Torch Lake Township

This segment of trail has the potential to showcase the beauty of northwest Lower Michigan, connecting coastal natural areas including Barnes Park with Torch Lake Township Day Park, the hamlets of Eastport and Torch Lake, and the businesses in this corridor.

The recommended alignment was presented and approved by the Torch Lake Township Board on December 19, 2023. This marks the culmination of a comprehensive schematic design process that included significant public input, a detailed engineering evaluation, and the guidance of the Torch to Bay Trail Team, a group of resident trail champions.

The preferred trail alignment identified through this process is on the west side of US-31, extending from the Torch Lake Township Community Services Building north through Torch Lake and Eastport to Old Dixie Highway in Torch Lake Township. The design drawing features the two evaluated routes, with the blue line representing the preferred alignment.

Schematic Design | December 2023

September 2023 Update

We had over 50 people attend the August 23 Open House at the Torch Lake Township Hall, and nearly 50 people weighed in via the online survey in September. We heard a lot of enthusiasm about a future trail connection in Torch Lake Township and learned more about the values, interests, and concerns related to the trail. Input results show top priorities are access and proximity to parks and water, and safety and separation from US-31.

Based on what we’ve learned from the routing analysis and public input, we have expanded the scope of schematic design an additional 0.5 miles south along US-31. The engineering team is now working on the alignments and design from the Township Hall north to Old Dixie Hwy, and we hope to have a draft ready this fall.

Open House Comment Card Responses
Poster Responses
Survey Results

The presentation and the two alignment options are shown in the exhibits below.

January 2023 Update

To inform schematic design of the Nakwema Trailway in Torch Lake Township, TART Trails and Top of Michigan Trails Council worked with the Torch to Bay Trail Team to collect public input via an online survey. We are thrilled with participation in the survey. Between December 15, 2022 and January 15, 2023, we received nearly 400 entries. Data collected through this survey will inform routing and additional planning and design considerations for this segment of the Nakwema Trailway. Equipped with this information, our engineering team at C2AE will begin schematic design on this segment this winter.

Online Survey Report (January 2023)

Schematic Design: Underway

At Torch Lake Cafe, we know firsthand how beautiful it is in this part of Michigan. We feel lucky to be able to offer a welcoming place for Nawkema Trailway riders to stop, relax, and grab a delicious meal on our porch or in our restaurant. Happy Trails!

Jim Hettinger
Owner, Torch Lake Cafe