The road between the towns of Seney and Shingleton in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is a 25-mile, laser-straight shot through a vast swamp and wildlife refuge.
It is an urban legend that US Interstate Highways have to have curves to keep drivers from falling asleep, or that one mile in every five be straight to allow aircraft to land. Michigan’s M-28 highway, completed in the 1920’s, runs through a spring-fed swamp that resisted human efforts to drain it for farmland. With no hills to contour around, this road was made straight as an arrow between the railroad town of Shingleton and the lumber town of Seney, once a raucous den of drink, gambling, and prostitution. Ernest Hemingway would stay here and once boasted that he caught 200 trout in the nearby streams. His short story “Big Two-Hearted River” was set in the town.
The Seney Stretch cuts through the swamp with acres of jack pine wetlands alongside the road, and it crosses through the Seney National Wildlife Refuge. Established in 1935, the sandhill crane, gray wolf, black-throated blue warbler, and many other species make their home in the refuge.
The road itself is.... straight. Flat, as well. It is named “the most boring road in the state” in various publications. Yet, on this road, one can hit cruise control and take in the beauty of the surrounding wetlands.