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Ludington State Park
Ludington State Park 2005 001.jpg
Ludington State Park
Map showing the location of Ludington State Park
Map showing the location of Ludington State Park
Location within the state of Michigan
Location Lower Peninsula, Mason County, Michigan USA
Nearest city Ludington, Michigan
Coordinates 44°02′28″N 86°30′15″W / 44.04121°N 86.50429°W / 44.04121; -86.50429Coordinates: 44°02′28″N 86°30′15″W / 44.04121°N 86.50429°W / 44.04121; -86.50429
Area 5,300 acres (2,100 ha)
Governing body Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Official website
Hamlin Lake
Hamlin Lake Dam
Ludington State Park hiking trails

Ludington State Park is a state park located just north of Ludington, Michigan between the shores of Lake Michigan and Hamlin Lake. The park encompasses nearly 5,300 acres (2,100 ha) and contains several ecosystems, including: forests, sand dunes, a dam, a Great Lake, and a river.

Big Sable Point Lighthouse[edit]

Ludington State Park is home to Big Sable Point Lighthouse. The lighthouse was first lit in 1876 and stands 112 feet (34 m) high. It can be visited from the beginning of May through the end of October. Visitors must walk 2 miles (3.2 km) on the sandy beach to reach it, though there is limited bus transportation on certain days throughout the season. Visitors can tour the lighthouse for a small donation.

Hamlin Lake[edit]

Hamlin Lake is an artificial lake created by the backup of the Big Sable River by the Hamlin Lake Dam. The lake, which covers 4,990 acres (20.2 km2), is five miles long and two miles wide. It has two sections, the upper and lower lakes, which are separated by the narrows. The lake is great for swimming during summer months as it is typically much warmer than Lake Michigan and has a smaller swimming area, making it easier to keep track of family and friends. Park visitors can rent a variety of boats at this location and many of the park's trails (including a canoe trail) begin and end here. During the winter season, ice fishing is popular.

Big Sable River[edit]

Big Sable River is the primary river that runs through the park. The park's portion of the river begins at Hamlin Lake Dam, the dam that created Hamlin Lake, and ends at Lake Michigan. The primary road that runs through the park runs alongside the full length of this portion of the river. During the summer months, Big Sable River can often be seen with groups of people floating down current in inner tubes. The river is home to otters and many fish. In 2005, the park made an effort to replenish the salmon population by creating cages for the fish to grow in and then releasing them when they were able to live on their own.


Ludington State Park has four campgrounds—Pines, Cedars, Jack Pine Hike-in, and Beechwood—containing a total of 352 campsites. Each campground also contains one mini-cabin. In addition, there are ten campsites within the remote Jack Pine camping area set aside for backpack hikers. All the campsites at Ludington State Park require a reservation and reservations typically fill up about 6 months before any given date. Campers sometimes secure campsites less than 6 months in advance by checking the reservation system frequently until a vacancy opens.[1]


The first campground located in the park, Pines, contains 99 campsites, making it the smallest in the park. It is located just inside the park entrance. The walk to the beach and the restaurant on the beach are mere minutes from any campsite in the area.


Cedars is the second campground in the park. It contains 106 campsites and is located about 1/3 the way into the park. Cedars is home to the camp store, which sells t-shirts, food, camping equipment, firewood, ice cream and miscellaneous goods. It also rents out bicycles to use within the park. Cedars is the closest campground to the nature center and the Skyline Trail, a popular short walk along a ridge.

Jack Pine hike-in[edit]

Jack Pine is a hike-in only rustic campground with 10 campsites, away from most park developments. It is about 0.75 mile north of Pine Campground on the unpaved road to the Lighthouse.


Beechwood is the largest campground in Ludington State Park with 147 campsites. It is located about 3/4 of the way into the park and is split into two sections, with the top section being far smaller than the section at the bottom of a high hill.

Beechwood is the most popular campground in the park for several reasons. It is more secluded than the others as it sits off on its own, away from popular tourist areas and other campgrounds. It has the most campsites ready for tents to be set up. It is also one of the best areas in the park for recreation. Several trails run through or near this campground, including the Lost Lake Trail, which guides hikers around the nearby Hamlin Lake. There is a playground and small pond nearby. Small church services are conducted every Sunday morning.

Beechwood was renovated somewhat recently and received several benefits. It now contains the majority of the park's boardwalks where people can fish, walk, and relax. The boardwalks also connect the campground to its own private, though very small, island.

Park recreation[edit]

Ludington State Park is home to several bike and hiking trails that vary in difficulty. Hiking trails are generally very well marked but a map from the park rangers' station will come in handy. There are 21.5 miles of hiking trail, 10 miles of cross-country ski trails, a 2-mile bicycle trail and a 4-mile canoe trail. There is plenty of fishing to be done at Hamlin Lake, Big Sable River, and Lake Michigan. The park also contains a nature center that highlights the park's wildlife and natural habitat. Tubing down Big Sable River and swimming in Hamlin Lake and Lake Michigan are encouraged during the summer months.

Other park amenities[edit]

The Beach Cafe is located right on the shores of Lake Michigan. It is the only restaurant located within the park and has stunning views of Lake Michigan and the beach. The cafe also has an attached gift shop, as well as a changing/locker room in the basement for those who would like to swim in Lake Michigan.

See also[edit]

Gallery of pictures[edit]


External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludington_State_Park — Please support Wikipedia.
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3313 videos foundNext > 

Pure Michigan Commercial: Ludington State Park

Just a short video collage, I put together from our vacation in 2011'. Enjoy! More videos to come.........

Ludington State Park beach

Tricopter vid of Lake Michigan beach in Ludington State Park.

Ludington State Park-an overview from the air

In this video we take a look from an aerial view of Ludington State Park in Michigan and highlight nice areas to visit as well as corresponding on the ground...

Snorkeling Big Sable River in Ludington State Park

Snorkeling Big Sable River in Ludington State Park.

Ludington State Park

Camping at Ludington State Park, in Ludington, MI. Oct. 2011.

Ludington State Park

Ludington State Park.

08-14-10 Camping at Ludington State Park & Green Lake at Interlochen

Lon and Shell with a mini-adventure camping in Michigan.

Ludington State Park Scouting Trip

Ludington State Park Summer 2010

Our annual camping trip to Ludington.

Ludington State Park

Popular wedding venue suitable for groups of 20 or less. Ideal for very small ceremonies.

3313 videos foundNext > 

6 news items


Lansing State Journal
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 16:48:15 -0700

Visitors enjoy some lazy rafting at Ludington State Park. The 5,300-acre slice of land on the northwest Lower Peninsula shoreline was picked by readers as their favorite Michigan state park. / Courtesy photo ...
Port Huron Times Herald
Wed, 09 Apr 2014 15:13:55 -0700

Michilimackinac State Park sits at the tip of the mitten, where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron meet, with a colonial fort, a lighthouse and panoramic views of the Mackinac Bridge. Ludington State Park is a west coast gem with a sparkling expanse of Lake ...
Lansing State Journal
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:30:00 -0700

My boys and I love our annual camping trips and have fond memories of Ludington State Park and Weko Beach, and we have become expert sand dune climbers. We are home to myriad of music and art festivals which represent the true diversity of our state.
Lansing State Journal
Wed, 26 Mar 2014 14:43:32 -0700

In the Beach division, Ludington State Park topped Silver Lake to advance against Leelanau State Park, which beat Tawas Point. Grand Haven State Park put the smackdown on Saugatuck Dunes and P.J. Hoffmaster State Park beat P.H. Hoeft on Lake Huron.
Lansing State Journal
Wed, 02 Apr 2014 17:41:35 -0700

In the Beach Bracket, Ludington State Park beat Leelanau to advance; it will take on P.J. Hoffmaster State Park near Muskegon. It beat Grand Haven State Park to advance. Vote for your favorites online at www.lsj.com/parkmadness until 9 p.m. Sunday ...
Tue, 01 Apr 2014 16:17:17 -0700

... M-116 in Mason County in honor of Trooper Paul Butterfield. House Bill 5257, sponsored by Rep. Ray Franz, R-Onekama, names the stretch of M-116 along the Lake Michigan shoreline leading into the Ludington State Park from the Lincoln River north ...

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