Ludington State Park to close for 10 months at end of summer

February 8, 2024

Ludington State Park to close for 10 months at end of summer

HAMLIN TOWNSHIP — The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has announced that Ludington State Park will be closed at the end of the summer season and remain closed until summer 2025.

Planned park enhancements are planned including paving the park’s main road and the Hamlin Lake day-use area parking lot, expanding parking at Lake Michigan and warming shelters, and enhancing traffic and pedestrian flow at the park entrance. The Skyline Trail will also be renovated. The projects are being funded by $4.26 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) COVID relief funds provided to the state of Michigan. The state is required to commit to a project with the funds by Dec. 31, 2024 and the projects must be completed by Dec. 31, 2026. 

The entire park will officially close on Sept. 3, 2024 and open on July 1, 2025.


“We are closing the park for the safety of the visitors,” a statement on the Ludington State Park Facebook page stated today.  “This project will have a lot of heavy equipment and large vehicles coming and going.  With all the construction activity taking place, we need to ensure that there are no visitors put into harm’s way and that the construction equipment can operate without having to worry about visitors suddenly getting in their way.  This will also allow the construction team to operate more efficiently and safely, which might allow the project to end before June 30, 2025.

While the park will officially be closed during construction, there will be limited access to areas of the park not impacted by construction.

“Once we get a contractor in place and they provide their construction schedule, we will have a better grasp on which areas can still be used,” a statement reads.The plan is to not allow visitors north of the Big Sable River. This means that the dam, footbridge, and highway bridge will be closed.  When the Skyline Trail construction begins, the amphitheater parking lot will be closed, as well.

“As for other areas of the park, we expect that the south trails, trails off Piney Ridge Road, the boardwalk below the dam, and the open dunes in the south part of the park will be open to visitors, but parking will be limited.  The beaches south of the park, along M-116 should also remain open.

“Visiting the far northern part of the park, accessed from Nordhouse Dunes or by boat on Hamlin Lake, shouldn’t be a problem.  We just ask that visitors do not venture south towards any of the construction areas.”

The Hamlin Lake day use area will be closed to boat traffic as well as any other visitors. However, the dune and beach southeast of the dam, known as Rick’s Beach, will be open to the public. The dunes at the far north end of Hamlin Lake will also remain open.