Resting on the shores of Lake Michigan, Lake Hamlin, and the Big Sable River, Ludington State Park is the perfect RV vacation destination, with 5,300 acres of untouched natural beauty. Whether you want to enjoy aquatic recreation along seven miles of Lake Michigan shoreline or hike with majestic views of marshlands, hardwood forests, and sand dunes, you’ll love this escape to one of Michigan’s best kept secrets. Lake Michigan is one of the first Great Lakes that is home to sandy beaches and rustic islands. Hamlin Lake is a smaller body of water that covers 4,900 acres that can be used for swimming and boating. The Big Sable River runs right through the park, which is a great place for tubing and catching fish.
Ludington State Park is an oasis for hikers and bikers, offering 18 miles of scenic park trails. Avid anglers and boaters will love the limitless possibilities for fishing and boating, from canoes to rowboats. In the colder months you can park your RV and go snowshoeing through a winter wonderland or ice fish in some of the best waters in the state. For history buffs, this state park offers several enchanting sites to discover, including an old lumber town and the beautiful Big Sable Point Lighthouse, which has been a beacon of light standing at 112 feet tall since 1876. If you want to get out of the RV and explore the rustic outdoors, go backpacking in the lesser traveled areas of the park.
RV Rentals in Ludington State Park
Transportation in Ludington State Park
Ludington State Park is easy to access off Highway 10 and M-116. Once inside the park there are several main roads that will take you wherever you want to go within the park, from the beach to the campgrounds. There are no driving restrictions for RVs inside the park.
There are several convenient parking lots dotted around the state park, located at the Lake Michigan Beach House, the Hamlin Beach House, near the trail heads, and at the campgrounds. RV spots are located in the parking lots, although they may fill up quickly during the peak season.
Campgrounds and parking in Ludington State Park
Campsites in Ludington State Park
Ludington East / Pere Marquette River KOA
The Ludington East/Pere Marquette River KOA, nestled deep within the Manistee National Forest, is a camping dream. The area is known for its towering pines and clear streams along the beautiful Pere Marquette River. The campground, with sites both spacious and shady, can accommodate oversized motorhomes and trailers. Unique amenities at the campground include a swimming pool, movie nights, wagon rides, a petting farm and much more. The campground also has bike rentals available on-site. If you’d like to explore the area, the local tour shuttle makes multiple stops at the campground each day for your convenience.
This beautiful pet-friendly campground is located on the western edge of the park, near the scenic shores of Lake Michigan. Pines Campground offers 95 sites for tents and RVs, featuring restrooms and sanitation stations. Fire pits and picnic tables are available for use near sites. Some sites have restrictions for RV and trailer length, ranging from 20 to 30 feet. You can choose from open sites or quiet shady spots. Electric hookups are available at most sites. Reservations can be made up to six months in advance.
Beechwood Campground is a beautiful pet-friendly spot to stay overnight on the shores of Lake Hamlin. 90 sites are available for RVs and tents. You’ll have easy access to a playground and the Coast Guard Trail. Amenities include sanitation stations and restrooms. The RV and trailer length restrictions ranges per site from 20 to 40 feet. You can use fire pits and picnic tables located at your campsite. Electric hookups are available at most sites. Reservations can be made up to six months in advance.
This pet-friendly campground is centrally located, with 107 sites available for RVs and tents. Eight of those sites are available for tents only. Amenities at this campground include a sanitation station, restroom, and nearby playground and concession store. You can enjoy easy access to the Coast Guard Trail. RVs and trailers can be accommodated with varying length restrictions per site from 20 to 35 feet. Electric hookups are available at most sites and reservations can be made up to six months in advance.
There are no first-come, first-served campgrounds at Ludington State Park.
There are a number of private campgrounds and RV Parks available in the area if you prefer to stay outside of the park. These private campgrounds will range in terms of amenities to fit your needs, from rustic to resort experiences. You might be able to enjoy wireless internet, cable TV, or a swimming pool while still being close to all the action in the park.
Jack Pine Hike-In Sites
If you are an adventurous backpacker, camp in one of the 10 remote tent-only sites along a 1-mile trail within the park. Toilet facilities are rustic and there is no electricity available at these sites. You can still use the showers available at the main campgrounds in the park.
Seasonal activities in Ludington State Park
Throughout the peak summer months, you can hop out of the RV and head over to any of the regularly scheduled summer speaker programs. You’ll be surrounded by the serene natural beauty of the park in the open-air amphitheater while listening to live music or learning about the natural history of the park from knowledgeable experts.
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
The Big Sable Point Lighthouse is a site you won’t want to miss during your RV trip to this Michigan state park. The lighthouse is a 1.5-mile walk behind the Pines Campground. From May to October you can tour this beautiful lighthouse to learn about its history and architecture. This 112-foot tall beacon has been shining its lights on the open waters since 1876.
Swimming & Boating
If you’re up for some aquatic adventure, an RV trip to Ludington State Park is a must. You can swim or suntan along the sandy beaches of Lake Michigan. If you’re into boating, can rent a canoe, kayak, rowboat, or paddleboat and cruise on the waters of Lake Hamlin. You can even enjoy a quiet journey tubing down the Big Sable River.
Make sure you pack your fishing gear in your trailer when you make a trip to Ludington State Park. With three large bodies of water to choose from, there are seemingly limitless opportunities to catch some fish. There is a wide variety of fish swimming in these waters including salmon, steelhead, tiger muskie, northern pike, walleye, large mouth bass, and bluegill.
Hiking & Biking
Ludington State Park is a haven for hikers, so if you want to get out of the RV and hit the trail you’ll be able to choose from over 8 different loops. There are more than 18 miles of trails that will take you through majestic woods and over scenic dunes. You can bike while enjoying gorgeous views along the 2-mile Bicycle Trail which runs along the Big Sable River. You can also enjoy bike riding along all the paved park roads and non-paved Lighthouse Road.
You’ll want to pack your camera when you take an RV trip to this beautiful state park in the winter. You can take awe-inspiring shots of the Big Sable Lighthouse covered in snow or the icy waters of Lake Michigan. You’ll love exploring 5,300 acres of open wilderness to find the best winter shots for your photo album.
Make sure you bundle up when you step out of your RV and hit the trail in the colder months. Ludington State Park is open year-round so you can still enjoy over 18 miles of hiking trails through snow-topped forests and sand dunes. You’ll love the chance to get up close and personal with the magic of nature in winter.
Snowshoe Making Classes
If you’re looking for a fun-filled activity the whole family can enjoy during your trip to Ludington State Park, attend a snowshoe making class. You’ll be guided by an expert to make your own traditional wooden snowshoes. The cost of the class includes all of the materials you’ll need. These engaging classes take place in December and January.
Guided Snowshoe Walk
Ludington State Park is a perfect winter RV destination, when the lighthouse is covered in snow and the marsh is dressed in white. You can explore this winter wonderland by snowshoeing on your own or by taking a free guided snowshoe walk. Held on Saturdays in January and February, these walks will take you through snow-covered sand dunes and forests and ends at the cozy warming shelter.
Make sure you pack warm clothes, because you can spend a thrilling day ice fishing on the shores of Lake Michigan and Lake Hamlin. Ludington State Park is an excellent place to park your RV and head on over to the waters during the cooler months to hook your bait for some native Michigan fish.