Experience Pure Ludington on foot or on wheels by embarking on some amazing, multi-sport trail systems designed for all types of outdoor enthusiasts.
Cartier Park Pathway on Lincoln Lake is an easily accessible, paved one-mile loop with minimal elevation. It is a great destination for families with young children, whether they are hiking, on a self-propelled scooter or riding a bicycle. Here, kids can also explore fun mountain bike trails winding through the forest.
With both paved paths and roads, the Ludington State Park is another popular spot for hikers and bikers. Pathways run throughout the park and along the Sable River between Hamlin Lake and the Lake Michigan beach area -- and you might spot some wildlife along the way. There is also a 1.8-mile gravel road for the adventurous type, which leads to the historic Big Sable Lighthouse. Once you’re there, you can climb your way to the top of the lighthouse and catch some pretty stunning views of the lakeshore. The Lost Lake Island Trail is another popular choice among hikers.
If you’re looking for a casual beach cruise, head to Stearns Park, where you can get a glimpse of Ludington’s sugar-sand beach, or the S.S. Badger Carferry leaving or returning to port in the morning or evening. A Waterfront Walkway is marked, so you can make your
way around the harbor and take in the views of Lake Michigan and Ludington’s marinas. Or hike the pier to the Ludington North Breakwater Lighthouse.
Trails also meander through the Ludington School Forest, which is a popular destination for local riders. Grab your mountain bike and hit the dirt on this five-mile, urban hiking and biking trail system in a wooded area conveniently located in the city limits.
Up for a Challenge? Seasoned cyclists may want to head to M-116 toward the state park to ride one of the most scenic roads in the entire Midwest. Riders will take in the beauty of Ludington’s sand dunes on one side, with Lake Michigan on the other.
Another shoreline route to explore runs along South Lakeshore Drive to Bass Lake and Pentwater. A highlight of this route is crossing the bridge that spans the Ludington Pumped Storage Power Plant, a hydroelectric plant and reservoir built on Lake Michigan. For a more ambitious tour, chart a course on the way back through the orchards and rolling hills south of Ludington.
Find more hiking and biking trails in the region here: http://northernmichigantrails.org/hike/view-all-hiking-trails/