Grand Rapids, MI: Ludington Canoe Trail

Connect dune-lined shores, secluded inlets, and marshlands Hamlin Lake on this 4.9-mile paddle in Ludington State Park.

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Trail Facts

  • Distance: 5.7



Location: 44.0358505249023, -86.4931335449219

Shove off NE out of bay, then hug S shoreline


Location: 44.0372505187988, -86.4848480224609

Swing R around Desperation Point-sandy knoll formed by two large hills sloping into the water. Continue SE


Location: 44.0293807983398, -86.4729614257812

Turn R into marshy bay (cattails, dead stumps); paddle W to back of bay. Watch for muskrats swimming near lily pads


Location: 44.0283699035644, -86.473991394043

Look for Canoe Trail markers as you pass through reedy bog


Location: 44.0260009765625, -86.4749984741211

Follow W shore for quick 100-ft. portage to Johns Pond (isolation from lake)


Location: 44.0242118835449, -86.4750366210938

Waterway opens into muddy carp ponds (great fishing during spring breeding) then swings E away from steep contours of Piney Ridge (white pines)


Location: 44.0263404846191, -86.4697875976562

Nearing breakwater between marsh and Hamlin Lake, turn R (heading S) to continue back into swamp


Location: 44.0248908996582, -86.4691390991211

Paddle W in meandering inlet for short portage on old, faint logging road


Location: 44.0227317810059, -86.470832824707

More ponds open up heading S; follow markers E past private cottages


Location: 44.0190696716309, -86.4698867797852

Turn N; expansive views over the choppy swells of Hamlin Lake


Location: 44.023509979248, -86.4680328369141

Large sand dune and beach on L, good break spot, if windy; paddle .5 mi. back to WPT 3, then retrace route N to put-in

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