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Lakes & Beaches

Torch Lake (or Michigan’s Caribbean as they call it) is known for it’s clarity and beauty (and the sand bar!)   For all its awesomeness, Torch Lake’s access points aren’t the traditional sugar-and-sand beaches like those on nearby Lake Michigan. But there are some small access points all around the lake, usually every couple of miles or so.  Most are small, grassy areas, some with picnic facilities.  Great areas to try around Torch Lake:

  1. William K. Good Day Park in Torch Lake Township is a pretty little beach with pavilions, picnic tables, a public boat launch and swimming area.  This is a great spot to spend the day.  It’s at the eastern end of Public Dock Road, on US-31 just a few miles south of M-88. 

  2. Depot Park in Alden (about 15 minutes) has a swimming area on Torch Lake with shelters, tables, bbqs and volleyball.  There is also a public boat access.  Alden is a neat, little town right on Torch. Towel off, throw on your cover-up and your flip-flops and hit the eateries and shops that are a stone’s throw away. Since this beach faces due west, this is where you’ll want to head at sunset.

  3. Ball Park is a wide open area with a baseball diamond, barbeques and picnic table.  It is just south of downtown Alden.  There is a kayak / canoe ramp, and limited swimming.  

  4. For Torch Lake pontoon rentals, Dewitt Marine is located right on Torch Lake, due west of Bellaire, and half-way down the east coast of Torch Lake.  It’s about a 20 minute trip from the property.  They offer a few different kinds of boats, tubes, etc.  When we’ve used them, they were great to deal with.  Also, there’s Dockside Pontoon Rentals in the same area.  When you’re done boating, stop in to the famous Dockside Restaurant and Bar.  The Dockside sits at the mouth of Clam River where it meets Torch Lake, and has one of the best sunset-watching decks around. Boaters can pull right up to the restaurant and dock their boats to grab lunch or dinner.  There is also a small beach next to the Dockside where the Clam River runs into Torch Lake.

  5. For the best access to the famous Torch Lake “sand bar” at the very southern tip of the lake, head to Torch River Marina, south of Alden (about a 20 minute drive from the property).  There is Public Access and a boat launch here, as well.

If you want to access Lake Michigan for swimming, sunning or finding Petoskey stones, your best bet is to head to Barnes Park in Eastport at the north end of Torch Lake.  It's about a 30-minute ride, but the public beach is beautiful, wide open and almost never crowded.  

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