The Beaches, Water and Snow Sports in and around the resort town of  Alden, Michigan, make for a memorable Northern Michigan vacation. The crystalline waters of Torch Lake are the main outdoor attraction here in the summer and where you’ll find everything from power boating to paddling.  The ski slopes of nearby Shanty Creek Resort are the main winter attraction. Read on for travel ideas in Alden, Michigan.

Torch Lake

In a land of jaw-dropping beautiful lakes, Torch Lake, Michigan, is considered by many to be the state’s crown jewel. On sunny days, when the turquoise waters are reminiscent of the Caribbean, it’s hard to argue with them. Beautiful, certainly, and generous enough for plenty of room to play on a Northern Michigan vacation. Stretching 19 miles, Torch Lake is Michigan’s longest lake and boasting over 18,000 acres, Torch is Michigan’s second biggest lake. When you figure in the fact that Torch is a keystone in the magnificent 75-miles of interconnected water known as the Chain of Lakes, well, the possibilities of fun on this Northern Michigan attraction are endless.

Alden Harbor, Boat Launch and Public Beach

The Torch Lake public beach in the tiny resort town of Alden is a great place to spread a towel or take a dip. Towel off, throw on your cover-up and your flip-flops and hit the eateries and shops that are a stone’s throw away. Since this beach faces due west, this is where you’ll want to head at sunset.

Find it: Downtown Alden at the dog-leg on South East Torch Lake Drive (C-Hwy 593). 

Torch By Boat

The best way to access Torch Lake is by boat. If you don’t have your own, rent your craft of choice–from pontoon to powerboat and everything in between–at Dewitt Marine at the mouth of the Clam River near Bellaire. 6509 Crystal Springs Rd., Bellaire, 231.377.6611,


With an average depth of 200 feet, Torch Lake is a lake trout paradise. Set your downriggers and get ready to reel.

Party in the Sun

For those who love to socialize, hanging out on the sandbar’s on Torch Lake’s south end is a summertime tradition, especially on the Fourth of July when it turns into a flotilla of fun. Kid Rock sang about this legendary water playground in his song All Summer Long.

Serenity Seekers

Those seeking a little more peace an quiet will find the lake’s northern stretches more their speed. Find everything from pontoon to powerboat rentals at Dewitt Marine at the mouth of the Clam River near Bellaire.

Shanty Creek Resort

The fabulous downhill slopes of Shanty Creek Resort are just 11 miles away from Alden.  This resort headquartered in Bellaire, Michigan, boasts two mountains:

Schuss Mountain combines award-winning terrain, pristine grooming and snow conditions, and the perfect mix of gentle, easy runs and steep, challenging slopes. Schuss Mountain features five terrain parks, five quad-chair lifts, friendly lift operators and a nationally recognized two-time Ski Patrol of the Year staff dedicated to the safety and enjoyment of Shanty Creek’s guests.

Summit Mountain, Shanty Creek’s original slopes, offer guests a more family-friendly experience and Michigan’s best value. The 12 slopes are located behind The Lakeview Hotel & Conference Center and are serviced by two double-chair lifts.

Cornerstone article: Beaches, water and snowsports in Alden, Michigan.