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The community of Trout Lake, is southwestern Trout Lake Township, southwest Chippewa County, in the eastern part of the Upper Peninsula (UP) of Michigan.

As an unincorporated community in Michigan, the US census does not record populations for the community itself, but the township had a population of only 332 in 2020, so it's fair to say that Trout Lake is a small community.

Unincorporated communities have no defined boundaries, but Trout Lake is concentrated around the area of M-123, Trout Lake Road (H-40), and the railroad. Surrounded by portions of the Hiawatha National Forest, the Carp River, Kneebone Creek, and Schweinger Creek flow through the area, which includes Carp Lake (also known as Trout Lake), Frenchman Lake, Wegwaas Lake, Mud Lake, Johnson Lake, and Huckleberry Lake. The Badgley-Little Trout Lake Nature Preserve is also in the area.

Given the relatively small population of the township, and the fact that Trout Lake is the only named community within the township, which has the same name as the community, it's likely that anything within the township might be considered to be part of the Trout Lake community. It does appear that most of the population of the township is within or near the community, however.

Cities and villages within fifty miles of Trout Lake include St. Ignace, Mackinac Island, Mackinaw City, Newberry, and Sault Ste. Marie, while the unincorporated communities of Ozark, Caffey, and Caffey Corner are within ten miles.

Trout Lake was founded at the junction of two railroads.

The Detroit, Mackinac & Marquette Railroad began laying its track from Marquette and St. Ignace in 1880, and was operable between these two points by 1881. In 1886, the DM&M Railroad declared bankruptcy and operated as the Mackinaw & Marquette Railroad until 1887, when it was acquired by the Duluth South Shore & Atlantic Railroad.

The Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie Railroad was established in 1883, taking a route that largely paralleled the Lake Michigan shore, then veering northeast to Sault Ste. Marie.

These two railroads merged with the Wisconsin Central Railroad in 1961 to form the Soo Line Railroad, which had been the common name for the Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie Railroad's Division from Soo Junction to St. Ignace.

The settlement that became known as Trout Lake grew up around these railroads, and became a trading center for the Stickney, Charles Johnson, and other area lumber camps. The town was platted by the Peninsular Land Company, the land agent for the railroads, in 1888 as Trout Lake Junction.

The railroads built a depot, a roundhouse, pump houses, storage tanks, a section house, a bunkhouse, and repair shops, employing approximately thirty people full-time. At one time, eight passenger trains ran through the town every day, as well as a late-night freight train that included a passenger car.

Built in 1912, Birch Lodge sent a wagon (later, an automobile) to pick up tourists at the depot.

Although the railroad suspended its passenger service in 1958, the original depot still stands and is used by railroad maintenance crews. The line south out of Trout Lake was abandoned in 1984, however.

A post office was established on December 11, 1888, with Charles Coffey as postmaster. Today, the post office remains active in Trout Lake.

Topics related to the community known as Trout Lake, Michigan are the focus of this portion of our web guide. Websites representing businesses, industries, lodging facilities, schools, churches, organizations, attractions, events, entertainment venues, and recreational opportunities within the community are appropriate for this category.



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