Lake Township updated its master plan in 2010.
A sneak peek from the Introduction to the Lakes to Land Community Master Plan…
In 1873, the corner of Michigan made up of forests, Otter Creek, Bass Lake, Otter Lake, Long Lake, Platte Lake, Little Platte Lake, Loon Lake (originally Round Lake), part of Crystal Lake, and the lower Platte River became known quite fittingly as Lake Township. The Point Betsie Lighthouse had been established in 1853 to guide the hundred sailing or steam vessels that traversed the Manitou Passage every single day; a life-saving station was established in 1975.
In the late 1800s, lumbering and commercial fishing were the major economic forces in the township. Agriculture was not sustainable due to poor soil conditions, but orchards were developed in the 1920s. Crystal Highlands Orchards, the largest in Lake Township, grew cherries. There were also apple, blueberry, and Christmas tree farms in the area.
As the lumber boom wound down at the turn of the century, resorts became the other economic staple for fishing, hunting, and summer guests. Chimney Corners opened in 1910, and Crystal Downs—known as one of the best golf courses in the US—was established in 1927. As other retreats sprang up around the lakes, Lake Township became the primarily resort community that it has been for the past 70 years today. Tourism is the main economic force in the Township.
Congress established the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in 1970, and much of Lake Township was purchased as authorized by the Federal government. With some exceptions, all buildings and structures have been removed, and the sites returned to a natural condition.
Lake Township has few businesses: Crystal Downs, Point Betsie, Chimney Corners, canoe rentals, party stores, and the SBDNL. The rest of the Township is owned by families. Many are summer residents, although more and more are making this their permanent home. Its residents care deeply Lake Township, feeling that its forest-covered ridges and abundance of water make it a most special place.