Best place to camp in Ludington, MI?
June 22, 2005 6:30 PM   Subscribe

We're taking the S.S. Badger from Manitowoc, WI to Ludington, MI for the weekend. There are a number of campgrounds in Ludington - can anyone recommend those best for tent camping?

Views, a modicum of privacy, and beach access would be benefits. We'd prefer to steer clear of crowded, deforested, asphalt-parking-pad RV "campgrounds." The page linked above helps rule out a few of them, and the state park sounds good, but personal tips would be appreciated.

Any additional reviews of Ludington-area activities are also welcome.
posted by Tubes to Travel & Transportation around Ludington, MI (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
We've never camped at Ludington, but we've always had decent luck tent camping at state parks in MI. The only one that was less than good was a night at Petoskey SP, and that was largely because of the neighbors within the campground, not the campground itself. (Although the campsites were fairly closely packed, the biggest problem we had there was that all the neighbors had big honking motorhomes.) Ludington is much less closely packed than Petoskey.

Community parks are often nicer than state parks. Pretty much stay away from "travel parks" or "RV parks" if you have a tent.

You might also want to look at Mears SP. It's only a few miles from Ludington (for western MI values of few- 10-15), and will probably be less busy than the SP in Ludington.
posted by jlkr at 8:36 PM on June 22, 2005

Anything actually in Ludington will have a nice short walk to the beach. I've visited at least once a year since I was a kid but never camped... however, I can vouch that the state park is really nice: trees, dunes, beaches, water, and very close to the quaint town.

from the third link: White Pine Villiage is a fun family-oriented touristy place. I believe in the summer they have people volunteering there who act out things like black-smithing, candle making etc. It's been a long time since I went there, but I absolutely loved it as a kid.

If you're into active things, there are a lot of bike and hiking trails around.

House of Flavors has the best ice-cream in town, plus diner fare.

The best thing is really the beach. I love the public beach right near where the ferry comes in, at the end of Ludington Ave (I think... I'm embarassed to realize I don't know the names of anything). There are lots of people there, but I always felt like it was more social than crowded. I could spend a whole week on that beach and feel like it was a vacation well spent.

Hope this is of some help, and have a great time!
posted by carmen at 8:47 PM on June 22, 2005

Don't know much about the Ludington area (not my stomping ground), but your requirements (rural, semi-private, beach access) would definitely be served by PJ Hoffmaster State Park a few (ok, ~60) miles south. Its one of the nicest (IMO) parks on the lakeshore and has a really, really nice stretch of beach (3 miles long) and pristine sand-dunes to wander around in. However, be aware that getting a reservation at this late date might be an issue in any of the larger Lakeshore State Parks.
posted by Chrischris at 6:34 AM on June 23, 2005

I always liked Claybanks Township Park, (scroll down) in Oceana county. Nice beach, not very well known and nice camping spots. (I haven't been there in 30 years, though, so YMMV)
posted by Floydd at 7:56 AM on June 23, 2005

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