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Michigan dnr > wildlife viewing guide > northern lower peninsula > ludington

37 Ludington State Park Northern Lower Peninsula

wildlife viewing  |  directions and facility information

aerial view - click for larger image
Ludington State Park is like an island,
nestled between Lake Michigan
and Hamlin Lake. Click for larger
image. Photo: MI DNR

Ludington State Park is practically an island, as it sits nestled between Lake Michigan and Hamlin Lake, lower Michiganís largest artificial impoundment.

scenic shore

Photo: MI DNR

The park boasts over 6 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline. Here you will find lofty sand dunes, virgin stands of evergreen and hardwood trees, soft, sandy beaches, and an extensive network of hiking, skiing, biking, and canoe trails.

Ludington has 373 campsites that are heavily used from May through mid-October. The park's education and interpretive programming is very popular and offers slide and video presentations, and live programs that can give you a better appreciation of the wildlife, geology, and history of this unique area.

Wildlife Viewing

 walkway through woods  forest view - click for full image  walkway toward Lake Michigan view  view of dunes and forest - click for full image
Take a walk on Ludington State Parkís Skyline Trail for spectacular views of Lake Michigan
and the surrounding sand dunes. Click vistas for larger image. Photos: © Phil Seng

This site offers wonderful wildlife viewing opportunities from its extensive trail system. There are more than 18 miles of hiking trails, with an additional 12 miles of cross-country ski trails. Walk the Skyline Trail for some spectacular views of high dune ridges and Lake Michigan. Hike the Lighthouse Trail to Big Sable Point Lighthouse to sample a bit of Michiganís maritime history.

The canoe trail at Ludington is relaxing and beautiful, and is an excellent way to discover the parkís wildlife, especially at early morning and late evening. A trail brochure is available at the park office. Photos: © Phil Seng

Perhaps the most unique trail here is the canoe trail. Brochures at the visitor center show you how to make a unique passage along the bayous and inlets of Hamlin Lakeís shoreline. Slip silently down this trail early in the morning for a high probability of viewing herons, egrets, waterfowl, deer, and other animals along the waterís edge. The Sable River, which flows from Hamlin Lake to Lake Michigan, has some open water year-round. This makes it very attractive to waterfowl from November through January.

Portions of this area are open to public hunting. Contact the park headquarters for seasons and locations.


Travel west on US-10 into Ludington. Turn right (north) onto Lakeshore Drive/M-116 and proceed about 8 miles to the park entrance.

Map of Ludington State Park (Adobe Acrobat required)

Ownership: Michigan Department of Natural Resources (231) 843-2423

Size: 5,300 acres

Closest Town: Ludington

Weather and Driving Directions for Ludington

Plan Your Trip with travel.michigan.org!

More information can be found by visiting the DNR's site (link leads to web app allowing users to search for campgrounds, harbors, trails and more), or by conducting a Google search:


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