Explore: Rapid City Michigan

Explore: Rapid City, Michigan

Explore: Rapid City, Michigan

Rapid City, Michigan:
A community surrounded by the great outdoors

Located within Kalkaska Township in northwest Michigan, this area is known for their great outdoors. Approximately one-quarter of the township’s land area is devoted to public recreational uses such as hiking, fishing, swimming, boating, and camping in the summer and hunting, snowmobiling, snow-shoeing, and cross-country skiing in the winter in the township’s forests, conservation areas, rivers, lakes and streams.

Rapid City in the northwest quadrant of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula and occupies an area of extraordinarily beautiful topography known regionally as the “Gateway to the Chain of Lakes.” Traversed by the Rapid River, bounded on the north by Torch Lake and on the west by the Torch River and Lake Skegemog, Rapid City is advantageously positioned along the major waterways of The Elk River Chain of Lakes Watershed. This watershed drains fourteen lakes, and their interconnecting rivers, in a 500 square mile area of land across Antrim, Charlevoix, Grand Traverse and Kalkaska Counties. The waters of this watershed finally reach the mouth of Elk River in Elk Rapids, where they flow into the Grand Traverse Bay and join Lake Michigan.  

Things To Do:

Elk Rapids Golf Club -  Established in 1922

Rapid City is surrounded by the great outdoors. Whether it’s snowmobiling, skiing, or catching northern Pike while ice fishing, this area offers everything for those wanting to explore the winter outdoors. 

In the warmer months, Rapid City turns into a golfers paradise with only a short drive connecting you to over 10 of the best golf courses in Northern Michigan.   The Grandtraverse Spa and Resort has not only 1, but 3 courses on their property. Their  "The Bear" course was ranked the 18th hardest course in America.     You could also take in a little golf history but venturing to the Elk Rapids Golf Club which was built in 1922.

Torch Lake

You are also surrounded by a variety of small parks and hiking trails.  However, the biggest attraction near this town is Torch Lake. With its island-like appeal of vibrant blue hues, crystal clear water, and numerous sandbars this 19-mile-long lake was once voted one of the most beautiful lakes in the world by National Geographic.

Wineries, Breweries & More

If you are in love with Torch Lake, as much as we are, then you will have to visit Vista Ridge Vineyards and Waterfire Vineyards.  Waterfire is the first vineyard in the midwest, and the first vineyard outside of California to be Certified Sustainable through the SIP program.  You could also head just 30 minutes west to route 37 and head down "winery road."   This stretch of land boasts over 15 vineyards within just a few miles.  

A short ride over Elk Lake will take you to Joe and Leah Shorts' Short's Brewing Company.   Joe and Leah started their brewery in a 120-year-old hardware shop that was renovated by them, along with their friends and family.   This year they are celebrating their 16th year in business and are now the biggest brewer in Northern Michigan.  

Blending the areas best wineries and breweries with hand-tossed pizza and classic Italian dishes is Blue Water Bistro.  Close to Torch Lake, this employee-first restaurant lets you buy the kitchen a round of beers at the end of the night.  


  • Rain: 32 inches of rain
  • Snow: 118 inches of snow per year
  • Sunny Days:  165 sunny days 
  • Summer High Temps: July high is 80 degrees
  • Winter Low Temps: January low is 16

Local Nonprofit Highlight:  Silver Muzzle Cottage

Many canines late in their years are often found in area shelters and are quickly euthanized because their age and disabilities make them less likely to be adopted. Silver Muzzle Cottage recognizes that these dogs once gave their lives to someone or a family, and for a variety of reasons and factors, now find themselves in a strange, scary shelter environment or set “free” and eventually picked up as a stray. Their team knows these dogs deserve more, that they shouldn’t die alone and afraid in a cage. Senior dogs deserve love and dignity in their final days, months and years. SMC is dedicated to the rescue, adoption and lifelong care of these senior dogs. 

The Silver Muzzle Cottage Rescue & Hospice is a registered 501c3 organization. They are an all-volunteer-based organization that relies solely on public donations and grant funding. They are a certified rescue through the Michigan Pet Fund Alliance organization and a Transfer Partner with the Michigan Humane Society. 

How you can support Silver Muzzle Cottage:    Amazon Wish List