Saginaw Trail

Saginaw Trail

The Saginaw Trail running from Detroit to Saginaw through Pontiac and Flint was originally an Indian trail. In 1816 the Michigan Territorial government authorized the building of a road from Detroit to Saginaw along the trail. The trail is known as Woodward Avenue (a.k.a. M-1) in Wayne County. Woodward Avenue (a.k.a. M-1) continues into Pontiac, then becomes Dixie Highway, which between I-75 and Telegraph Road is part of U.S. 24. In Genesee County, it is known as Saginaw Road or Saginaw Street. Between Dort Highway's northern terminus and Clio Road in Genesee County, Saginaw Road is part of M-54. In Saginaw County, it is also known as Dixie Highway, except in the City of Saginaw, where it is known as Genesee Street.


Portions of the trail were part of the Dixie Highway from 1915 to 1927. Starting in 1926, U.S. 10 ran along the trail. From 1926 to 1957, U.S. 10 and U.S. 23 ran concurrently between Downtown Flint and Saginaw. In 1928, the portion between Dort Highway's northern terminus and Dort Highway's (old) southern terminus was changed to M-10. In 1941 or 1942, that portion of M-10 was changed to Business U.S. 10. In 1957, U.S. 23 was moved to its current route. Then in 1962, U.S. 10 and Business U.S. 10 were deleted from I-75 exit 106 to Dort Highway's northern terminus. In 1962 M-54 opened, running along Saginaw Street between I-75 exit 106, through Grand Blanc to Dort Highway's (old) southern terminus. Also in 1962, Saginaw Street between Dort Highway's (old) southern terminus and northern terminus was renamed Business M-54. Also in 1962, the portion of U.S. 10 between the (old) southern terminus of M-54 and Clarkston was deleted. In 1970, U.S. 10 was deleted between Pontiac and Detroit and Woodward Avenue was renamed M-1. In 1984, the Business M-54 signs along Saginaw Street were removed. In 1986, U.S. 10 south of Bay City was deleted. In 1987, the portion of M-54 from Dort Highway's (old) southern terminus was rerouted along a new extension and M-54 no longer runs along Saginaw Street through Grand Blanc like it used to, and its current southern terminus is I-75 exit 109. Between the early 1990s and 2002, Business M-54 was officially deleted.


Evidence of the original Saginaw Trail path through Royal Oak is still visible as a depression in the ground running northwesterly across the property adjacent of the John Almon Starr House.

In Waterford, there is a dry cleaners called Saginaw Trail Cleaners.


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