. Because its land is largely surrounded by the Great Lakes, which flow into the Saint Lawrence River, Michigan is the only U.S. state whose streams and rivers are almost entirely within the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence watershed.
Lake Kankakee formed 14,000 years before present (YBP) in the valley of the Kankakee River. It developed from the outwash of the Michigan Lobe, Saginaw Lobe, and the Huron-Erie Lobe of the Wisconsin glaciation. These three ice sheets formed a basin across Northwestern Indiana. It was a time when the glaciers were receding, but had stopped for a thousand years in these locations. The lake drained about 13,000 YBP, until reaching the level of the Momence Ledge. The outcropping of limestone created an artificial base level, holding water throughout the upper basin, creating the Grand Kankakee Marsh.
Nipissing Great Lakes was a prehistoric proglacial lake. Parts of the former lake are now Lake Superior, Lake Huron, Georgian Bay and Lake Michigan. It formed about 7,500 years before present (YBP). The lake occupied the depression left by the Labradorian Glacier. This body of water drained eastward from Georgian Bay to the Ottawa valley. This was a period of isostatic rebound raising the outlet over time, until it opened the outlet through the St. Clair valley.
Lake Arkona was a stage of the lake waters in the Huron-Erie-Ontario basin following the end of the Lake Maumee levels and before the Lake Whittlesey stages, named for Arkona, Ontario, about 50 miles (80 km) east of Sarnia.
Lake Warren was a proglacial lake that formed in the Lake Erie basin around 12,700 years before present (YBP) when Lake Whittlesey dropped in elevation. Lake Warren is divided into three stages: Warren I 690 feet (210 m), Warren II 680 feet (210 m), and Warren III 675 feet (206 m), each defined by the relative elevation above sea level.