Looking for a great trail near Ludington, Michigan? AllTrails has 7 great hiking trails, dogs leash trails, views trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. If you're looking for the best trails around Ludington State Park or Silver Lake State Park, we've got you covered. You'll also find some great local park options, like Lake Michigan Recreation Area. Just looking to take a quick stroll? We've got 4 easy trails in Ludington ranging from 1.5 to 5.7 miles and from 580 to 708 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!

hiking

dogs on leash

views

beach

forest

lake

kid friendly

Ludington, Michigan Map
VIEW FULL MAP
trail running
1 month ago

Trail was a little muddy, but generally easy footing. Absolutely beautiful trail to run.

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)!

Great trail, lots of people.

walking
4 months ago

Beautiful walk, can get hot with the sun shinning on the sand. Make sure to bring enough water. The lighthouse was awesome.

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!

I wish the trail was better labeled. However, the trail itself is beautiful and serene. Awesome for dispersed camping and it's nice that you can choose between hiking deep in the woods or closer to the lake!

hiking
5 months ago

Spent this weekend dispersed camping off the beach, near the dunes. The perfect, quiet weekend camping spot with endless dune, beach, and forest hiking. Check out the petrified forest!

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

the beach. bring a 5 gallon collapsable jug and water filter

walking
6 months ago

Nice flat sandy short hike, beautiful lighthouse at the end.

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.

This hike was a lot harder than we expected. The part through the sand dunes was a real slog! The rest of the trail was nice through the forest and a along the road. We also went to the top of the lighthouse which had a lovely view!

One of the the best walks with a historic lighthouse at the turnaround. Lighthouse volunteers provide an excellent tour.

nice trails!

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike with nice campsite near the beach. Busy, but nice to see people appreciating the beauty of the hike and lake.

Great dune and beach views. Can be extremely busy on weekends. Found an awesome spot close to Lake Michigan. Biting flies were really bad, you need to wear long socks and pants if you plan on camping close to the Lake. Really great place to hike and camp. Please practice “leave no trace” policy.

What a cool area! You hike down a short sandy trail to get to the sand dunes and beach. It’s completely packed up on Saturday and seems to resemble a small party/festival. However, on Sunday it completely cleared out. We felt like we had the beach and dunes to ourselves. The horse flys were definitely out of control and didn’t seem to care if we had bug spray or not. They liked to stay a little bit off the water. You can avoid them if you’re right on the water or further back in the woods. Would love to visit again next year!

Nice peaceful trail.

Hicked all, but only in pieces.

6 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.

What I liked so much about this hike is the diversity of environments you'll travel through. The Island Trail is quite beautiful (if very short) with lakes on either side. Once you veer off the Island trail and in to the Ludington dunes area, it's like entering a new world. Though the dunes are difficult, it is quite scenic and unlike anything I had seen in Michigan thus far.

The best part of the trek was the hiking along the beach. Lake Michigan is beautiful, and the beach is completely clear of stones/rocks once you hit the Nordhouse part.

Note that there doesn't seem to be any designated/official trail between Ludington and Nordhouse. You'll be mostly on your own navigating through the dunes though there are some makeshift trails every now and then. Luckily it's hard to get lost with Hamlin on one side, Lake Michigan on the other, and the lighthouse visible from many of the crests. The hike along the shore is as straightforward as humanly possible.

There are plenty of decent camping spots in the Nordhouse area along the beach. The treeline runs close to the shore. Unfortunately there were tons of people who had set up shop before me, and I had to do some searching to find a spot.

NOTE: Nordhouse is part of the Manistee National Forest which allows for dispersed camping, meaning you can camp anywhere (with some stipulations on distance from water sources that no one seems to follow). Ludington REQUIRES a reservation if you want to camp in the State Park and does not allow for dispersed camping. There's only one rustic campground meant for backpackers/tent campers.

I also learned that parking in the state park requires overnight permits which can be sorted out through the main office, booth, or dump station office. Woops.

The 20 mile loop can be done easily in a two day/one night trek.

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.

One of my favorites!

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

So gorgeous. The beach right off the trail was busy, but by walking just a tiny bit into the woods and camping there we had our own little patch of beach! It was Memorial Day weekend, so there were a lot of campers, but we still had our privacy.

walking
9 months ago

The lighthouse had just opened the first weekend in May. My 8 year old loved the easy walk. We went up to the top-$5 for adults. Helpful volunteers manned the house.
Tip: you can’t wear a child in a carrier to go up the lighthouse stairs. The lighthouse does sell cold drinks and a few snacks. Open from May to Oct.

So pretty. We were the only ones on the beach.

Very nice trail, been there a few times. Parking could be better.

9 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!

Load More