A children’s flotilla that’s a miniature replica of the historic S.S. Badger carferry. Children get to ride in one of many “cars”.
Ludington Has Two Lighthouses!
Photo by Todd & Brad Reed Photography
About the Iconic Lighthouses in Ludington
Ludington is known for many things but visitors flock to the area to view our two majestic lighthouses, the North Breakwater Light and Big Sable Point Lighthouse. Once used primarily as a way to guide ships into port, these are now historic structures that are beautiful backdrops to our Lake Michigan shoreline. Both lights are owned and maintained by the Sable Point Lighthouse Keepers Association and volunteers staff the lights during the busy summer season. There is a $8 donation fee for adults to tour the lights, and $5 for youth age 17 & under.
If you are within 200 yards of any Michigan lighthouse you can activate the foghorn. Just turn your marine radio to channel 79, then click five times in rapid succession.
Ludington’s North Breakwater Light
Located at Stearns Park Beach, the North Breakwater Light is ranked as the #1 Michigan lighthouse to visit, and it’s a great place to watch the sunset or wave at the S.S. Badger carferry as it cruises out onto Lake Michigan. The breakwall leading out to the light is a popular venue for fishermen and those who enjoy walking the mile-long round trip. Originally built in 1871 and replaced in 1924, the light shines across nearly 20 miles of water, and its familiar horn warns boaters of impending bad weather. North Breakwater Light Tour hours are from 10am-5pm, Tuesday-Sunday, May 31st-September 6th, 2022.While at Stearns Park, enjoy the Skate Park, mini-golf, playground, shaded picnic area, and concessions.
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
This lighthouse stands proudly at the tip that juts out into Lake Michigan within the Ludington State Park. The black-and-white striped tower is listed on both the state and national registers of historic places. You can tour the lighthouse from 10am-5pm, Tuesday-Sunday, May 27th-October 28th, 2022, or visit the gift shop that is located in the original keeper’s quarters. The Ludington State Park was named the #1 state park in the Midwest and offers camping, hiking and biking trails, a dam, two beaches, and seasonal programs. Tube down the Sable River or take a relaxing canoe ride along the shoreline. The wildlife and natural habitat at the park are spectacular, and even when there are thousands of visitors, you can find a quiet trail to escape the crowds.
Ludington Lighthouses & Stunning Sunsets
One of the best times to visit the lighthouses may be in the evening. We have some of the most gorgeous sunsets you’ll find anywhere. In fact, many people make sure they’re down at the beach to witness the golden orb sink into Lake Michigan. Check for the sunset times by viewing the sunset schedule.
S.S. Badger Facts
The 410′ S.S. Badger is the largest carferry to sail the Great Lakes, and can carry 620 passengers and 180 autos. It travels at roughly 18 mph to make the four-hour trip, with nearly 490 crossings per year. On board are 40 staterooms, outside deck, snack bar, video arcade, gift shop, TV and movie lounges, and children’s playroom. In 1997, the Badger was officially named a Registered Wisconsin Historic Site, and in 2002, was named Ship of the Year by the Steamship Historical Society of America. In 2009, the Badger was placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of Interior. And in 2016, the S.S. Badger finally gained its status as a National Historic Landmark…almost five years after Lake Michigan Carferry’s initial application.
It started with the Ann Arbor I in the early 1900’s, and 13 carferries later, the S.S. Badger still sails from Ludington, Michigan to Manitowoc, Wisconsin from mid-May to mid-October. It is as symbolic to Ludington as our lighthouses, and a beloved sight to watch.
More Activities & Attractions in Ludington...
Visit the new Value of Sports Museum located at Historic White Pine Village just a short drive from Ludington.
There are so many things to see and do in Ludington! Don’t miss a single activity during your visit by exploring VisitLudington.com!
The three accessible walkways installed at Stearns Park Beach in Ludington allow everyone to make their way to the water and sand.
Discover small town life in the late 1800s and early 1900s at Historic White Pine Village in Ludington, overlooking Lake Michigan.
Within the downtown Ludington region, several murals grace the façades of local area businesses, telling stories of the area’s rich history.
Your pet should feel right at home in Ludington. There are many businesses that allow pets and parks and beaches for them to play on.
The bronzed sculptures in Ludington’s 5-acre Waterfront Park sets it apart from other parks. The park is situated on the Lake Michigan inlet.
Ludington is alive with an array of artistic events that take place throughout the year. There’s music, photography, art galleries, and more.
In addition to thousands of book titles, the Mason County District Library’s Ludington and Scottville branches provide many free programs.