About Torch Lake

Torch Lake is Michigan’s longest inland lake at 19 miles or 31 kilometers long. It is also Michigan’s second largest inland lake at approximately 18,770 acres. Surrounding Torch Lake are several townships including Torch Lake Township, Central Lake Township, Forest Home Township, Helena Township, Milton Township in Antrim County, and Clearwater Township in Kalkaska County.

Along its shore lie several villages and hamlets such as Alden, Eastport, and Clam River.

The name “Torch Lake” is not based on its shape. Instead, it was derived from a translation from the Ojibwa name Was-wa-gon-ong, which means “Place of the Torches”. This refers to the practice of the local Native American population who once used torches at night to attract fish for harvesting with spears and nets.

For a time, local European settlers referred to it as “Torch Light Lake”, which was eventually shortened to its current name.

The lake is known for activities like canoeing, hiking, fishing, and diving. And because of its low amount of boat activity, Torch Lake is a nature-lover’s paradise. Some people are so captivated by the beauty of Torch Lake that they choose to reside there, to enjoy the wonderful sights all year-long. Touring the Chain of Lakes is super popular for residents and tourists alike.

Torch Lake Homes & Real Estate

If you are looking for your own piece of paradise, Torch Lake is a great place to stay. Skip the flight to the Caribbean, and enjoy this Michigan destination instead: Torch Lake will remind you of the Caribbean’s crystal clear turquoise waters and white sandbars.

Torch Lake Township has a small population of just over 1,143 based on the 2010 census. Living in Torch Lake Township offers a rural feel that is close to nature and close to adventure. Most residents own their homes while only a small percentage rent.

In terms of real estate, a lot of the properties available here are cottage-style homes with lovely sunset views and plenty of space to move around in. Torch Lake itself is a peaceful and tranquil area, so it’s perfect for those who want to get away from the stressful city life.

Torch Lake was once a part of the much larger Lake Michigan but was separated into its own lake when the sandbar started to form across the northwest mouth of the lake. If you choose to reside in Torch Lake you and your family can enjoy the amazing Northern Michigan sunset that’s perfect for outdoor dining.

Torch Lake Waterfront Homes for Sale

Northern Michigan has some of the most serene lakes in the state: from the small, private lakes to the large, open bodies of water. Residents get to enjoy being surrounded by this beauty on a daily basis. It’s no surprise that there are plenty of waterfront homes for sale in Torch Lake. Torch Lake in many people’s opinions is THE PREMIER inland land in all of Michigan. Homes here are quite pricey, but the carribean blue waters, and the amazing scenery justifies the price tags.

When it comes to waterfront living, it’s hard to beat living in the shorelines of Torch Lake. Torch Lake itself is known to Michiganders as both a summer party lake and a vacation destination. The lake is nearly 19,000 acres, and has a maximum depth of 285 feet—making it Michigan’s deepest inland lake. It is also considered the largest in terms of volume.

Torch Lake is noted for its exceptional beauty, with clear waters that have a bright turquoise hue, which is why it is often compared to Caribbean waters.

Average Home Prices in Torch Lake

Different sources have varying estimates when it comes to the average home price in Torch Lake. Besplaces.net, for example, lists the median home cost in Torch Lake township as $166,500. However, plenty of homes listed on Zillow are far more expensive than that, with water front homes going for 1 million and up. Figure on spending 1.1 million if you want a larger home (2,500 square feet and up) and you want it to be recently updated.

The population in Torch Lake temporarily increases during the summer with additional residents and vacationers. If you have ever been to the sandbar during the summer, you can understand why.

It is also interesting to note that the cost of living in Torch Lake is 2.3 percent lower compared to the rest of the country.

Famous Homes & Neighbors in Torch Lake

Torch Lake may not have a lot of famous homes, but it is rich in natural wonders. Its famous sandbar is the perfect location for summer parties.

Its amazing beauty has even captured the attention of a few well-known celebrities—which means you can have some famous neighbors in Torch Lake.

Several famous Michiganders call Torch Lake their home, including Michael Moore and Kid Rock.

Filmmaker and journalist Michael Moore is originally from Flint, Michigan. He even founded the Traverse City Film Festival in 2005. He had a 3.65-acre home in Torch Lake near Central Lake in Antrim County, although the house now belongs to his ex-wife, Kathleen Glynn. It was listed for sale in July 2015.

Moore won the 2002 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for Bowling for Columbine. His other works include Fahrenheit 9/11, Sicko, The Awful Truth, and Slacker Uprising.

Kid Rock is another celebrity with a Torch Lake home, although there isn’t any confirmed information about his exact address. The singer-songwriter is a Michigan native, and you can find plenty of articles talking about his riverfront home in Detroit and mansion on Lake Fenton. He often talks about Northern Michigan in his songs. For example, in All Summer Long, he talks about summertime in Northern Michigan and even describes his experiences like “splashing through the sand bar” and “talking by the campfire”.

Some residents confirm that Kid Rock has a place in Torch Lake, but their reports are inconsistent in terms of its location.

Another famous name that is rumored to have a home in Torch Lake is Eminem. It is said that the rapper owns a house on the lake, but there are no official sources or statements to confirm this. Famous neighbor or not, you will surely enjoy what Torch Lake has to offer.

Well Known Historical Landmarks

Torch Lake’s most notable trait is the beauty of its waters. While it does not have a lot of historical man-made landmarks, the Torch Lake Sandbar itself has an interesting history. Michigan’s own slice of the Caribbean draws people from all over the world. But before the Torch Lake Sandbar formed, glaciers advanced and receded several times over thousands of years. Before then, Torch Lake was connected to Lake Skegemog in the south and Lake Michigan in the north.

During the lumbering era, from 1880 to 1920, Torch River was dredged so tugs could haul millions of logs to Elk Rapids and steamers could take goods. It also allowed tourists to visit Alden and other villages around Torch Lake. The sand was deposited at the west end of the sand bar.

Nowadays, the sand bar’s main purpose is to provide a wonderful place to play with family and friends, along the shallow water on Torch Lake.

National Geographic named Torch Lake the third most beautiful lake in the world because of its pristine, crystal clear water. Torch Lake is filled with a variety of fresh water fish including lake trout, rock bass, yellow perch, small mouth bass, pike, brown trout, rainbow trout, and whitefish.

Restaurants in Torch Lake

Your Torch Lake visit wouldn’t be complete without trying out the various cuisines offered by its finest restaurants. Torch Lake Café, located at 4990 US Highway 31 N, Central Lake is an American restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This cafe offers a wide selection of food options including pizzas and flatbreads. It also has a full service bar.

Reviewers love the newly improved menu that includes chicken Parmesan with risotto, salmon, walleye sandwich, and more. The wine list is also very “Michigan”—offering some of the state’s finest beverages and brews. This fun, lodge-like restaurant offers excellent service and lots of seating.

The Muffin Tin in 9047 Helena Rd, Alden offers more than just muffins. In addition to their famous muffins, this little Alden spot offers a terrific lunch menu and a delicious selection of coffee and tea drinks. Helena Road wouldn’t be complete without it. As a bonus, their deck has one of the best views in the whole town. It’s a great place to grab a drink, relax, and watch people go by.

The Blue Water Bistro & Pizzeria, located at 11921 SE Torch Lake Dr, Alden provides great food and customer service. Reviewers rave about the food served up in this Michigan joint. They say it has the best menu in town. They have different subs and sandwiches, as well as various soups and appetizers. Host your dinner party here and let your friends enjoy these culinary delights offered by Blue Water Bistro.

Last but not least is the Dockside We have eaten there many of times. Its super convenient to pull your boat up, grab a table, listen to some live music and enjoy the vibe. Great food, fantastic drinks selection, make the Dockside a family friendly place all year round. 

Torch Lake is full of wonderful views and pristine waters. Whether you decide to live here or just spend your vacation touring it, you will surely have a great time. Don’t miss out on this Caribbean experience in Michigan. Ready to start your home search for a Torch Lake home? Contact Amber Cyman today and let’s make your dream come true!