Tag Archives: ludington

A Complete Guide to Biking in Ludington, Michigan

Ludington has long been a destination for cyclists who enjoy exploring the outdoors. The area boasts picturesque shoreline routes with sand dune panoramas, scenic wooded trails and miles of idyllic rural country roads. With the rising popularity of year-round fat tire biking, gravel road riding and bike-packing, new adventures are opening up that are only limited by your imagination.

Fun Paths for Kids

The Cartier Park Pathway on Lincoln Lake in Ludington is an easily accessible, paved one-mile loop with minimal elevation. It is a great cycling destination for families with young children. Here kids can also explore fun mountain bike trails built recently.

Families love to discover the many treasures of the Ludington State Park by bike. There are paved paths and roads running throughout the park and along the Big Sauble River between the Lake Michigan Beach area and the Hamlin Dam and Beach area. There is also a 1.5 mile gravel road for the adventurous that will lead you to the Big Sable Lighthouse.

Be sure not to miss a casual cruise through Stearns Park Beach and the Ludington harbor during the arrival or departure of the S.S. Badger Carferry in the morning or evening.

Scenic Road Routes

A visit to Ludington is not complete without a cruise along M-116 to the Ludington State Park. It is one of the most scenic roads in the entire Midwest. On one side of the road are continuous sand dunes, and, on the other side, Lake Michigan spans the horizon. Another shoreline route runs along South Lakeshore Drive to Bass Lake and Pentwater. A highlight of this route is crossing the bridge that spans the Ludington Pumped Storage Power Plant, a hydroelectric plant and reservoir built on Lake Michigan. For a more ambitious tour, chart a course on the way back through the orchards and rolling hills south of Ludington. Riders will be awestruck by the scale of the 56 wind turbines comprising Lakewinds Energy Park.

Four Season Mountain Biking

A recent addition to Ludington’s cycling scene is the development of an Urban Single Track trail system encompassing Cartier Park and the Ludington School Forest. Both trail systems are located within the city limits less than two miles apart and include a total of 10 miles of dedicated single-track for biking with potential for additional trail linking the systems in the future. These trails were built as “Gateway Trails” which are designed to create a fun, widely accessible introduction to mountain biking. The trails are intentionally not intimidating for new and novice riders yet they are designed in a way that even the most experienced mountain biker will find fun and enjoyable.

Fat tire mountain bikes allow riders to float through conditions that would be impossible with a conventional tire. This trend toward wider tires creates a new and exhilarating way to take in Michigan’s winter wonderland. Several trail systems in the area are starting to groom trails for winter riding. Winter beach riding can also be a thrill. When the snow melts, fat bikes are just as fun on traditional trails.

For current information on local bicycling routes, maps, group rides and cycling related events, visit www.shorelinecyclingclub.org or stop in to Spindrift Cyclesports or Trailhead Bike Shop both located on Ludington Avenue in downtown Ludington for all of your biking needs and rentals.

Ludington is located at the crossroads of two popular bike routes—U.S. Bicycle Route 20, an east-west route of just over 300 miles spanning across Michigan, and U.S. Bicycle Route 35, a 500-mile route running north-south generally following the Lake Michigan shoreline.


Craft Beer is Brewing in Ludington, MI

Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, just between Grand Rapids and Traverse City, Ludington is making an even bigger mark in the beer scene as of lately. With a new brewery opening this Spring, a micro-brewery expanding into canning operations, a Michigan-only craft beer bar and great beer festivals throughout the year, Ludington is a beer lovers destination.

Let’s start where it all began in Ludington, which is at Jamesport Brewing Company. This month they are celebrating 17 years of business! Located on South James Street, their deck offers great views of Ludington’s harbor and everyone’s favorite, the SS Badger! With 12 taps of their own beer, you are bound to find something you enjoy. Favorite Summer seasonal beers include the Blueberry Wheat and the Badger Brown. Jamesport also boasts a full menu of American fare.

Next on the scene was The Mitten Bar, which opened its doors in July of 2011 in heart of downtown Ludington on Ludington Avenue. This beer bar is faithful to Michigan-only. Meaning they only serve Michigan craft beer, wines and spirits. But honestly, why would they need to serve anything else? It’s a great place to hang with the locals, enjoy a brew and some really great live music!!
In 2015, Starving Artist Brewing Co., opened as a production-only nano-brewery. After winning the 2015 Momentum Business Plan Competition, they used the $50,000 prize to double their square footage, in turn doubling production capacity. Expanded distribution now includes the entire west side of Michigan from the Mackinaw Bridge to the Indiana border. Just last week, Starving Artist released cans of two of their popular brews, Conspiracy IPA and Hop Marley. You can stop by the brewery for cans, growlers and tours by appointment. You can also find their brews at Blu Moon Bistro downtown, Chuck Wagon, The Mitten Bar and many others locally.

The new kid on the block, as of this Spring, will be Ludington Bay Brewing Company. Just down the block from Jamesport Brewing Company, this brand new space will be located on South James Street and features a massive brewing and distribution space, a spacious tap room, and a gorgeous outdoor patio.  Ten taps are set for the brewery’s debut, with more to come once they are up and running. Be sure to keep an eye out for the grand opening of this long awaited addition to the craft beer scene.

Our favorite picks for places to pick up craft beer for the beach or river:

  • Biercamp Market in Downtown Ludington- Located just blocks from the beach and the marinas, this is a great stop for beer and snacks on-the-go. Not only do they have a great selection of craft beer, but you can even grab a drink from their 6 taps while you shop.
  • Bottle & Can in Scottville – If you are heading to the Pere Marquette River, mak a quick stop on Main Street to nab some great craft beer selections.

For upcoming beer events, save the date for the Suds on the Shore, which features over 50 brewers in Rotary Park in downtown Ludington in mid-August. Tickets go on sale in May.

With so many beer activities, Ludington may be your one-stop-destination for a true Pure Michigan experience. While you are in the area, check out our amazing parks and beachesDon’t forget to share your photos with us on Instagram and Facebook using #PureLudington. For more travel information, visit PureLudington.com

5 Things to Know About Lantern-Lit Snowshoeing & Skiing in Ludington, MI

Ludington boasts a number of excellent snowshoeing and cross country skiing trails – and one of the most popular places for a winter sojourn is at the 5,300-acre Ludington State Park. Several miles of trails are groomed for cross country skiing, and snowshoers can explore all the other trails. The park also hosts a series of snowshoeing and cross country skiing events on weekends in January and February, including the popular lantern-lit snowshoe and skiing event. Here are 5 things you need to know about this unique event coming up this weekend:

  1. It’s free! There are not many activities for families and couples these days that don’t come with a price tag. Thanks to the Friends of Ludington State Park, this event is free of charge. We can’t think of a better way to enjoy some fresh fallen snow with family or friends. 
  2. Snowshoers, cross country skiers and hikers of all ages and fitness levels are welcome. Snowshoeing is one of the season’s safest activities and a great way to get moving during these colder months. Of course, cross country skiers and hikers/walkers are also welcome to participate as well. The self-paced atmosphere of this event means you can take your time and really take in the sights and sounds of the park this time of the year.
  3. You don’t need your own snowshoes. Thanks to the Friends of Ludington State Park, 50 pairs of snowshoes are available for free use on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you have your own gear, even better! 
  4. There’s a fire – or two! You can warm up and enjoy a hot beverage alongside two bonfires along the trail. It’s the perfect spot to rest, warm up and take in the beautiful winter scenery. Although you will be moving and keeping warm on the trail, you will still want to be sure to wear warm winter attire.
  5. The most unique aspect of this event is that the 3/4 mile trail is lined with approximately 75 red lanterns. They perfectly compliment the winter backdrop and are a great guide as the sun begins to set.

Upcoming lantern-lit snowshoe and skiing events are Feb. 4 and 18 from 6 – 8 p.m. starting at the Warming Shelter just inside the entrance of the park.

Don’t forget to share your photos with us on Instagram and Facebook using #PureLudington. For more travel information, visit PureLudington.com


BrrrewFest – The 411 on Ludington, Michigan’s Winter Beer Festival

We know you love Ludington and we know you love Michigan craft beer. With that, we bring you the 3rd Annual Pure Ludington BrrrewFest, happening Saturday, January 28 in Downtown Ludington. The only winter craft beer festival in Ludington, features nearly 30 Michigan craft brewers who will be showcasing their best and unique brews.

Wondering if one of you favorite brewers will be there? Check out the list of brewers and what they are bringing to the festival here. Tickets are available online through 1/26 for $25. Your ticket includes a commemorative 5oz. sample glass as well as 6 drink tokens. Additional tokens and pint glasses are available for purchase. Tickets at the gate that day are $30.

This event is a fundraiser for the Friends of Ludington State Park, which is a non-profit organization whose volunteers maintain and enhance the programming and infrastructure of one of Ludington’s greatest attractions; the Ludington State Park.

An event in Ludington would not be complete without live music, and BrrrewFest is no exception. Andy Thomas, owner and master brewer of Starving Artist Brewing Co,. will be opening with an acoustic set, followed by headliner American Hairband, who are dedicated to the glam and hard rock movement of the 70s, 80s and 90s.

Looking to check out a little more of Ludington while you are here for BrrrewFest? There are plenty of new restuarants and spots downtown to check out including Timbers Bar & Grille and Table 14. A downtown favorite, Barley & Rye, will be hosting a Boozy Breakfast before BrrrewFest from 9-11:30am featuring beer-mosas, breakfast burritos and more!

Certainly, Ludington is known for its natural beauty and recreational opportunities. Attendees to BrrrrewFest can also get a taste of that at the Shoreline Cycling Club’s Winter Fat Tire Biking Open House.

No matter how you choose to spend your BrrrewFest weekend here in Ludington, we know you will enjoy the beauty of Winter and the cold brews of Michigan’s best craft brewers.

Don’t forget to share your photos with us on Instagram and Facebook using #PureLudington. For more travel information, visit PureLudington.com