Monday, May 20, 2013

Ludington State Park on a warm pre-Memorial Day weekend

The silhouette of one of the kids that came on the backpacking trip against the colors of the sunset over Lake Michigan near Big Sable Lighthouse. 
There's nothing better than the first weekend of the year up north.

This year provided no different, although I had spent some time away in the sun halfway across the world in April after getting married on the island of Oahu.

But the first weekend up north on Lake Michigan proved to be beautiful as well, as I spent a weekend up at Ludington State Park backpacking.

The weekend was beautiful, full of sun with little rain the week before Memorial Day, a traditional weekend I've spent up north with the Christian Service Brigade of St. David's Episcopal Church in Southfield.

The spot at Ludington State Park we stayed at was the group campsite, which is no longer accessible by car like it was the last time I was there many years ago for a fall trip. Instead, we took a scenic route and hiked through the trails in the park and eventually across the sand dunes to the campsite.

The dunes themselves are impressive, including one we climbed which featured a steep incline covered in sand and lacking in easy grips while climbing. We traveled along the trails until we passed by a fork
It was warm enough for many of us to enjoy the warm sun.
An afternoon of beach activities ensued.
and headed toward the lakeshore. After taking the long route to the Jack Pine Campground, we pitched our tents and headed to the beach, which was warm and inviting. Although the water was frigid.

The beach was wide enough to entertain all the participants, throwing Frisbees and fling socks, while some braved the cold waters of Lake Michigan. I was not crazy and merely dipped my hands into the water. That was good enough for me.

Big Sable Point lighthouse. Always a beauty to see, esp. with
the beacon on.
Later in the evening came a hike to Big Sable Lighthouse, which still has a beacon come on in the evening. It appeared there were some lighthouse keepers staying there, although I believe they were volunteers keepers, a program Michigan offers to residents to keep the lighthouses running and provide some rare opportunities. Walking past the lighthouse and overseeing the colors of a Lake Michigan sunset is well worth the walk and trip, and is something everyone should do at least once a year.

Ludington State Park is definitely one worth visiting, even if you're not a backpacker. Several cabins are available, and dozens of RV hookup sites are open as well. There were many people camped at the campground this past weekend, from motor homes to tents. Beating the Memorial Day rush is never a bad thing.

No comments:

Post a Comment