9 Reasons To Visit Walloon Lake, Michigan In 2024

Michigan is home to a number of scenic areas that largely fly under the radar when it comes to vacationing.

But there’s one hidden gem in particular that deserves consideration if you’re looking to travel somewhere that offers an excellent combination of both natural beauty and entertainment.

That hidden gem is Walloon Lake, which is up towards the top of the state in some its more remote countryside.

Aside from offering a secluded little piece of paradise with beautiful surrounding wilderness, here are nine reasons you should seriously consider making plans to visit with just yourself, your significant other or the entire family.

About Walloon Lake

Walloon Lake is a glacier-formed lake in northern Michigan, located just southwest of the lower peninsula’s northern tip.

It’s just inland from Lake Michigan but stands over 100 feet above it, with the Bear River connecting the two.

As the 26th largest lake in Michigan, it’s known for its beautiful turquoise waters and the wilderness that surrounds it…often referred to as “Hemingway Country”.

If that alone isn’t reason enough to visit, here are nine reasons you should put a trip to Walloon Lake on your bucket list.

9 Reasons You Should Visit Walloon Lake

Natural Beauty Of The Lake & Its Surroundings

Walloon Lake is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, with crystal-clear waters and picturesque landscapes. It’s a perfect place for nature lovers to soak in serene and breathtaking views.

Couple that with the small population of bald eagles that can be seen fishing and flying around the lake, and it doesn’t get much more peaceful than Walloon Lake.

The lake is also home to a number of other interesting birds, including blue herons, cranes, and you guessed it – loons.

Most days during the warm months, the unique calls from Lake Walloon’s population of loons can be heard echoing across the lake – making it a peaceful staple of this wild and beautiful body of water.

Boating, Paddle Boarding, Kayaking

Getting out on the lake is one of the best parts about any lake, and Lake Walloon is no different.

The beauty it has to offer from on the water is amazing, and you’ll feel like you’re cruising around in the Caribbean with the added bonus of a lack of sharks to worry about in the clear water.

If you don’t bring your boat as many who vacation here don’t, no worries.

Tommy’s Boat Rentals offers speed boats, pontoons and wave runners for rent on a daily or weekly basis.

You can rent some skis, wakeboards, or tubes along with the boat for maximum fun on the lake.

You can also bring or rent kayaks, paddleboards, or canoes if you’d prefer.

Beach It At The Lake

The clear, turquoise waters will give you Caribbean vibes, but so will the sandy beaches that line the shores of Lake Walloon.

There are various different beaches to choose from, where you can set up shop under an umbrella for a day of fun in the sun.

Two of the best beaches are Walloon Lake Beach and Nelson Beach, offering plenty of white sand for sandcastles and shallow water for swimming if you’re up for braving the cool water.

Walloon Lake Beach is going to be more popular, with Nelson Beach being a bit more secluded.

Local History & Deep Connection To Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway’s family built a cottage on Walloon Lake when he was just a boy, and he spent many summers on the lake and in the surrounding wilderness hunting, fishing, boating, reading and exploring.

Hemingway was also married and honeymooned here.

Much of his writing was influenced by his boyhood experiences and the people of the area who had a positive effect on his life while growing up.

The village of Walloon Lake displays a sculpture of Hemingway, and you’ll find various references to him in the stores and restaurants around town.

Walloon Lake is the essence of Hemingway Country.

Excellent Fishing

As you might expect, Walloon Lake also offers excellent fishing.

It supports populations of smallmouth bass, rock bass, perch, walleye, and northern pike, and trout among others.

The northern end of the lake is a great spot for fly fishing thanks to its exceptionally clear water.

The southern end is less clear, so makes for a great spot to catch bass, perch and other smaller fish who hide out here.

Regardless, there’s something for any type of fisherman and its hard to find a more beautiful setting to wet a line in.

Golf With Amazing Views

For golfers or those with golfers in the fam, there are a couple of excellent golf courses a short drive from Walloon Lake.

There are courses at both Boyne Highlands and Boyne Mountain that offer amazing views of the northern Michigan countryside and offer an enjoyable and challenging golf experience.

There’s also the course at Walloon Lake Country Club, which offers 9 holes made completely by nature without the help of machinery or grading, and then another 9 more man-made holes.

Be on the lookout for Tom Watson of the PGA, who grew up playing at the Walloon Lake Country Club and still returns to play here to this day.

Hiking & Biking Paradise

There are also a number of hiking and biking trails that surround Lake Walloon for those who like to get out and be active while on vacation.

Both the Little Traverse Conservancy Nature Preserve and the North Country Trail offer stunning views of Lake Walloon and the surrounding wilderness.

Winter Sports

If you like your vacations on the cold side, there’s no shortage of entertaining things to do at Walloon Lake during the winter months.

Walloon Lake turns into a real winter wonderland during the colder months, averaging around 199 inches of snowfall per year.

As such, there’s plenty of opportunity for winter sports such as cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and ice fishing, among others.

Boyne Mountain nearby offers snow skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing as well.

Check Out Community Events and Local Culture

Walloon Lake is just a small community with a very minimal year-round population, but that doesn’t stop the locals from hosting various events throughout the year.

The local market, art shows, music festivals and small concerts by local musicians are just a few ways you can experience the local culture while also mingling with local residents of Walloon Lake.

Final Word

If you’re looking for a relaxing trip that also offers plenty of fun and exploring when you want, along with some of the more beautiful natural aquatic landscape in the country, Walloon Lake should be near the top of your list.