OT: What is really considered "Up North?"

Submitted by UM4ME on May 26th, 2010 at 9:38 PM

Being that the Memorial Day weekend is almost upon us, I've always wondered what most people truly consider "Up North."

Is it just absolutely over the bridge or anything north of, say, Flint? I've always thought that if you draw a line across the state parallel to the tip of the thumb maybe that would be a good cutoff point. Thoughts? 



May 27th, 2010 at 10:11 AM ^

I grew up in Bay City and graduated college in Mt Pleasant (CMU) and they are pretty much straight east and west from each other.  As for a North/South divider, I completely agree... although I don't consider Mt P or Bay City to be "Up North," but anything past these cities qualifies.

You can actually find Pasties in the northern part of Bay City... on the west side for those familiar...

Zone Left

May 26th, 2010 at 9:47 PM ^

I vote for north of Flint, Lansing, and Muskegon--depending on the road. That said, I'm in Southern California; I think L.A. is "up north."


May 26th, 2010 at 9:48 PM ^

so that was the northern-most place i was familiar with. i got used to calling anything north of the majestic Zilwaukee Bridge "up north"


May 26th, 2010 at 10:34 PM ^

Living in the Metro Detroit area (though I was raised in the Lansing area) I always consider "Up North" to be anything past the Zilwaukee Bridge, though I will admit that some may consider it a little too far south to be really "Up North". Still, by the time I'm in Standish or West Branch, I've crossed a threshold.

Then, there are Da Yoopers who regard anyone south of the Mackinac Bridge to be a "Lowper" or a "Troll'. Its definitely a matter of perspective.

Clarence Beeks

May 26th, 2010 at 10:13 PM ^

I've always considered it to be north of the 45th parallel, personally.  Once you've gone above the 45th there really aren't many people who would argue that you're not "up north".  Almost everywhere south of there and you seem to find decently large pockets of resistance.


May 26th, 2010 at 10:04 PM ^

Restricting myself to big roads (and risking overlap with other comments), I'd say anything north of:

* Sterling on I-75 (It becomes more woodsy around there, I think.)

* Clare on 127 (This is more true if you go west on 10; on 127 I think you need to reach Harrison.)

* Whitehall on 31 and whatever is at the same latitude on 131 (I think "north" is much farther south in the western part of the state.)

In general, I'd say that "up north" begins where the density of farming gets noticeably below its peak in the southern part of the state.  (I'm not counting the orchards around Traverse City.)


May 26th, 2010 at 10:33 PM ^

I live near Ann Arbor now, but I am from the Soo, and these geographic points feel right to me.  On I-75, it is where US-23 heads off to Tawas.  I think you're right on farming, but I also look for birch trees.


May 27th, 2010 at 2:22 PM ^

I used to live in Cincinnati, and I could get from my apt to campus in 3.5 hours.  That extra half an hour gets you to Northern Kentucky.  So unless you hit bad traffic or you drive like a _____ you should be in Kentucky in 4 hours. 


May 26th, 2010 at 10:23 PM ^

relative |ˈrelətiv|adjectiveconsidered in relation or in proportion to something else the relative effectiveness of the various mechanisms is not known.• existing or possessing a specified characteristic only in comparison to something else; not absolute she went down the steps into the relative darkness of the dining room the companies are relative newcomers to computers.Grammar denoting a pronoun, determiner, or adverb that refers to an expressed or implied antecedent and attaches a subordinate clause to it, e.g., which, who.• (of a clause) attached to an antecedent by a relative word.Music (of major and minor keys) having the same key signature.(of a service rank) corresponding in grade to another in a different service.


May 26th, 2010 at 10:24 PM ^

It really doesn't matter the geographical location.  I firmly believe that anywhere in the world where McDonalds in the hang out for high school kids on Friday night is officially up north.


May 26th, 2010 at 11:46 PM ^

Valid, just saying that being bored and hanging out at a McDonalds/Starbucks/local fast food establishment knows no geographic area. It is the very essence of being a teenager.

Now if we were talking about the rural areas and you said Walmart, I'd be in total agreement with you.