Tag Archives: Camping

Ludington State Park, Ludington, MI

Photo by Rachel Kramer, Flickr.com
Photo by Rachel Kramer, Flickr.com

Ludington State Park is one of the most popular state parks in Michigan, and it’s easy to see why. In addition to a beautiful Lake Michigan beach, Ludington State Park offers a second beach along Hamlin Lake, sand dunes, hiking trails, an amphitheater, three campgrounds and the Big Sable Point Lighthouse.

The Lake Michigan beach stretches seven miles along the Great Lake, and features a beach house with a store, a restaurant and concessions. The beach has an accessible walkway to make getting down to the water’s edge easier.

For variety, warmer water temperatures (sometimes), or when the waves on Lake Michigan are too rough, try the Lake Hamlin Beach. The playground and calmer waters makes this beach a favorite with families. There’s a picnic area with grills nearby so you can grill up lunch or grab something to eat at the concession stand.

There’s a boat launch on Hamlin Lake to enjoy a day of water skiing or relaxing with your fishing pole. If you didn’t bring a boat, paddleboat, rowboat, canoe and kayak rentals are available at the concession stand. One of Ludington State Park’s unique features is a picturesque, marked, 4 -mile long canoe trail that winds along the edge of Hamlin Lake and wanders through bayous not accessible from the hiking trails.

Ludington State Park boasts 8 hiking and biking trails meandering a combined 18 miles through the park; there are options for those seeking a pleasant stroll as well as those who like a bigger challenge.

The Big Sable Point Lighthouse has illuminated the shores of Ludington since 1867. In 1949 it became the last Great Lakes lighthouse to be electrified. The lighthouse is open to visitors from May through October, but is situated 1.8 miles from the the parking lot so be prepared for a little hike!

Ludington State Park features not one but four campgrounds. Pines, Cedar and Beechwood all feature modern restrooms and electrical hookups. Pines is situated near Lake Michigan and offers 99 campsites, mostly shady. Beechwood is located near Hamlin Lake and has 147 mostly shady campsites. Cedar lies between Pines and Beechwood and features 106 mostly sunny campsites. There are three mini-cabins for rent for those traveling without a camper or tent.

For those who like a more rustic camping experience, the fourth campsite, Jack Pines, might be just the thing. It is not accessible by road and no vehicles are allowed, so all equipment, gear and supplies must be walked in. It is located in the dunes near Lake Michigan, about a mile north of Pines Campground. Vault toilets and hand pump are provided.

Ludington State Park
8800 W. M-116
Ludington, MI 49431
(231) 843-2423

Muskegon Beaches

Muskegon lighthouse
Muskegon offers a selection of beautiful Lake Michigan beaches, boasting both state park and city beaches, including one of Michigan’s few nationally certified clean beaches,Pere Marquette Beach.

Pere Marquette Park Beach
Not only does Pere Marquette Park have what is considered by many to be Muskegon’s finest beach, but it’s free to enter. As you might expect, this can lead to crowds on weekends, so get there early. Pere Marquette offers picnic tables and grills, a snack bar, playground and a 200-foot walkway down to the beach, so you don’t have to slog through thick sand in order to arrive at the water’s edge. Then there’s that great view of Muskegon’s picturesque red lighthouse. Pere Marquette hosts a number of events throughout the summer months, including a popular family “movie on the beach,” held once a month, please check the Visit Muskegon events calendar for more information about this and other beach events.

Pere Marquette Beach

Hoffmaster Park DunesP.J. Hoffmaster State Park Beach
Located south of town, P.J. Hoffmaster State Park features three miles of beach along Lake Michigan. Visitors can hike along the dunes and check out the view from the observation platform, or pop into the visitor’s center to learn about the plants and critters that call the park home. There’s concessions, a beach house, picnic facilities and a campground.

P.J. Hoffmaster State Park

Muskegon State Park Beach
This little gem of a park boasts miles of shoreline along Lake Michigan and Muskegon Lake, camping and one of the few public luge runs in the country. The Lake Michigan beach offers a beach house, great views of Muskegon’s lighthouse and there’s a picnic shelter and boat launch along Muskegon Lake. The park offers a choice of two campgrounds: a 105 site space along Lake Michigan or 139 sites on Muskegon Lake. If you’re a thrill seeker, check out the winter sports compound located at the north end of the park, which offers a luge run in winter and a wheeled luge run in summer.

Muskegon State Park

Kruse Dog Beach Muskegon
Norman F. Kruse Park Beach & Dog Beach

Norman Kruse Beach is a small, picturesque beach on Lake Michigan, with a separate dog beach for your favorite four-legged friend.

Kruse Park

Campgrounds in Grand Haven

Grand Haven offers several camping options, but the favorite by far is the Grand Haven State Park campground, where you’ll fall asleep to the sound of waves crashing against the shore.  There’s barely a tree in sight, but who cares when the Lake Michigan beach is literally right outside your door?Eat breakfast outside and enjoy views of the sand, the glistening water and Grand Haven’s cheerful red lighthouse, rising like a rocket from a pier that juts out into the lake. There’s a pavilion serving goodies like burgers, hot dogs and ice cream, and a shop selling all the beach things you might have left at home, like suncreen and beach balls.   What’s more, guests can enjoy sand & sun all day long, then walk the boardwalk along the Grand River into lively downtown Grand Haven.  If long walks aren’t your thing, take your car or use the trolley service that runs between the beach and downtown.

Families traveling with children or grandchildren might also enjoy staying at the Grand Haven Campground situated just south of town.  The Grand Haven location of this popular chain features amenities kids love, like mini-golf, heated pool and more.

Another Grand Haven option is the

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Grand Haven State Park

Grand Haven Campground