Three years ago I was walking the woods along the road of our property and saw a an an old metal sign covered by leaves and looking like it had been there for decades. As I picked it up my curiosity was immediately piqued. I knew we lived near the 45th Parallel as I'd seen various signs on the highway by the exit ramp close to our house and had even seen something about the Polar Equator Trail, but had no idea it used to run right across the front of our property.
The story behind it, is that it was established in 1965 on the Campus of Michigan State University, with the objective of establishing and maintaining a trail across the State of Michigan as close to the 45th Parallel as possible. "The 45th Parallel crosses Michigan from east to west starting just south of Alpena, through just south of Gaylord in central Michigan, then crosses through the Jordon River valley and across beautiful Torch Lake."
Check out these interesting links for more information.
Michigan Highways | Polar-Equator Trail.