Michigan Highway 72 is the third east-west state highway from the northern end of the Lower Peninsula, sitting at the latitude of Traverse City and Grayling. (The first is M-68, and the second is M-32.) The western end is in Empire at Michigan Highway 22. The first goal of Michigan Highway 72 as it heads east from Empire is to spear through Traverse City, where it's the main east-west highway across town. US Route 31 joins Michigan Highway 72 from the south, and the routes run together around the south end of Grand Traverse Bay. Michigan Highway 72 soon leaves US Route 31 and continues inland to Kalkaska and Grayling. Michigan Highway 72 meets Interstate 75 in Grayling, and continues east into the wooded eastern half of the northern Lower Peninsula. After passing through Mio, Fairview, and Curran, Michigan Highway 72 approaches the shore of Lake Huron. The lakeside town of Harrisville is home to the intersection at US Route 23 where Michigan Highway 72 ends.
My photo of Michigan Highway 72 comes from the highway's western end at Michigan Highway 22, in the town of Empire. Travelers leaving the intersection to head east will see this westward-facing signage on Michigan Highway 72. A snowy trip around the Traverse City area in March 2018 yielded this snowy photo.
Here are a few more photos taken along Michigan Highway 72:
Michigan 22's easternmost piece runs concurrently with Michigan 72, which takes it to its eastern end at US Route 31 and Michigan 37 in Traverse City.
After US Route 31 joins Michigan 72 east around the south side of Grand Traverse Bay, Michigan 72 splits from US Route 31.
At Kalkaska, Michigan 72 joins US Route 131 and Michigan 66 south for a short triplicate.
Michigan 72 meets the southern prong of Michigan 93, a route that joins Michigan 72 east into Grayling.
In Grayling, Michigan 72 splits from Michigan 93. Business Loop I-75 runs concurrent with Michigan 72 instead, from this point southward.
The concurrency with Business Loop I-75 in Grayling comes to an end.
Michigan 33 comes from the north to join Michigan 72 west toward Mio.