Rarely does one think of sand dunes when thinking of Midwest waters and yet, here, on the shores of Lake Michigan you have them in spades. Ludington State Park, along the eastern shore of the lake, offers a unique access to experience the dunes in entirety. An easy walk from the campgrounds leads you through the shady wildlife filled backdunes, into the trough laced with interdunal ponds, up to the grassy hilly foredunes, all the way up to the beach, and the Big Sable Point lighthouse. For those with kids in tow, the Hamlin Lake side of the park offers a modern beach with enough amenities to leave everyone tired and maybe a bit sunburnt.
This state park boasts amazing biodiversity and miles of shorelines with it's location bordered between Lake Michigan on one side and Hamlin Lake on the other. It offers 3 campgrounds, sandy beaches, wetlands, marshlands, and forests in addition to it's amazing dune regions. There is direct beach access stretching all along the coast of Lake Michigan accessible to all park visitors from the Lake Michigan Beach house. On the Hamlin Lake side is rentals, playgrounds, concessions, a boat launch, and more than enough activities to keep the whole family entertained. Miles of diverse hiking trails lead you through the parks regions with some paved trails for biking as well. For the anglers, you'll find northern pike, large and smallmouth bass, walleye, musky, and panfish on the Hamline Lake side.
The park has 355 campsites (most with electric hookups) in 3 different campgrounds, including 3 mini cabins and some hike in tent sites for backpack campers. There are modern toilet and shower facilities throughout the campgrounds. All of this leads to a very comfortable experience save for the total and utter lack of mobile connectivity. Phone coverage on Verizon was virtually non-existent, and AT&T on our Winegard got us online, but with speeds too abysmal to function.
The campsites and campgrounds of the park wind up and down gentle hills in through wooded areas. If you keep your eyes open, you will most likely catch some white tailed deer grazing nearby.
Outside the Parks
Nearby Ludington boasts lovely flower lined boulevards to a charming little city. In addition to the state park, there are city beaches, and parks as well as boat launch, marina, and the S. S. Badger car ferry offering daily transport 60 miles across Lake Michigan to Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
This part of Michigan leaves you feeling transported to a coastal nautical oasis. The birds soaring over sailboats and the distant horn alerting you to the incoming ferry are a soothing backdrop to the lapping waters and sandy beaches.
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