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Torch Lake

Michigan’s longest and second largest inland lake, Torch Lake has so much to offer! Beautiful blue waters and a huge sand bar make this the place to be on a hot summer day! With 18,770 acres of azure water, you’ll have lots of space to stretch out and relax.

The Lake

Torch Lake, located in northern Michigan near Bellaire, gets its name from the Native Americans who used to use torches to attract fish in the night so they could spear them or catch them with a net. While the lake is a great family destination for boating, tubing, and swimming, it also attracts young people to the sandbar where huge parties are held throughout the summer. There are always a lot of alcoholic beverages at the parties, and if you decide to partake, use caution. Wear a life jacket in case you fall overboard and know your limits! The sun makes alcohol metabolize faster, so don't overdo it!


Torch Lake is a great place to head out for the day for boating, tubing, paddle boarding, kayaking, fishing, and swimming. With places in the area to rent equipment, it’s easy to participate in any kind of activity that comes to mind.


Torch Lake features water so clear, you can see right down to the bottom, making fishing great! This lake is home to black crappie, bluegill, brown trout, cisco, lake whitefish, lake trout, muskellunge, northern pike, pumpkinseed sunfish, rainbow trout, rock bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, and yellow perch. You’re sure to catch something you can throw into these Skillet Fried Tacos for dinner!


A mix of sailing and surfing, windsurfing is a fun activity that involves balance and agility. You steer your board by the giant sail attached to it and can cruise all around the lake, checking out the amazing scenery. You can rent equipment and take lessons from Torch Lake Windsurfing.

Paddle Boarding

Another activity that requires balance, paddle boarding can be great fun to learn! In paddle boarding, you stand on a large board and move yourself around the lake using a paddle! Located right on Torch Lake, you can rent a paddle board from Alden Outfitters.


Torch Lake is a great place to cruise around on a boat! You can head out to fish, participate in water sports, or just leisurely ride around. Don’t own a boat? No problem! You can rent speedboats, kayaks, and pontoons from Alden Marine!


There are a few different campgrounds in the area to choose from. No matter what type of camping experience you’re looking for, you’re sure to find a campground that fits your needs!

Torch Grove Campground

The closest seasonal RV park to the lake, Torch Grove has 42 full hookup sites that include cable and Wifi. They have a bathhouse with modern toilets and showers, an onsite dump station, and ice and firewood for sale. With just a short walk to Torch Lake, all the water activities are right around the corner.

Chain O’ Lakes Campground

This site is for RVers, tent campers, and cabin renters! For RVs, there are huge, 5,000-square foot pull-through sites with full hookups! Here you will find a pool, playground, petting zoo, and laundry facilities.

Thurston Park

A great family campground, Thurston is just a small drive from Torch Lake. Sites can be found with water and electrical hookups, and you can even get a waterfront site on Intermediate Lake! There is a boat launch, dump station, playground, and there are docks for launching your boat!

Things To Do In The Area

If you’re looking for more than just a good time on the lake, you’re not far from a lot of fun things to do! The downtown Traverse City area offers great restaurants, wineries, breweries, and shopping! You can also find tons of hiking trails and golf courses in the area!

Head up north to Torch Lake and surround yourself in gorgeous, crystal clear waters. Plenty of places to stay and things to do will keep you and your family enjoying every minute of your time up north!

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