Kalkaska Shoe Tree – Kalkaska, Michigan - Atlas Obscura

Kalkaska Shoe Tree

Michigan’s most famous shoe tree.  


Adorned with blooming rubber-soled foliage throughout the year, this impressive shoe tree has been an icon greeting travelers along route U.S. 131/M-66 for multiple decades. Its exact origin is unknown, though some say it was started by students from nearby Kalkaska High School.

Over the years it has grown in scale and numbers, as neighboring trees have seen overflow with their own “soleful” decorative additions. The shoe tree is popular and notable enough that it even has its own Facebook page. Given the wide spectrum of shoes hanging from the tree, the shoe tree adds a surprising amount of colorful novelty to the area during the long Northern Michigan winters.

It also serves as an unofficial greeter to visitors and vacationers throughout the year. No matter what, the shoe tree helps Northern Michigan put its best foot forward.

Update 2024: Was pruned of all shoes in 2024.


Know Before You Go

Given the shoe tree's close proximity to traffic and travel lanes along U.S. 131/M-66, all due safety and precautionary measures should be taken when visiting the shoe tree.

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