Want an island vacation, but working with a lake budget? Head to Michigan!
Torch Lake in northern Michigan is ginormous, and its alluring turquoise waters are reminiscent of more tropical destinations in the Caribbean. Plus, waves reach over four feet high, according to the Watershed Council, which makes for some good body surfing.
We can thank Mother Nature for creating this stunning body of water.
Once Part Of Lake Michigan
It was once a deep, fjord-like bay of ancient Lake Michigan.
Then, a sand bar formed across the mouth of the bay on the lake’s northwest portion, creating an inland lake.
The lake has a wide, sandy shallow region that runs parallel to the shore and then steeply drops off, which helps create the stunning blue shades you see from an aerial view. Instagrammer Katie Jones captioned this gorgeous photo, “What I wouldn’t give to move here and never look back …” (We agree!)
During summer festivals, this lake can get a little raucous, and it’s been dubbed “Midwest Mardi Gras.” The aerial photo below, shared on Instagram by Justin Meeder, shows hundreds of boats gathered on the lake — which no doubt makes for one heck of a party!
So, where exactly is this hidden gem? To get you acquainted, think of the state of Michigan as a mitten. Torch Lake is in Antrim and Kalkaska counties, which would be the “pinkie” portion of the mitten.
Here are five interesting facts about the gorgeous lake that’s darn near a doppelganger for the Caribbean Sea.
1. This Lake Is Huge
In fact, it’s the second-largest lake in Michigan, according to the state of Michigan website. It’s 29.3 square miles — the only Michigan lake that is bigger is Houghton Lake, which is 31 square miles.
But Torch Lake is much deeper. It’s maximum depth is 285 feet. That compares to just 20 feet in Houghton Lake. Plus, it’s got 19 miles of shore, which makes for an epic water skiing trip because you don’t have to keep turning around.
Torch Lake is so large that it often doesn’t freeze in the winter, according to Michigan news website MLive.
Look at this breathtaking aerial shot from Instagram user Ryan Ziolko.
2. Kid Rock Likes To Party There
Kid Rock’s hit song “All Summer Long” is reputed to be about Torch Lake, according to an article in the The Detroit News. The lyrics seem to pay homage to the lake, especially its famous south-end sandbar that was formed by glaciers and goes from calf deep to 300 feet deep.
Here are some lines from the song: “Splashing through the sandbar, talking by the campfire, it’s the simple things in life like when and where. We didn’t have no internet … ”
We’ll let you watch the video and be the judge:
3. The Lake Has Some Famous Residents
The lake communities surrounding Torch Lake have been home to some famous Michiganders. In 2015, filmmaker Michael Moore listed his Torch Lake home for $5.2 million.
Real estate broker Nancy Albrecht told MLive.com that other famous residents and visitors have included the aforementioned Kid Rock and Detroit rapper Eminem.
4. Its Name Is A Nod To Fishing
Oftentimes, lakes are named after their shapes. But Torch Lake is a nod to a way of fishing, according to the website for the Town of Alden, a community on Torch Lake. Local Native American tribes once used torches to attract fish at night. They harvested the fish with spears and nets. For a while, European settlers called it “Torch Light Lake,” and that was eventually shortened. Today, Torch Lake is known for large muskies and whitefish, according to the Watershed Council.
Here’s another gorgeous view from Pure Mittigan on Instagram.
5. It Often Doesn’t Freeze In The Winter
Because this lake is so incredibly deep and large, it stores a lot of heat in its vast volume, the Watershed Council explains. Because of that, it often doesn’t freeze over in the winter as most lakes in Michigan do.
Are you convinced yet to take a trip to Torch Lake? If not, here’s another beautiful snap shared by Instagrammer Justin Meeder.