walloon lakeWalloon Lake really is a quaint destination, the entire town is only a few city blocks long. Still, for a quick getaway there is plenty to do and you won't face the manic pace and crowds found at some of the more famous towns in Northern Michigan. The short list includes lakeside dining with awesome views, both trendy and upscale, a general store, bakery, shops, parks, hiking and snowmobile trails, and a luxury hotel. Much of what happens here centers around the lake. It is big enough, 4,000+ acres, to support every kind of water sport. The lake water is as clear as it was when Ernest Hemingway fished here more than a century ago. The beach invites sun-bathers and swimmers. Walloon Lake is great for kayaks, paddle boards, boating and most any other lake activity. If you bring your own equipment you will find that the public boat launch is excellent. If you want to have fun on the lake, but don't want to haul equipment on a day trip, the local outfitter at the beach can provide everything from boards to pontoon boats of every description, to guided tours. Some visitors come just to play in the park and hang out on the beach.

The township park that is right across the road from the beach. This is where you find people playing Pickle Ball, a sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis. Players use solid paddles to hit a perforated polymer ball, similar to a wiffle ball, over a net. There is old-fashioned shuffle board, a beach swing, picnic areas and the river flows along one edge of the park. If you follow the river you will come to the trail access that is great for hiking in the warm months and snowshoeing in the winter. One reason that this park is so much fun is that, after a solid 15 minutes or so of healthy vigorous exercise, one can make it to an ice cream stand of a comfy spot for a cold one, just by walking half a block. Everything in Walloon Lake is close by and there is lots of parking.