Boating and paddling can be a ton of fun on Torch Lake, but watch out for weather!
Did You Know?
Storms can come up fast and it’s unsafe to boat or to swim during lightning strikes. It takes longer to travel in high winds and waves. Prevailing winds come from the southwest, but summer storms often come from the northwest. So, watch for wind shifts and dark clouds in the sky!
Torch Lake’s Responsibilities
It’s simple…there are none…it’s a LAKE silly!
It’s simple too…Boaters need to be respectful and responsible while enjoying our waters.
Be considerate of others.
Sounds are louder and travel farther over water, so please remember peace and quiet are important for everyone to enjoy Torch Lake!
Know the lake.
There are six public boat launches on Torch Lake.
- North – Eastport Landing Road (MDNR*)
- Southeast – Alden Dock (Helena Township)
- Southwest - Torch River (MDNR*)
- West – Waring Road Extension north of Indian Road (Milton Township)
- Northwest – Sand Point south of Barnes Road (Torch Lake Township)
- Northwest – W.K. Good Day Park in Torch Lake Village (Torch Lake Township)
* The MDNR requires an MDNR Passport/ $11 fee to help pay for maintaining the launches. The fee can be paid at the launch site.
Slow down and pay attention near shore.
- Watch out for swimmers and paddleboarders!
- Look out for buoys.
- Observe the "No Wake" zone extending 100 feet from shore.
Mooring overnight is not allowed on Torch Lake.
If you need to seek refuge from a storm, there are two Safe Harbors with boat launches on Torch Lake:
- Southeast shore at the Alden Dock (Helena Township)
- Northwest shore in Torch Lake Village (Torch Lake Township)
If you can not reach a safe harbor, then go to shore and ask for help.
Look out for loons.
Common loons are threatened in Michigan and protected by state and federal laws. We are lucky to share Torch Lake with them. It is not unusual to find loons anywhere out on Torch Lake – swimming, diving and feeding.
Slow down when you see them and take a few minutes to enjoy watching these beautiful birds.
Please keep your distance.
Prevent problems before they happen
Prevent invasive species
BEFORE you leave home, wash your boat, motor and trailer with very hot water to remove invasive species. Organisms you can’t see and small bits of water plants can find their way into nooks and crannies. It only takes a small fragment of a water plant to grow a new one.
Please don’t “Do it.” in the lake. Boat launches provide port-a-potties but NO TRASH DISPOSAL. Please take trash home. DeWitt’s Marine on Clam Lake and Torch River Marine on Torch River offer pump-out facilities, so please don’t dump in the lake!
Tuck in loose papers, wrappers and bags. Hold on to your hats and towels. Or things will go flying out of the boat as it picks up speed. Return bottles and cans for cash at local grocery stores.
Respect strong river currents. Don’t make "U" turns in our narrow rivers. Clam River flows west into Torch Lake. Torch River flows south out of Torch Lake. Remember, boats do not have brakes.
Stay 100 feet away from any person in the water, buoys, other boats, rafts and docks.
Be careful boating around the 10 points of land jutting into Torch Lake. Large boulders underwater and very shallow areas can damage your propellor or boat.
Stay 100 feet from shore when traveling above a "No Wake" speed.
Going slow near shore prevents large wakes from washing soil into the lake.
Emergency - Call 911.
Non-emergency - Call the Antrim County Sheriff: 231.533.8627.
Take down the boat's description and MC Number.
- Loud, reckless or speeding boats? Ask for the Marine Patrol.
- Wildlife harassment? Ask for the Conservation Officer.