Interlochen is a town in Northwest Lower Michigan. It is in Green Lake Township, within Grand Traverse County. The community is noted for the internationally renowned Interlochen Center for the Arts. As of the 2010 census, the Interlochen census-designated place (CDP) had a population of 583.
Before the arrival of European settlers, members of the Odawa people lived between the lakes they called Wahbekaness and Wahbekanetta (now named Duck Lake and Green Lake, respectively). Beginning in the late 19th century, European settlers began logging and fishing industries in the area. As the lumber industry grew, the area became more deforested, until in 1917 the state of Michigan purchased the remaining virgin pines and created Interlochen State Park, the first state park in Michigan. In 1928, the National High School Orchestra Camp was founded at Interlochen and evolved to become Interlochen Center for the Arts, which includes a summer camp as well as a fine arts boarding high school and public radio station.
As the name suggests, Interlochen is situated between the two lakes of the original Odawa settlement. It is 14 miles (23 km) southwest of Traverse City at , and sits at an elevation of 841 feet (256 m) above sea level. The ZIP Code is 49643.
Interlochen lies close to the 45th parallel north, approximately halfway between the equator and the north pole. It therefore experiences typical Northern Michigan weather: very cold in the winter, and very warm in the summer. Interlochen is close enough to Lake Michigan that it experiences heavy lake-effect snow, but not close enough to be cooled by the Great Lake's breeze, furthering the extremes of the winter and summer seasons. However, other lake-effect precipitation in the summer is also present, causing lush greenery and magnificent thunderstorms, and making Interlochen picturesque in the summer as well as in the winter.
According to the census of 2010, there were 583 people, 240 households, and 142 families residing in the Interlochen CDP. The population density was 470.0 people per square mile (181.5/km²). There were 277 housing units at an average density of 223.3 per square mile (86.2/km²).
As of the 2010 census, the racial makeup of the CDP was 95.2% White, 2.2% Native American, 0.5% African-American or Black, 0.2% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 0.2% some other race, and 1.7% from two or more races. 1.9% of the population were Hispanic or Latino, who can be of any race.
In the CDP, the population was spread out with 25.4% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 33.3% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to 64, and 8.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32.3 years. For every 100 females there were 104.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.6 males.
The Village of Interlochen is an unincorporated community and does not have its own local government, but is governed locally by Green Lake Township. The township offices are located in Interlochen. Some governmental services are also provided by the county.
Interlochen is served by Traverse City's public transportation system, the Bay Area Transportation Authority (BATA) which serves most of the Grand Traverse region with dial-a-ride services. BATA debuted its first hybrid bus in December 2005. BATA recently completed a bus transfer terminal on Hall Street in Traverse City, which opened July 21, 2006. The terminal is used to transfer riders to different busses on different routes. BATA also links riders to the Greyhound terminal for regional and long-distance travel.