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Michigan Trails

Find a Piece of the UP Close to Home

This easy loop hops islands and sand dunes beside Lake Michigan.

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See more perfect summer lake hikes to beat the heat.

  • Distance: 3.6 miles
  • Time: 1 day

No need to head all the way to the Upper Peninsula for some serious terrain: 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.

Trailhead 44.0469, -86.4911 Season April to November