It would be pretty easy to determine the center of a state if it was nice and square like, say, Colorado or Wyoming. But what about when your state has two oddly shaped peninsulas? Then it gets a little more difficult. So where exactly is the center of Michigan?

It depends. Here is a look at the possible contenders.

Contender #1: Michigan Center

michigan center map
Google Maps

Michigan Center is named like it should be in the central part of the state. It's not even close. The suburb of Jackson is much too close to the southern border to be the middle of the state. So how did it get its name?

The name was presumably derived from the proximity to the Michigan Meridian which divided the state into eastern and western portions for surveying. The community is not close to any sort of geographical center of the state.

Contender #2: St Louis, the "Middle of the Mitten"

middle of the mitten
Google Maps Street View

Smack dab in the center of the Lower Peninsula is the city of St. Louis. The sign above is in Clapp Park along M-46 and reads "This location marks the geographic center of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan as closely as can be determined." If you don't take the UP into consideration, then you've found the center of Michigan. But, of course, we must consider the vast Upper Peninsula if we want to find the real geographic center of Michigan.

Contenders #3 & 4 The Geographic Center(s) of Michigan

geographic center of michigan
Google Maps Street View

Interestingly enough, no source online can agree where the true geographic center of Michigan is. Many websites list it as a point 5 miles northeast of Cadillac in Wexford County. However the coordinates are given as Longitude: 84° 56.3'W, Latitude: 45° 3.7'N. That location is along the Jordan River in Antrim County. The difference between the two spots is about sixty miles.

So what do you consider the geographic center of the state? Your guess is likely as good as anyone else's.

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