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A Guide to Navigating Fall Colors in the Ludington Area

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Autumn in Pure Ludington is a magical time of year. Arches of orange, red and yellow paint the otherwise evergreen landscape and perfectly complement the sparkling blue waters of the lakes they surround. With unspoiled natural resources and unrivaled outdoor recreation, Fall is great time to explore it all. Whether hiking, biking or driving, we have some great opportunities for you to take a front row seat to the changing landscape and vibrant fall colors. 

Wondering when the best time will be to visit and catch the colors? We are expecting Fall color to peak between October 7 - 14. So you will want to make your way north to Pure Ludington to see the colors as they heat up over the course of the next two weeks. 

Here are some of our favorite places and ways to catch fall colors in Pure Ludington.



Our favorite driving route starts in downtown Ludington and takes visitors along the beautiful sands of the Ludington State Park, along country roads where you can stop at u-pick orchards and farms, unique views of Wind Farms, past the scenic overlook on South Lakeshore Road and through plenty of colorful tunnels of trees. 

Hiking & Biking

Ludington has long been a destination for cyclists and hikers 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. 

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.

Another popar spot to walk or bike is the urban trail system at Catier Park, located just a mile north of downtown Ludington. The trail system includes a one-mile paved loop and about 3.5 miles of of single-track mountain bike path. Visitors enjoying Cartier Park are treated to serene, wooded surroundings and views of the beautiful Lincoln Lake.



Pere Marquette River is one of our favorite spots for paddling adventures anytime of the year, but the sights are exceptional in the fall. The reflection of fall colors dancing on the top of the river. There are several spots along the river to drop-in, which are easily accessible to visitors via the Pure Ludington mobile app. A popular stretch of the river is between Custer and Scottville, which takes about 3 hours to paddle. If you do not have your own gear, there are plenty of outfitters that can get you everything you need to get on the river. 

Other popular spots to paddle and take in the fall colors are Hamlin Lake, which is accessible from Ludington State Park, and Lincoln Lake which is accisible from M-116 on your way out to the State Park.

If you need anything more to sweeten the experience, you can stay at any one of the participating accomodations to take advantage of 50% off a second night stay in Ludington. Be sure to share your fall color adventures with us on Instagram using the hashtag #PureLudington.

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