Sunday, October 14, 2018

Ludington State Park Fall Camping

Rainer Maria Rilke said that, “At no other time than autumn does the earth itself be inhaled in one smell, the ripe earth; in a smell that is in no way inferior to the smell of the sea, bitter where it borders on taste, and more honey-sweet where you feel it touching the first sounds. Containing depth within itself...

The other side of the dam.
Fall is the perfect season to camp if you want to see the beautiful colors around you.

It was a travel defined by being immersed in the glorious beauty of October when the verdure alternates between being crisply golden and fiery red. Valleys are aflame and trees adorned the transient beauty of everything around it.

We are blessed to have kind neighbors, Mark and Stacey, who allowed us to use their camper. The luxury of comfortable bed, complete amenities such as water, electricity and furnace was beyond what our grateful heart could express.

We are sincerely appreciative of Zack, Samantha and their kind family for allowing us to join their group. Of course, for the gift of friendship that Heather and Randy shared with us. The time spent with them was the best ever filled with love and laughter. Certainly, camping is a relaxing vacation if you are in the right place and with the right people. 

Clear water and colorful trees are everywhere.
Fishing is one of the activities that you can do and this is a famous place for salmon, lake trout, steelhead, and brown trout.
The Campground
Ludington State Park encompasses nearly 5,300 acres featuring light house, forests, sand dunes, dam, and miles of clean water. Midwest Living magazine voted this state park as the Number one state park in the Midwest. 

There are three modern campgrounds- Pines, Cedar and Beechwood- with a combined total of 355 campsites including three mini cabins. We Stayed at Cedar Lot 162 which is right beside the restrooms. All the sites have electricity and modern bathroom facilities.

The park has only remote tent sites but they don’t have electricity and toilet facilities are rustic. 
Our first morning was spent biking in trails and visiting the dam.

"The scarlet of the maples can shake me like a cry of bugles going by. And my lonely spirit thrills to see the frosty asters like a smoke upon the hills." -Bliss Carman-

One of the best features of the park is its trail system. There are eight separately marked foot trails that wind for 21.5 miles throughout woods and over the dunes. A paved biking and hiking trails runs along the Big Sable River linking the campgrounds to Lake Michigan, Hamlin Lake day use areas, and the amphitheater. 
Bicycles are allowed on park roads and the non-paved Lighthouse Road,
but not on any foot trails or cross-country ski trails.
My husband with Sam's dog, Rosie. Pets are allowed but must be kept on a leash and they are
not allowed on the beach.
Recreation passport: Just 11$ when purchased with your license plate registration renewal. $16 at State Parks.

Beautiful colors, clear water.
Invasive insects and diseases have killed millions of trees in Michigan.
20/30 AMP Modern Campsite            $33 per night
50 AMP Modern Campsite                 $37 per night
Mini Cabin                                          $52 per night 
                            Check their official website for updated rate. 
One of the picturesque sceneries you will see while hiking on the trail
There are 21.5 miles of hiking trail, 10 miles of cross-country ski trails, a 2-mile bicycle trail and a 4-mile canoe trail. 
Hiking trails are generally very well marked but a map from the park rangers' station will come in handy. 
Beautiful views of dunes and water that never get boring.
Father and daughter. Thank you, Sam for allowing us to join your group.
One of the most romantic places you will ever find.
Transporting firewood is not allowed because of the fear of invasive insects and diseases.
You need to purchase on the premises or from nearby vendors who sell USDA-certified firewood. 
The Ludington State Park dam.
Big Sable Point Lighthouse was honored as 2013 Featured Lighthouse of the Year for the Great Lakes Lighthouse Festival.
The black-and-white striped, 112 foot lighthouse at the Ludington State Park stands proudly on the shores of Lake Michigan and remains a testament to lighthouse keepers of the past. 

You can purchase a Trex board that will be used in the new walkway around Big Sable Point Lighthouse. 

Each engraved board costs $100 and allows 25 characters on one line. 

SANITATION STATION: The station is located two miles south of the Big Sable River at the Camper Registration station. My husband was not aware of this so we drove directly to the campground and needed to go back and register. This is where you also fill your camper tank with water which we failed to do since it was our first time.
Thank you, Mark and Stacey for the camper!
RESERVATIONS: Advance camping reservations can be made up to six months in advance. My husband’s daughter, Samantha, made our reservation three months prior since this is known to be a really busy place. Reservations can be made by visiting this website.
Morning walk with Heather and Randy.
Best buds, David and Randy who prepared our breakfast. 
This giant fish was caught by this boy. Memorable way to end our vacation.
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