Ludington State Park Temporary Closure

Photo by Todd & Brad Reed Photography

The Ludington State Park will be closed 9/3/24-7/1/25 for renovations. Check out more options for Ludington area camping and activites below.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently announced that the Ludington State Park will be closed from approximately September 3rd, 2024-July 1st, 2025 for enhancements and renovations.

Improvements include re-working traffic/pedestrian flow at the entrance, paving the park’s main road and the Hamlin Lake day-use area parking lot, and adding parking at the Lake Michigan Beach House and warming shelter areas. In addition, there are plans to renovate the Skyline Trail. The projects are being funded by the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) COVID relief funds. 

Although the park will be officially closed during this time, there will be parts of the park not impacted. 

The plan at this point is that no visitors will be allowed north of the Big Sable River and when construction on the Skyline Trail is in progress,  the amphitheater parking lot will be closed.

Areas that park officials expect will remain open include the south trails, trails off Piney Ridge Road, the boardwalk below the dam, the open dunes in the south part of the park, and beaches along M-116. Parking will be limited in those areas with the exception of the M-116 beaches. Other areas that shouldn’t be affected are parts of the park accessed from Nordhouse Dunes or by boat on Hamlin Lake. Rick’s Beach, which includes the dune and beach southeast of the dam, will also be open to the public

The State Park Responds...

In order to address concerns of community members regarding the park’s closure, Ludington State Park officials released a Q and A on their facebook page in February of 2024, which you can read below.

When is Ludington State Park going to be closed ?

The majority of the park will close Sept. 3rd, 2024 through July 1st, 2025. The dates of this closure and access to the park may change based on the progress of construction. The 2,000 acres of parkland and beautiful 3-mile stretch of Lake Michigan shoreline south of the Big Sable River, including the hiking trails and boardwalk, will remain open and accessible to the public via roadway parking along M-116.

What is the scope of the project?

This project will realign and repave the park’s entrance and exit near the entrance booth; expand and repave the Lake Michigan beach and warming shelter parking lots; repave the Hamlin Lake parking lots and entire main park road. To improve pedestrian safety and help vehicles circulate more efficiently, we will also add and improve pedestrian walkways around the entrance and into the beach parking lot. Additionally, the Skyline Trail will be renovated and other upgrades to park buildings and grounds will take place.

Why is the majority of the park closing to visitors?

We are closing the majority of the park for safety reasons. This project will entail a lot of heavy and large construction equipment coming and going. With all the construction activity, we need to ensure that visitors are not put in harm’s way and contractors can operate equipment more efficiently and safely, which will hopefully help us meet the July 1st, 2025 reopening.

Why can’t you phase these projects over multiple years to minimize the impact on visitors?

These projects are funded by a massive $250 million investment made possible through the American Rescue Plan Act. The funding must be obligated by Dec. 31st, 2024, and completed by Dec. 31st, 2026. Bundling projects into one large enhancement project lessens overall project costs and keeps the impact limited to the one or two seasons (instead of spreading it out over multiple seasons). The reason we scheduled a closure in May and June is due to the operating season for asphalt plants.

Are there any areas of the park that the public can visit?

Once we get a contractor in place and they provide a construction schedule, we will have a better grasp on which areas can be utilized by the public. The plan is to close the areas north of the Big Sable River, which means the dam, footbridge, and highway bridge will temporarily close. Alternately, the 2,000 acres of parkland and 3-mile stretch of Lake Michigan shoreline south of the Big Sable River, including the hiking trails and boardwalk, will remain open via roadway parking along M-116.

When the Skyline Trail construction begins, the amphitheater parking lot will also closed. Accessing the far northern portion of the park via Nordhouse Dunes (by foot) or boat on Hamlin Lake shouldn’t be a problem. We just ask that visitors do not venture south toward any of the construction areas .

What about boating to the Hamlin Lake or Lake Michigan beaches?

A lot of construction will take place in the Hamlin Lake day-use area. This area will be closed to the public and boats will not be allowed to moor. The dune and beach southeast of the dam, locally known as Rick’s Beach, will remain open to the public. The dunes at the far north end of Hamlin Lake will also be open to the public.

How do I learn about any updates to the closure of the park?

We will be updating this FAQ on Facebook as we get closer to the project start. Updates to the closure dates will be posted on this page and shared with local media. We will also be posting regular progress photos or videos throughout construction. In addition, you can visit the DNR’s closure page at Michigan.gov/DNRClosures or visit the park page at Michigan.gov/Ludington.

Contact Ludington State Park

Planning a visit to the Ludington State Park area? Have questions about your trip? Here’s where you can find help: 

  • Michigan DNR reservations
    (800) 447-2757
  • Ludington State Park Local Office
    (231) 843-2423
  • Concessions & Watercraft Rental
    (231) 843-1888
  • Snowshoe Class Reservations & Special Programs
    (231) 843-9261
Scroll below for more articles about the Ludington State Park area.
 

Experience the Ludington State Park!

Dune Grass Concessions

Dune Grass Concessions offers watercraft & bike rentals, concession food, ice cream, convenience items, State Park & Hamlin Lake souvenirs!

Camping at Ludington State Park

One of the most popular state parks in the Midwest! Ludington State Park has four campgrounds, hundreds of sites for your camping pleasure.

Ludington State Park

Upcoming Park Closure

The Michigan DNR has announced that the Ludington State Park will be closed from September 3rd, 2024 through July 1st, 2025 for renovations. Improvements include parking lot repaving and expansion, plus upgrades to warming shelters and traffic areas.