I wait for my veggie burger as I stand ankle deep at the southwest end of Torch Lake. I am surrounded by boats and people who have converged on the sandbar on a Friday afternoon. It’s an impromptu party, dictated by a landmark.
There isn’t many places to access Torch Lake. I googled Torch Lake public access and found one on Cedar St. We passed it, because, well, see for yourself below. There wasn’t much signage.
Torch Lake is famous for its clear water. I recommend going on a sunny day to get the full effect. It really was crystal clear.
We paddled our kayaks west towards what Google Maps said was the sandbar. I thought I found it when I could get out of my kayak and was crotch deep.
Turns out, that wasn’t it. We were paddling towards the west shore to look at the houses when we noticed boats starting to gather. We paddled closer and saw the REAL sandbar.
People were literally walking their boats up to the sandbar and anchoring them on the edge. People had coolers, food, chairs, even picnic tables. A lot of people were tossing the ball around. And the dogs. Oh my goodness, were the dogs having fun.
We got out of our kayaks, tied them together, and walked around the sandbar. It was immense.
The crystal clear water showed the edge of the sandbar perfectly. I walked to the edge and it dropped off suddenly. I backtracked until I was ankle deep again.
Then the biggest surprise of all: the Burger Barge. Dave has been doing the Burger Barge on Torch Lake for 15 years now. He was also very kind enough to let us tie up our kayaks to the back of his boat so we didn’t have to walk them around anymore.
We actually had to paddle back to our car to get money. So TIP: bring money to Torch Lake!
They had veggie burgers that were actually incredibly delicious. Apparently on the weekends, there is a local pizza place that will deliver to your boat out on Torch.
More and more boats showed up, including some businesses renting out equipment, including one that offered water jet pack rides. We did not partake, however. We didn’t bring that much money.
I was surprised at how many people were there on a Friday afternoon. I can’t imagine what a Saturday or Sunday would look like.
After an hour or so walking around and looking at people, we decided to go. I highly recommend an anchor. I saw someone with a 5 pound weight tied to a string so it doesn’t have to be fancy or anything.
Torch Lake is amazing. I would hate to live there because of all the shenanigans but if you want to go have shenanigans, Torch Lake is the place to go. Combine that with a trip to the Platte River, and you’ll have yourself a weekend.