ESLA Water’s Map

ESLA Water's MapESLA represents about 1,500 property owners from the Torch River bridge at the outflow of Torch Lake to the Elk River Hydroelectric Dam in Elk Rapids. Take a boat ride from here to there:

It’s no-wake-speed (PLEASE) from the mouth of the Torch R. into Lake Skegemog. Navigate between the ESLA purchased-and-maintained buoys to avoid stumps in the lower river.

Enter Lake Skegemog (2,700 acres, maximum depth 26 feet). It has miles of wetland, and publicly-owned or protected shoreline. Head northeast toward the Narrows into Elk Lake. Stay near the Narrows’ middle to avoid the rocks on the south and stumps on the north. Skegemog, formerly called Round Lake, is Algonquin for “meeting of the waters.”

Elk is among Michigan’s largest (about 8,000 acres) and deepest (officially 192’, but we’ve seen 200’ on fishfinders). It shares Torch’s spectacular deep blue color. About two-thirds of the way northwest up the lake, navigate into Spencer Bay, then the Elk River, under U.S. 31 and into the Village of Elk Rapids for restaurants and shopping. There’s courtesy docks downstream of the bridge.

ESLA’s waters abut four townships (Elk Rapids, Whitewater, Clearwater, Milton), the Village of Elk Rapids, and three counties (Antrim, Grand Traverse and Kalkaska).

Credit: Used with permission from Mark Stone and Originally prepared for ESLA RIPARIAN HANDBOOK Revised Edition Copyright 2005. For printed copies of Michigan lake maps go to