The Walloon Lake Beachfront Walking Path
While revisiting the summer paradise of my youth at Walloon Lake, I went out for an evening stroll along the street behind the cottage that we used to rent. I was also trying to locate something I remember from those early visits, but didn’t completely trust my memory on – the path between the houses and the lake. Living in a lakefront town as I have for the past decade, I couldn’t believe that such a thing could exist in modern times. After all, Lake Michigan beachfront homeowners went all the way to the Michigan Supreme Court trying to keep people from walking on the beach in front of their homes, so why would the homeowners along beautiful Walloon Lake have a path that was actually in their yards? The adult me could not reconcile the concept.
I’m pleased to report that my memory was indeed accurate, as I walked at least a mile of the path tonight, and plan to do more tomorrow. The road behind the houses has no sidewalk, because the path in front of the houses is there instead – along the lake! Even cooler is that the path varies based on the yard you’re passing through – some are just worn tracks in the grass, some have mulched paths, some have actual sidewalk, others have stepping stones, and others have boardwalks. Sometimes the path even takes you under houses. Some are manicured, some are wild, and most are somewhere in between. Regardless, you’re always treated to stunning views like these.
There is also apparently a rock painting theme among the lakesiders here, as many homes have small rocks painted with all sorts of things.
Each summer when we vacationed here, the kids would take several hikes up these paths to “Treasure Mountain” as we called it, and it was one of those magical things (I know I keep using the word “magical” but well, it is). We kids were always very interested in the trams that some of the houses had as their way to descend and ascend the steep hill down to the lake, where their docks and boathouses are located. We found these to be endlessly intriguing – did people actually have mini-cable cars at their vacation homes? I did not expect to find any of them intact thirty years later, yet many are still in place and appear to still be in use! There are some you have to step over to pass, and others you have to duck under.