Michigan Trails

The Best Day Hikes in America: Lost Lake to Ridge to Island Loop

Ludington State Park, Michigan

The Upper Peninsula has bucket-list terrain in spades, though even flatlanders are hard-pressed to make it up there. But they don’t have to: Ludington State Park showcases fir woods, white-sand beaches, and rivers teeming with walleye, bass, and northern pike—all on the west coast of the Mitten. That’s 8 square miles of north-country appeal tucked on an isthmus less than two hours from Grand Rapids.

Skip the lighthouse crowds on this 7-mile loop of the Lost Lake, Ridge, and Island Trails. Move from the pond-dotted interior of the park to the forested dunes, where breaks in the canopy offer Lake Michigan views. Budget time to explore the chain of bridge-accessible islands between Hamlin and Lost Lakes.

Distance 7 miles (loop) Trailhead 44.046914, -86.491191 Drive time 1:35 from Grand Rapids Season April to November Contact