Ludington State Park Will Be Closed For 10 Months: What To See This Summer

Ludington State Park Will Be Closed For 10 Months: What To See This Summer

Ludington State Park Dunes and Pond 2024

Ludington State Park will close after Labor Day in 2024, and may not open back up until some time in July of 2025. During this 10-month closure, the entire park road will be repaved, parking lots will be expanded, and the entrance will be redesigned. Work will also take place on the popular Skyline Trail, and other facility upgrades will take place. Due to the time-sensitive nature of the government funds (part of the Building Michigan Together Plan) being used for these projects the park needs to be closed so the repairs can stay on schedule. Knowing this, we decided to take a look at what our favorite things to do at Ludington State Park are, so everyone can make the most of their visits this spring and summer before the closure happens.

Ludington State Park Beach Lake Michigan

Enjoy the beautiful Lake Michigan beach – One of the reasons for the closure is for the parking lot for the beach area to be repaved while pedestrian access is improved. The beach is one of the most popular spots at the park, as it stretches for three miles. Find a spot and sunbathe, swim in the shallow water, or play a game of volleyball. Whatever beach activity you enjoy, Ludington State Park is the perfect place for it.

Big Sable Point Lighthouse

Tour the Big Sable Point Lighthouse – A hike of 1.5 miles each way takes visitors to the historic 1867 Big Sable Point Lighthouse. Once there, you can enter the keepers dwelling and climb to the top of this 112 foot tall tower (thanks to the efforts of the Sable Points Lightkeepers Association). This incredibly photogenic lighthouse has a brick tower that is encased in black and white boiler plate to protect it from the elements, and the views of the Lake Michigan shoreline from up above are phenomenal.

Ludington State Park Dunes Campsite

Spend a few nights in the campground – There are three modern campgrounds here at Ludington State Park, as well as the rustic and walk-in Jack Pine campground. Choose from the Beechwood (147 sites), Cedar (106 sites), or the Pines (99 sites) campgrounds and pitch your tent or park your RV for a week or weekend of adventure. The park also has three mini-cabins. Many of the park’s trails can be accessed from the campground loops. The campgrounds here fill up for summer months fast, so make a reservation soon!

Ludington State Park Hamlin Lake

Paddle on the Big Sable River or Hamlin Lake – Visitors looking for a great paddling experience can check out the LSP Canoe Trail (a four-mile near-shore paddling route), the new marked route through Lost Lake, or the stretch of the Big Sable River that runs from the dam down to Lake Michigan. The park rents canoes and kayaks in the summer and this is a great way to see some of the waterfowl and small mammals that live here.

Ludington State Park Two Deer

Watch for wildlife – The park is home to many birds, reptiles, amphibians, and small mammals. Deer are abundant in the park, and on our hikes we have also seen snakes, turtles, chipmunks, otters, frogs, woodpeckers, turkeys, gulls, ducks, and more. Keep your eyes open for eagles in the park’s trees and consider having a bird identification book or app along for your visit.

Ludington State Park Dunes 2024

Photograph the dunes – The dunes here make for both great backdrops and excellent vantage points, and the park is full of them. Constantly changing, they are shaped by the wind and waves to create a stunning landscape. The park entrance road has many tall dunes, and the hike to the lighthouse shows off even more.

Ludington State Park Trails

Hike the park trails – There are 21 miles of marked trails in the park! The Coast Guard Trail (1.5 miles), Lost Lake Trail (1.5 miles), Sable River Trail (1.5 miles) are a few of our favorites. You’ll also find adventure on the Logging Trail (4 miles), Lighthouse Trail (3 miles), Island Trail (2 miles), Ridge Trail (2.7 miles), and the Skyline Trail (half mile). The Skyline Trail will also be receiving some TLC during the park closure.

Ludington State Park Hamlin Dam

Fish Hamlin Lake or at the Hamlin Dam – The Sable River is known to be great for catching salmon, while Hamlin Lake offers abundant walleye, bass, northern pike, perch, and bluegill.

Community Cooperative Ludington State Park Mason County Sculpture Trail

Find the Mason County Sculpture Trail and Michigan historic sites – The sculpture “Community Cooperative” can be found at Ludington State Park. Depicting several woodland animals together in a tree, this Colette Pitcher sculpture fits perfectly near the park’s trails. A Michigan historical marker near the Hamlin Dam tells about the area’s lumber heritage: “Two centuries after Father Marquette’s death not far from here in 1675, timber from this area’s forests helped build America. Among the lumbering towns of the region was Hamlin, located on the Big Sable River at this site. Lumber from the sawmill was hauled by mule cars on a tramway to long piers on Lake Michigan. In 1888 the mill dam broke. The released waters wiped out the little village.”