Explore the most popular birding trails in Ludington State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

This is a fantastic trail! We meant to just do the 2 mile loop around the lake.... but was so captivated by the scenery that we did the lake trail, island trail, ridge trail, lighthouse trail, coast guard trail n all the way back to Hamlin Lake (to where we parked). it was about 8-9 miles, and for December was surprisingly used by trail runners. Very worth the effort... and it was effort (elevations were so much fun)!

This is my family's favorite trail, we try to come up here once a year to enjoy it! It is a great mix of lake views, forest, islands and hills. There is a swimming area at the bottom of a small dune to cool off if you get too warm. Just a great place to take a hike!

Beautiful trail. You're basically island hopping around an old flood plain. Bit uneven and steep in a few spots.

My husband and I did this hike on a Friday afternoon with our dog. We did the lost lake and ridge trail combination (approx 4 miles) and loved it. Combining the two trails gave us a great variety of scenery and terrain. The lost lake portion includes pretty views of Hamlin with fun bridges to walk over while the ridge portion includes climbing up sand paths to see beautiful views from elevations. We would say that the lost lake portion was easy and that the ridge trail section was more moderate (as climbing up the sand paths was rigorous at times). While on the ridge trail portion we took a small detour and saw some beautiful views of dunes on the Hamlin lake side. From the ridge trail we also saw some of Lake Michigan. I would definitely recommend including the ridge trail section as it truly made the hike for us.

One of our favorite parts of this hike was seeing so many trees with their roots above ground.

PS. We only saw one other hiker during our hike so it felt like we had the trail to ourselves.

nice trails!

Nice peaceful trail.

Great with young children. Lots of steps and running down a sand dune (and all the way back up!)

5 months ago

Incredibly gorgeous with more varied terrain than I’ve seen even in mountain country. The climb up the dune is a challenge but will reward with beautiful vistas of Lake Michigan. Heavily trafficked? We saw no one on the trail on a Monday afternoon.

Most recently I hiked in the Tetons and Arches but this trail was more spectacular in its variety of terrain. All the beauty of the forest but dotted with gorgeous marshes, tip top sand dune vistas of Lake Michigan, and virtually no bugs made this a dream hike.
Add on the Ridge trail, we saw no one for two hours and felt like first time explorers. The boardwalks were in great shape, enabling us to enjoy views on both sides. Fair warning; at the near bottom of Island Trail, there is a very narrow section with a 4 ft dirt mound that you must scramble over. We were able to hand to hand pass over our tiny dogs but if yours is large Im not sure you can get through this section.

Peaks with a beautiful expansive view of dunes and an optional run down-hike up a monster dune.

Used to camp here as a kid. This trail among many others at Ludington State Park are among the best collection of quality trails and shoreline in the Lower Peninsula.

Just beautiful! Although it was cloudy i saw some turtles :) combined it with the ridge trail which was more challenging and a great landscape complement

8 months ago

I took the Lost Lake Trail, Island, then Ridge. It ended up being 4.15 miles according to my gps. This Trail was not easy at all, more like moderate. Beautiful views, so proud of myself for conquering this solo!

Pretty views of the lake, easy trail, well marked, and very clean.

Beautiful trails. The ridge trail seemed to be the least populated.

trail running
Friday, December 29, 2017

I did this trail along with the lost lake & island trail in December after a heavy snowfall. At points the snow drifts were up to my knees and absolutely no trail to follow. Admittedly I lost the trail a few times but they are marked so well that it was easy to get back on track. This run was absolutely epic! With the extreme cold, whipping winds, crazy climbs and stunning views this was definitely a run to remember. I can’t wait to make it back!

hiking
Thursday, October 05, 2017

Upon arriving at the Ludington State Park, we were met by a friendly ranger working the entrance gate ($9 visitor charge for an out of state day pass). The gentleman directed us to the nearest parking to the start of this trail and gave us a trail map. As we drove to the starting location, my husband and I were pleasantly surprised at how well kept the grounds and facilities were. At the parking lot we found clean flushing toilets and a playground and beach for kids to play. There was also a kayak, canoe and other small crafts available for rent (ranging around $25/ 2-hour).

The hike itself had beautiful views of the lake. We loved the board walks across marshes and streams. Halfway through the trail, we stopped at the top of a sand dune at a bench with a vantage point and gave our daughter a bottle. The views of the lakes and forest surrounding it was beautiful. (There were several people out kayaking and ducks flying overhead that were a bit of a distraction for a 7 month old while eating tho!) Even from high up we could see the sandy floor of the crystal clear water on the lake. On the hike we saw chipmunks, squirrels, deer and woodpeckers. The trails were well marked and easy to follow.

I would have to rate this trail as easy-moderate as it was not very difficult (or at least not nearly as difficult as other moderate level trails we have hiked in the area).

Sunday, October 01, 2017

We hit the park on a couple of amazing days weather wise. Made for some great time in the woods.

Amazing hike. Highly recommend!!

hiking
Monday, September 25, 2017

❤❤ Absolutely gorgeous, quite a few places with to stop and enjoy the view, 10/10 would recommend.

hiking
Monday, September 25, 2017

Loved this hike, was more wooded then I first expected, but all in all wonderful.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Best trail to experience the essence of Ludington State Park. Great trail for wildlife viewing off-season.

Great hike for photo ops and children.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Best trail for peace and quiet in the park in my experience. Good for those who have had too much sun. All forested and cooler.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Perfect for energetic children. Our grandchildren love all the stairs and the dune climb at the top. Great views of the dunes in the southern portion of the park.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Exceeded our expectations...we went late in the afternoon on a sunny day and the late afternoon light gave the surroundings a gorgeous glow, we took some amazing pictures. There wasn't much foot traffic on the path considering it was a holiday weekend. Worth a look if you are in the area with pets and/or kids.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

I found this trail to be more "moderate" than easy. Great views with some up and down climbs. More difficult than Island Trail, but beautiful!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Beautiful trails through the woods mostly. If you're looking for more of a challenge, try Ridge trail. This is more up and down with amazing views from a higher perspective. Sightings of Lake Michigan and Big Sable Lighthouse!

hiking
Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Just a portion of our hiking over in Ludington. One of my favorites with a nice mix of woods, beach, and views of the dunes and Lake Michigan. Moderately challenging and surprisingly not very busy for a weekend in July. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

hiking
Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Lots of stairs! Boardwalk trail through the woods with a view of the dunes and lake.

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