Fife Lake Township, situated in the southeast corner of Grand Traverse County, Michigan, encompasses the scenic waters of Fife Lake, mainly on its south and west sides. Positioned at the southeast corner of the county, Grand Traverse County itself is situated in the northwest corner of Michigan’s lower peninsula. Fife Lake’s waters extend over the county line, with a small portion at the lake’s east end falling within Kalkaska County. The southeastern corner of Fife Lake Township aligns with the southeastern corner of Grand Traverse County, adjacent to Kalkaska to the east, Missaukee to the southeast, and Wexford to the south.
Covering 36 square miles, the township comprises 34.4 square miles of land and 1.6 square miles of water, including the picturesque Fife Lake, which spans approximately one and a half miles in diameter. The lake features two islands—one with a residence and the other serving as a private campsite—and boasts abundant fish, including pickerel, bass, walleye, and more.
Within the township, notable areas include the incorporated Village of Fife Lake, established in 1889 near the intersection of Highway 131 and M-186, and the unincorporated community of Walton Junction, named after the convergence of two railroad lines near the intersection of M-113 and Highway 131. The township also encompasses expansive state forest land, providing diverse recreational opportunities throughout the year, from skiing and ice fishing to swimming and hiking. The local economy is primarily driven by recreational activities, reflecting the rural character of the area, which had a population of 1,547 residents according to the 2000 census.
The industrial park area just northwest of the Village of Fife Lake houses limited manufacturing facilities, including Hayes Manufacturing, Inc., and Cintas Corp., offering additional employment opportunities. Additionally, the township has a Planned Development for commercial and light industrial use on a parcel which was a former state prison facility. The township oversees two cemeteries—the Fife Lake cemetery within the Village of Fife Lake and another near Walton on Elliott Road, providing specific information via a cemetery link.
Emergency services in the township encompass fire, ambulance, and police, all accessible through 911. The Forest Area Community School District, covering 120 square miles across six townships in two counties, includes an elementary school building within Fife Lake Township with the middle/high school located in neighboring Kalkaska County.
As part of the township and village, various amenities cater to local residents and visitors, including a range of stores, shops, restaurants, churches, banking facilities, and a local grocery store.