Interstate 75 is one of Michigan's main streets. The freeway runs from the Ohio border near Monroe through Detroit, Flint and Saginaw across the Mackinac Bridge and north to Ontario at Sault Ste Marie.

The freeway is also one of the major north-south routes in America connecting to Miami.

There's something interesting that happens when I-75 enters Michigan and it's somewhat startling.

Interstate 75 ends its northbound trek across Ohio in the Toledo metro area and upon entering Michigan it's like flipping a switch from urban to rural. And it's a striking difference like the Toledo metro just shuts off at the state line.

The Striking Change in Scenery at the Michigan/Ohio State Line

Credit a commentator on the Roadgeekery Facebook group who noticed the change and received near universal agreement.

I-75 goes from an urban freeway to a rural freeway when crossing the state line into Michigan from Toledo, Ohio.

I-75 has noise control barriers installed by Ohio for neighborhoods along Sauder Avenue right to the exact state line. The first exit in Ohio for Alexis Road is just 4000 feet from the state line.

Compare the photo above with the photo below. Above is entering Michigan looking very rural and middle-of-nowhere. Below is the same stretch of highway just looking south at the state line. This looks like a busy urban expressway - because it is.

ohio state line 1-75
Google Maps Street View

It's another story on the Michigan side of the border. Erie Township is much less populated along the I-75 corridor. There are no barriers and rural scenery without many houses, businesses or crossroads are seen.

There are exits serving the small communities of Erie and Luna Pier but it's not until drivers hit Monroe that there's a feeling of an urban area.

Considering that I-75 serves the busy corridor between Toledo and Detroit the change at the state line is all the more odd.

That's not the only oddity found near the Ohio state line. A few miles into Ohio is a bizarre optical illusion railroad crossing that leaves railfans salivating.

As you're out and exploring the roadways of Michigan, check out these must-drive roads.

50 of Michigan's "Must-Drive" Roads

Gas up the car, grab those road munchies and a roadtrip partner that you can trust, and head out on some of Michigan's most unique roads and routes. Make sure you take lots of photos and video!