Location: Ludington, Michigan
Ludington State Park is a located north of the city of Ludington, Michigan. It contains 5,300 acres of diverse habitat, including hardwood forests, marshlands, and nearly 7 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline.
The drive into the park twists through ever changing sand dunes with hints of Lake Michigan peaking through. It’s stunning any time of year.
In the off season, campsites are available in the Cedar Loop and Jack Pine loops. In the summer, all 360 campsites and 3 mini cabins, are open to visitors. This includes the 10 remote hike-in sites along a 1 mile trail. Most of the sites do have electricity but these backpacking sites offer no amenities.
The park also boasts more than 21 miles of marked hiking trails and a 4 mile canoe trail through Hamlin Lake.
We tend to avoid staying at modern campgrounds but during the winter, Ludington State Park loses that “hotely” feel. It instead emulates a small, rustic campground with vault toilets and no water. Our stay was wonderful.
The only issue we had was sites are labeled on the pavement and the pavement was covered with snow and ice. We guessed but have no idea if we stayed in our reserved site.
Sable River runs through the park and provides plenty of opportunities for bird watching. We saw an assortment of ducks and swans.
We recommend anyone who is starting out with winter camping to stay at one of the few state parks open during this time of year. It’s a great opportunity to practice winter camping without putting yourself in a potentially life threatening situation.
For more information or to make reservations visit Ludington State Park.