Ludington has so much to offer its residents and visitors, but our most popular draw is the 5,300 acres that lie just north of town, known as the Ludington State Park. The park opened on August 15, 1936, and celebrated its 75th birthday in 2011. This wonderful area of land is not just for camping--it's a haven for hikers, fishermen, bikers, or anyone who loves what nature has to offer. Here you'll discover sand dunes with spectacular views, hardwood forests, marshlands, and nearly seven miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. The state park is a vacation within itself, with special programs offered in the summer. For Camp Reservations, Call 1-800-447-2757
, or go to www.michigan.gov/dnr
A Michigan State Park Recreation Passport is required to enter the park and may be purchased at the park. Residents may also now purchase the $11 Recreation Passport when they renew their Michigan license plate at the Secretary of State office or through the Michigan e-store at www.michigan.gov/estore.
Enjoy a hike on one of the eight marked trails that cover 18 miles, and take note of the variety of trail markers and information kiosks along the way which provide some fascinating historical and natural facts about the park. A description of the individual trails - and the estimated walking time for each - is detailed by clicking on Trail Maps
at the top of this page.
The park is also well known for its unique and picturesque marked canoe pathway. Launch your canoe at the Hamlin Lake Beach and meander along the eastern shore of Hamlin Lake
through shallow bayous rich with wildlife and waterfowl. The time required to travel the pathway is about one to three hours, depending upon your skill level and preferred pace. Canoes are available to rent from the Hamlin Lake Concession Stand, where you can also rent paddleboats, rowboats, and kayaks.
Families especially appreciate the park's Hamlin Lake Beach for its calm waters, sandy shore, playground, picnic shelter, restrooms, and concessions. From here, it's just a short stroll to the Hamlin Lake Dam, which was constructed during the logging era when lumbermen dammed the Big Sable River to make a holding pond for felled trees. The other beach is along Lake Michigan, perfect for sunning, swimming, and jumping in the waves on a windy day! Don't forget to check out some of the nations best sand dunes
right here in West Michigan. Ludington State Park has miles of dunes to explore, and if that isn't enough, more dunes are just a short drive in either direction.
The park is a fisherman's paradise
, where anglers will discover an abundance of Hamlin Lake walleye, bass, northern pike, perch, and bluegill. A boat launch area provides easy access into the lake for boats up to 22 feet, with convenient parking for trailers. During the fall salmon run, when the fish attempt to jump over the dam on their way upstream, spectators and anglers line the Sable River Boardwalk to capture the thrill of this fishing season highlight. A hard surface walkway provides handicapped access across the dam and along both sides of the river. Other areas in the park that are barrier-free are the Hamlin Beach changing and concession building, certain campsites and all restroom buildings in the Pines, Cedar and middle Beechwood campgrounds.
In the quieter seasons of spring and fall, the Ludington State Park's beauty is magnified by serenity. When winter blankets the landscape with a pristine white hush, snow lovers can cross country ski on eight miles of trails...three of which are groomed. Snowshoeing is another great winter activity that's growing in popularity and you can burn up to 700 calories per hour of moderate walking! Guided snowshoe walks are held throughout the winter. You can bring your own snowshoes or borrow one of 40 pairs available on a first-come first-served basis at the state park. All walks begin and end at the warming shelter complete with picnic tables--and plenty of heat!
Discover the beauty--experience the fun--at the one and only Ludington State Park.
Ludington State Park Contact Info
- ALL Camping Reservations (Michigan DNR): (800) 447-2757 or Michigan DNR, Ludington State Park
- Main Office (Local): (231) 843-2423
- Cedar Camp Store (watercraft rental) (Local): (231) 845-8582
- Snowshoe Class Reservations/Special Programs (Local): (231) 843-9261