Ludington State Park
Bounded by Lake Michigan on the west and Hamlin on the east with Sable River running between it’s an ideal place for all kinds of water sports. Kayaks, canoes, tubes and paddle boats are available to rent at the concessions area on the Hamlin beach. On land there are 18 miles of trails through forest, marshes, dunes and along the river.
Catch the rays of the sun at Ludington Beaches. The state park has sandy beaches both on Lake Michigan and Hamlin Lake. In town there is Stearn’s Park which includes the pier and the North Breakwater Lighthouse. Across the harbor is Buttersville Park, a little smaller and quieter place to relax. (Note Buttersville Park is dog-friendly so you may see a few K-9 friends).
Interested in local history? Visit Historic White Pine Village to see historical buildings and artifacts from Mason County past. Also learn of the maritime shipping and car ferry history at our new Maritime Museum.
Explore the Ludington lighthouses.
Hike or bike out to the Big Sable Lighthouse located in Ludington State Park. Visitors can climb the tower and explore the information center and gift shop. This is about a two mile hike. Several days during the summer months there are bus shuttles going out to the lighthouse. The North Breakwater Light is accessible from Stearn’s Park close to the downtown area.
On your own you can fish off the pier, or head to Pere Marquette River. There’s also docks on Lincoln Lake in Cartier Park. Or take it up a notch and go charter fishing. Ludington has a number of captains with boats just waiting for your call! Here is the info on one of these boats, Reel Obsession.
Take a cruise
Maybe your looking for a nice cruise on the water. Be your own captain and rent a pontoon boat on Hamlin Lake. Or kayak or canoe on the Pere Marquette River. Several of the charter boats offer a cruise and you can let someone else show you around the lake. Or take a 4 hour cruise across the Lake to Manitowoc Wisconsin on the SS Badger car ferry.
Shop for produce
Ludington is also orchard and farm country. Buy fresh produce right from the farm! Some of our favorite places to shop are The Jam Farm, Orchard Market, Kistlercrest Farms and Christoffersen Farms. Cherries, apples, peaches, berries and maple syrup are examples of the wonderful produce from the Ludington area.
Hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing
The state park is wonderful for hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. There are 18 miles of trails. Some are specifically designated for cross country skiing. The park is beautiful when decked in the snow. It’s so quiet. When on the higher trails such as the Skyline Trail one can see for miles across the lake or over the dunes. Coming soon? Check the weather forecast.
In December and January Ludington State Park offer snowshoe-making classes. Participants work on their shoes at the warming shelter and spend the day making a quality pair of snowshoes.
Night hikes at the state park
A fun and free evening activity takes place on selected nights in January and February when the trails are lit with lanterns. Experience the park at night. During the walk hikers will find a warming shelter where they can take a break with other hikers and enjoy a steaming cup of hot chocolate. Mmmm.
Noordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area
Indoor ice skating
If you enjoy gliding across the ice, Indoor skating is available at the West Shore Community College, (see skating at WSCC .)
“For fun in the snow with just your sled or toboggan, try your luck at various hills and dunes within the Ludington State Park, or Water Tower Hill on South Staffon and Melendy Streets in Ludington.” visitludington.com
Horseback riding & sleigh rides
Head south to New Era (about 32 miles) and try horseback riding, a hay ride or sleigh ride at Rainbow Ranch. These activities of course should be booked ahead since winter hours are often reduced. And if you’re going to New Era, schedule a tour of Country Dairy to see the operations and taste some of their awesome ice cream.
In late afternoon don’t miss an opportunity to take in a winter sunset with the North Breakwater lighthouse in the scene, right down the street at Stearn’s Park.
Sit by the fireplace and relax in the parlor
Sit by the fireplace with a warm beverage. Put on some music. Read or play some games. We’ll have hot chocolate, coffee, tea, and cookies available. We also have a few board games and plenty of table space for playing games. We have books on local history, photography and history of the Cartiers, the family that built this house. Magazines and local newspaper are available as well. Feel free to order take-out and use our dining room. We can supply the dishes and utensils needed.
So you can see, with a little planning the non-summer seasons can also provide a lot of fun in Ludington. Come and stay with us!