Ludington State Park of Mason County, Michigan
20 miles long.
8 miles N. of Ludington on Lakeshore Dr. and M-116 Hwy.
Phone Number: (231) 843-2423
TTY/TDD711 (Michigan Relay Center)
Motor Vehicle Permit Required: Yes
Approximate Size: 5300 (Acres)
Make a Reservation at this Park
Cross country ski trail is groomed.
Ludington State Park is comprised of nearly 5,300 acres of scenic sand dunes, shoreline vista, ponds, marshlands and forests. It is situated between Hamlin Lake and Lake Michigan with several miles of shoreline and beaches on both bodies of water. There are three modern campgrounds at Ludington State Park -- Pines, Cedar and Beechwood -- with a combined total of 355 campsites including three mini-cabins. These sites have electricity and modern shower and bathroom facilities in each campground. For backpack campers Ludington now offers 10 remote tent sites in the new Jack Pine Hike In only campground. This campground has no electricity and the toilet facilities are rustic. Showers are available at the Pines modern campground. All equipment and supplies must be backpacked or bicycle packed one mile into the sites from the designated parking area.
- Visitor Center - Exhibits, interactive displays, multi-image slide shows and other nature programs to orient visitors to Michigan's unique cultural and natural features. The Great Lakes Visitor Center, an outdoor interpretive facility, is a very popular attraction at Ludington. It offers interesting displays, slide presentations, videos and live programs that provide visitors of all ages with a better understanding of the local wildlife, geology, and history unique to the Great Lakes.
- Hunting - Approximately two-thirds of Ludington State Park's 5,300 acres is open to hunting. The best opportunities are for deer, squirrel and waterfowl hunting. The park also allows trapping in the open zones during specified seasons. The terrain ranges from dune and jackpine swails, brushy marsh and wetlands, to mature beech, oak and white pine forests.
- Designated Watchable Wildlife Site - The winter perspective is quiet and serene, as visitors have a chance to view wildlife and various species of waterfowl that are abundant in the park. The Wildlife Viewing Guide is now on line at www.michigan.gov/miwildlifeviewing
- Playground - These play areas offer a variety of playground equipment for children.
- Beach House - Provides clothes-changing area for swimmers. One located at Lake Michigan and one at Hamlin Lake. A beach wheelchair is available at Lake Michigan Beach House upon request.
- Swimming - Lake Michigan Beach Information Beaches available at Lake Michigan and Hamlin Lake.
- Fishing - Anglers will find an abundance of northern pike, largemouth and smallmouth bass, walleye, tiger musky and panfish. Lake Michigan offers boaters and anglers recreation opportunities as well. In the spring and fall, there is the challenge of salmon, lake trout, steelhead, and brown trout that swim along the shoreline of Lake Michigan and in the Big Sable River below the Hamlin Dam.
- Canoeing - The one-of-a-kind canoe trail is a great means for visitors to explore portions of Ludington State Park not readily accessible on foot.
- Canoe/Kayak Rental - Boat rentals are available at Hamlin Lake from mid-May to mid-October for kayaks, canoes, row boats, and paddle boats. Call the concession at 231-845-8582.
- Picnic Area - Picnic tables and fire pits/grills. The day use area has two sandy beaches, one located on Lake Michigan and the other on Hamlin Lake. Both areas have concessions that are open during the summer months. A picnic area with waist-high grills and tables is located at Hamlin Lake beach and along the Sable River.
- Picnic Shelter(s) - Located at Hamlin Lake day use area. Available on first-come, first-served basis or by reservation. For reservations, contact the park at 231-843-2423.
- Biking - A paved biking and hiking trail runs along the Big Sable River linking the campgrounds to Lake Michigan, Hamlin Lake day use areas, and the Great Lakes Visitor Center. Bicycles are allowed on park roads and the non-paved Lighthouse Road, but not on any foot trails or cross-country ski trails. The gravel and sand Lighthouse Road travels along the Lake Michigan shore from the Pines Campground to the Big Sable Point Lighthouse.
- Hiking - An outstanding feature of the park is its trail system. There are eight separately marked foot trails that wind for 18 miles throughout woods and over the dunes. There are three rustic trail shelters located along the trails. A portion of the trail system is a hard surface and is ADA accessible.
- Boating Access Site/Launch - Access for boating and fishing. Boat launch can accommodate up to 22 foot boats.
- Concession/Store - Lake Michigan and Hamlin Lake day use areas have concessions that are open during the summer months. The Park Store, which is open mid-May to mid-October, is located in the Cedar campground.
- Lighthouse - The Big Sable Point Lighthouse is open for tours May-October and maintained by the non-profit Big Sable Point Lighthouse Keepers Association. Access to the lighthouse is obtained by walking 1.5 miles one way.
- Cross Country Ski - Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are popular winter activities. Be sure to check with the park for dates and times of popular snowshoe hikes. A heated log shelter is available at the trailhead parking area.
- Metal Detecting Areas - Metal detecting is recognized as a legitimate recreation activity when it is conducted in ways that do not damage the natural and cultural resources in Michigan State Parks nor violate applicable state statutes. If you wish to use a metal detector in this state park, here is a map that shows clearly where this activity may take place. Any items found must be reviewed by park staff and may be retained for further investigation.
- Wireless Internet Access - MiWiFi provides wireless Internet access near the main office headquarters building and radiates about 150 feet from this location in all directions. This service is also available in other parks and harbors throughout Michigan.
Return to Mason County, MI Trails Page
Permission and information sources are from Contributers to this Web Site, the Department of Natural Resources, Michigan.gov, National Park Service,
and the USDA Forest Service.