It’s no wonder the Wolverine State is popular among RVers, writes Robert Annis for a report published by Togo RV. With natural beauty, some of the best mountain biking east of the Mississippi, unlimited hiking trails, and thousands of miles of shoreline along with four of the Great Lakes, Michigan’s outdoor activities rival any state in the Midwest.
Ludington State Park
When visiting in the fall, it’s easy to see why Ludington is one of Michigan’s most popular state parks — the oak and maple trees explode into red and gold, contrasting beautifully with the deep blue of bordering Lake Michigan. But you don’t have to wait until the seasons change to go; this park is gorgeous year-round.
Much of the state park’s best scenery can be seen by hiking the Lost Lake, Ridge, and Island trails. Connecting the three makes for a reasonable hike that takes about three to four hours. Be sure to check out the log and stone shelters, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.
The Big Sable Point Lighthouse is only accessible via hiking trail, but it’s worth the effort, especially at sunset. (Just remember to bring a headlamp for the hike back.) Be aware that the 2.5-mile hike to the lighthouse from the state park’s Beechwood campground gets a little more challenging as the dirt trail gives way to sand dunes.
Kayakers will definitely want to paddle the Hamlin Lake Canoe Pathway, which takes visitors past the Desperation Point sand dunes and into the marshes and bays at the south end of the park. You can bring your own boat or rent one at Dune Grass Concessions.
Getting There By RV
The best gateways to the park are via U.S. Route 31 from the south and U.S. Route 10 from the east. U.S. 31 is the most scenic, as it often follows Lake Michigan’s contours.
Where to Stay
You have several options for camping in the area, and the best place to stay is in Ludington State Park itself. If possible, choose a spot in the Beechwood loop where you’ll be near the picturesque Lost Lake and the trailhead for the park’s most scenic hikes. In addition to the camping fee (starting at $25), you need to purchase a recreation pass, which is $9 for the day or $34 for the year for nonresidents. Book early, as this is a popular spot year-round.
As an alternative, look toward Cartier Park Campground, which is located just 4 miles south of Ludington, on Lincoln Lake, where anglers can attempt to catch bluegill and pike. A small paved trail allows visitors to walk or bike their way around the park.
- Poncho’s Pond RV Park
- Buttersville Campground
- Starport Marina and Campground