The Ludington State Park
Ludington has much to boast about—from our lakes to our lighthouses—but we’re most proud of the 5,300 acres of land fondly known as the “Queen of the State Parks.” It has rightly earned that title for its sand dunes, lighthouse, dam, marshlands, and nearly seven miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. No where else will you find such abundant natural resources and unique scenery.
Visitors flock to the Ludington State Park by the thousands, filling up its three large campgrounds and hiking its eight trails. These trails are the best way to see the park in all its glory. They wind through the wooded dunes on the Lake Michigan beach to shady forests to watery coves. The trails are well marked and information kiosks along the way provide historical and natural facts about the park. Whether it’s a short, 30-minute walk you desire, or a longer three hour hike—you’ll find the right trail to enjoy the natural beauty of the park.
The Big Sable Point Lighthouse, located within the Ludington State Park, is a 112’, black and white tower that is one of the tallest on Lake Michigan. From May-October, visitors can climb the 130 steps to the top of the tower, and marvel at the spectacular view. The Big Sable Point Lighthouse Keeper’s Association is now responsible for the upkeep of the structure, and they also operate the gift shop that is housed in the original keeper’s quarters. Locating the Ludington State Park on a map is quite easy, as Big Sable Point means “big point of sand,” representing its location as it juts into Lake Michigan. The other section south of Ludington that juts into Lake Michigan is Little Sable Point, located in the Silver Lake State Park.
The Great Lakes Visitor Center is one place you must stop on your visit to the Ludington State Park. It offers exhibits, numerous audio-visual presentations, a gift shop and daily interpretive programs for children and adults. A huge satellite map of the Great Lakes covers an entire wall, and there are also large, three-dimensional maps of all five Great Lakes. The Visitor Center focuses on the geological and human history of the Great Lakes, along with the rich history of the Ludington State Park.
A nice place for families is the Hamlin Lake Beach, known for its sandy shore, playground, picnic shelter, restrooms and concessions. Here you can rent rowboats, kayaks, paddleboats and aqua cycles to navigate the calm waters of Hamlin Lake.
Even in the winter, Ludington State Park amazes visitors with its pristine, white snow that blankets the familiar landscape. Snowshoeing is a terrific winter activity, burning up to 700 calories in just one hour! The Park offers snowshoe-making classes in November and December, and guided snowshoe walks are held in January. Or you can cross country ski on 16 miles of trails.
Photo by ToddandBradReed.com
"Ludington has much to boast about—from our lakes to our lighthouses—but we’re most proud of the 5,300 acres of land fondly known as the “Queen of the State Parks.”"
"The Great Lakes Visitor Center is one place you must stop on your visit to the Ludington State Park."
"Even in the winter, Ludington State Park amazes visitors with its pristine, white snow that blankets the familiar landscape."