Walloon Lake

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Walloon Lake
View of North Arm
Location Charlevoix / Emmet counties, Michigan, United States
Coordinates 45°17′09″N 85°01′06″W / 45.28583°N 85.01833°W / 45.28583; -85.01833Coordinates: 45°17′09″N 85°01′06″W / 45.28583°N 85.01833°W / 45.28583; -85.01833
Type Glacial
Primary inflows groundwater
Primary outflows Bear River
Basin countries United States
Max. length 9 mi (14 km)
Max. width 0.7–1.3 mi (1.1–2.1 km)
Surface area 4,270 acres (17.3 km2)
Max. depth 100 ft (30 m)
Residence time 5+ years
Surface elevation 686 feet (209 m)[1]
Settlements Village of Walloon Lake

Walloon Lake is a glacier-formed lake located in Charlevoix and Emmet counties, just southwestward from the northern tip of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. It is now home to many vacation homes and cottages. Though the end of the west arm of the lake is less than 1 mile (1.6 km) from Lake Michigan, Walloon Lake's surface elevation is over 100 feet (30 m) higher. The Bear River drains from the east end of the lake in Walloon Lake village, winding east then north down to its outflow into Lake Michigan at the south end of Petoskey.


Walloon Lake was originally named Talcott. As the story goes, a local butcher, J. R. Haas, saw the name Walloon Lake on an old railroad map and tried to discover the history behind the name. It is thought that a group of Walloons from Belgium settled the land at the north end of the lake, which was then called Bear Lake. No trace of this settlement has ever been found.


Locals refer to their cottages as being on the "west arm", or the "foot", etc. The lake covers 4,270 acres (17.3 km2) and is primarily fed from groundwater. Its maximum depth is just over 100 feet (30 m). Recently, the introduction of zebra mussels has made the clear waters even clearer. For a few months after the ice melts (usually in April), it is possible to see to the bottom of the lake at depths up to 30 feet.

Current use[edit]

Real-estate value has increased rapidly since the 1970s, and many large houses have been built around the lake. There are two camps on the lake: Camp Daggett and Camp Michigania, the University of Michigan's Alumni Association camp. Starting around 2010, the area on the foot of the lake began redevelopment. New condominiums were constructed. In the next few years, a restaurant was built, and a retail store was created on the site of the old SI's marine. In 2014 developers broke ground on a new hotel to sit in between the marina and condominiums.


Indian Trails provides daily intercity bus service between St. Ignace and East Lansing, Michigan.[2]

Historic sites[edit]


Located on the north shore of Walloon Lake, Windemere was the childhood summer home of Ernest Hemingway. The house is still owned by the Hemingway family and is home to one of Hemingway's nephews.[3]

The Walloon Lake Inn[edit]

Originally named Fern Cottage, the inn was a destination point for many visitors and also served as a docking point for the steamboats that would take the travelers to hotels or to their cottages on the lake.[4] The inn has been renovated over the last thirty years and now serves the community as a bed and breakfast. The inn also houses a French-style restaurant and a culinary school.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Walloon Lake
  2. ^ "EAST LANSING-PETOSKEY-ST. IGNACE" (PDF). Indian Trails. January 15, 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-27. 
  3. ^ Piehl, Beth Ann. "Windemere on Walloon." Homelife: An Up North Magazine. July & August 2009.
  4. ^ "Walloon Lake Inn". Retrieved 2014-01-27. 
  5. ^ Kates, Kristie. "Historic Dining on Walloon Lake." Northern Express. 30 November 2009.

External links[edit]