Torch Lake History Trail

How was this deep lake, called Torch, formed?

Where were the former hotels located along the shore?

How old is the only surviving camp on Torch Lake?


Answer these questions and more by taking
a 45-mile trip on the Torch Lake History Trail .

Public Boat Launches

  • 6 around the Torch Lake.
  • Please use public restrooms.
  • Maintained by local townships & MDNR.
  • Pay the $11 fee at MDNR launches.
  • Respect the neighbors’ private property.

Public Boat Launches Map (.pdf)

Free Printable

Torch Lake Paddling Trails (.pdf)

Free Printable

Start Your Torch Lake History Trail.

Watch a short video about each spot on the map to learn more about geology and history.

Explore Each Historical Video

Alden and Spencer Creek

Deepwater Point

Larson Point Yacht Club

Moraines Old Baldy

Nippising Terrace- Lakeside Camps

Thayer Lake Clam River

Torch River

Ed McDuffie
Tour Guide

Tour guide, Ed McDuffie, was raised in Cincinnati, OH and spent his summers at the family cottage on North Lake street in Alden.

After taking a teaching job in Bellaire, he and his wife, Mary Kay Unger, built their own house on Torch Lake. Besides having a passion for biology, water quality and local history, Ed became an expert in local geology.

Simon Ross

Videographer, Simon Ross, was raised in Massachusetts and is part of the 6th generation to spend summers at the Ross family cottage, “Inverness,” north of Alden.  Built in 1905, the cottage hasn’t changed much in the past century. Simon is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts New York City.

Don't just wish that Torch Lake will stay blue.
Choose a water-friendly lifestyle - make a difference!