the 45th Parallel

Old Mission Point, Michigan

Old Mission Light

Follow Highway 37 north from Traverse City to the end of Old Mission Point. After you pass the town of Old Mission, you'll soon see signs directing you to this picturesque lighthouse.

Old Mission Sign

Contrary to what the first sign says, the lighthouse does not sit exactly on the 45th Parallel. Instead, a second sign along the trail to the beach explains that the parallel passes a few hundred feet north of here.

45th Parallel Sign

The 45th Parallel

A few hundred feet north of the shore of Old Mission Point lies an important, invisible line: the 45th Parallel of Latitude.

This line marks the halfway point between the Equator and the North Pole.

Latitude (north-south) and longitude (east-west) have long been the common language of all sailors, geographers and aviators. By giving a latitude and longitude, you can pin-point any position on the surface of the earth.

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Copyright ©2014 Matt Bergstrom