Area Info


Historical Info – Where the Heck is Clam Lake?

In 1871, after the Great Michigan Fires that swept across the state from Saginaw to Port Huron westward to Manistee and Holland that destroyed or seriously damaged timber harvest areas and lumber mills; lumber seeker George Mitchell arrived on the Little Clam Lake (later Lake Cadillac) eastern shore.  He faced a couple challenges in order to successfully harvest timber in the area.

Mr. Mitchell convinced the G.R. & I. Railroad to redirect the railroad that was to head toward Charlevoix and Petosky eastward to a point 3-4 miles south of Little Clam Lake.  He felt the most direct route for his lumber was between the two lakes.

Mr. Mitchell tried dredging the Black Creek that flowed easterly, connecting the two lakes to float logs from Big Clam Lake (later Lake Mitchell) to his lumber mills in his village. The Black Creek route failed.  Mr. Mitchell felt that the natural flow of water to the Clam River outlet at the northeast corner of the smaller lake would be ideal for floating cut timber to his mills; so he constructed a canal a few hundred feet south of the creek.  The area was then built up into a booming lumber community.

Clam Lake became a tourist destination with boat companies and the railroad carrying tourists to that “social” town on the lakes.  There were picnics, berry picking and hiking.  The train rides became quite an experience with food, music and dancing during the excursion.

In 1872, Mr. Mitchell organized Clam Lake Village (later Cadillac).  In 1877, Cadillac became a city and George Mitchell was its first mayor. Unfortunately, Mr. Mitchell died in 1878 from an accidental fall.

The county seat, however, was in the village of Sherman, although Manton briefly held the county seat designation.  There was a political dispute in 1882 to change the county seat to Cadillac, which still stands today.

Visitor Info

Click on Cadillac Michigan Official Travel Guide  – it contains maps for Cadillac, the lakes, lodging, and multi-trail maps.  Information on:  golf courses, parks and camping, lake ramp and rental information, winter sports, attraction and events, dining and markets, shopping, day trip and scenic routes, weddings, meetings and reunions, major venues.

Network of Trails, the Cadillac Area offers outdoor adventure no matter the time of year.  Trail hiking, biking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and ORV/ATV’s.

Trail hiking:  Mitchell State Park Heritage Trail, Keith McKellop Walkway, Lake Cadillac Foot/Bike Path, Clam River Greenway, White Pine Trail, The Big M

Biking:  Lake Cadillac Foot/Bike Path, Clam River Greenway, White Pine Trail, The Big M (Outer Loop groomed for winter fat tires)

Cross country skiing & snow shoeing:  Mitchell State Heritage Park, Clam River Greenway, Evergreen Trail (groomed trails for x-county skiing)

Snowmobiling:  White Pine Trail

ORV/ATV’s:  Long Lake Missaukee Trail and Missaukee Junction Trail between Cadillac and Manton.

Other links of interest:
Cadillac Area Chamber of Commerce
Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau
Wexford County of Michigan
City of Cadillac Michigan
Township of Clam Lake

Clam Lake Township Area Demographics:

Land Area:  30.9 square miles

Water Area:  0.3 square miles

2010 Census Population:  2,265    2015 Population Estimate:  2,290

Population Density (2013):   73 people per square mile

Gender (2010):

  • Males 1,246
  • Females  1,221

Age Groups (2010):

  •  0-17  590
  • 18-64  1,466
  • 65+  411

Age Distribution (2010):

  •    0-9  years  274
  • 10-19 years  361
  • 20-29 years  187
  • 30-39 years  233
  • 40-49 years  380
  • 50-59 years 442
  • 60-69 years  305
  • 70-79 years  164
  • 80+ years     121

Race (2010):

  • White          2,400
  • Black/African  14
  • Indigenous        8
  • Asian                 15
  • Other                  4
  • 2 or more         26

Ethnicity (2010):

  • Hispanic or Latino  15
  • Other                    2,452

Most Common First Ancestries Reported (2013):

  • Norwegian  71.4%
  • German       28.6%

Occupied Housing (2013):

  • Owner occupied    2,012
  • Renter occupied       210

Average Household Size (2013):  2.7 people

Household Type by Relationship (2013):

  • Married couples with children  514
  • Single-parent households            64 (29 men, 35 women)

Average Median Household Income (2013):   $41,661

Estimated Median House or Condo Value (2013):   $96,645                                                                   Lower quartile $58,800 Upper quartile  $160,896

Median Contract Rent (2013): $530                                                                                                                 Lower quartile:  $256  Upper quartile:   $449