Scenic Highway 42…More than a route…a destination!

Travel Highway 42 along the Lake Michigan shoreline

The Route: State Trunk Highway 42 (often called Highway 42, STH-42 or WIS 42) is a state highway which is one of the most scenic drives in Wisconsin. It runs for about 138 miles (222 km) north–south in northeast Wisconsin from Sheboygan in Southeast Wisconsin to the ferry dock in Northport at the tip of the Door Peninsula.

Much of the highway is part of the Lake Michigan Circle Tour from the eastern junction with U.S. Highway 10 (US 10) in Manitowoc to its junction with WIS 57 in Sister Bay in Door County.

The Beginning of the Scenic HWY 42 Route: WIS 42 enters the city of Manitowoc, where it intersects US 151 (Calumet Avenue) just west of I-43. Turning east, WIS 42 runs concurrently with US 151 for about a quarter mile (0.4 km) before turning onto I-43 at exit 149. WIS 42 runs north on I-43 to its interchange with CTH-JJ (exit 152).

It is the Intersection of I-43 and HWY 151 that starts off the route.

Take Exit 149 to get off  the Interstate and head  into downtown Manitowoc and then North on Memorial Drive where you will pick up HWY 42 at Waldo Blvd.

Heading North: Waldo Boulevard is marked by a round-a-bout on the shore of Lake Michigan, connecting to HWY 42 running northeast along the shoreline on Memorial Drive out of the city and into Two Rivers.

Crossing the West Twin River near its confluence with the East Twin River just south of downtown Two Rivers, WIS 42 becomes Washington Street. Two blocks north, it meets the eastern terminus of WIS 310 at 16th Street. Six blocks north, it meets the eastern terminus of WIS 147 at 22nd Street.

WIS 42 turns to the east on 22nd Street and crosses over the East Twin River, then turns north on Lincoln Avenue. WIS 42 and WIS 147 are the only two state highways that cross both branches of the Twin Rivers, though WIS 147 does not cross the West Twin River until about a mile east of its terminus with I-43 near Maribel.

Along the lakeshore: WIS 42 continues to the north, running roughly parallel to the Lake Michigan shoreline into Kewaunee County. Just south of the city of Kewaunee, WIS 42 turns east on Krok Road to Lakeshore Drive, where it turns north and heads into the city as Milwaukee Street.

In downtown Kewaunee, WIS 42 meets the eastern terminus of another state highway, WIS 29. WIS 42 becomes Main Street after crossing the Kewaunee River and continues north out of the city.

The last leg: In the unincorporated town of Alaska, WIS 42 again turns east towards Lake Michigan to follow the shoreline into Algoma as Lake Street. In downtown Algoma, WIS 42 turns north onto 4th Street and crosses the Ahnapee River. On the north bank of the river, WIS 42 turns northwest onto North Water Street and follows the river in a northerly direction towards Door County.

Summer 2020 Road Construction: As the saying goes, there are two season in Wisconsin, winter and road construction.

Scenic HWY 42 is the subject of some of that road construction with lane closures and slight detours. The detours are between Kewaunee and Algoma and are relatively quick and do not take you away from the stops along the way.   Visit Wisconsin’s Department of Transportation’s website for updates.