When it comes to enjoying the outdoors in all seasons, the Friends of the Ludington State Park have it figured out. And this winter, they will not only lend you snowshoes at no cost, but also treat you to an experience that will allow you to enjoy winter in a magical, new way.
Lantern-lit snowshoe hikes, winding through the forest of the Ludington State Park, are such a special treat for visitors to this protected area. Smiling faces from the Friends group greet you upon arrival, get you fitted with snowshoes, and assist you to the trailhead.
The trails are clearly and beautifully marked with 75 nostalgic, old-school lanterns that will light your way through the woods. Enjoy the fresh crisp air, slowly falling snow on the Big Sable River, and crunching underfoot.
Eventually, the trail will lead you to some chattering nearby and, if you keep moving, you will find a bonfire where others are gathered to take a break, sip some cocoa, and roast a marshmallow. A park ranger is also on hand to lend advice and answer questions about the history of the area, the tradition of snowshoeing, and activities that can be experienced throughout the seasons.
There is no need to sign up ahead of time. Simply arrive ahead of time (a recreation passport is required to enter) and plan for a free, memorable winter experience.
2023 Lantern-Lit Snowshoe/Ski Events (6-8 p.m.):
January 7, January 21, February 4, February 18
Guided Saturday Afternoon Snowshoe Walks (1 p.m.):
January 7, 14, 21, 28; February 4, 11, 18
Guided nature/history walks through the wooded sand dunes on snowshoes. Snowshoes provided for those who need them (ages 8 and up).
Guided Saturday Night Snowshoe Walks (6 p.m.):
January 7, 21; February 4, 18
Guided nature/history walks through the wooded sand dunes under the stars and moonlight. Snowshoes provided for those who need them (ages 8 and up).
If you’re unable to attend an official scheduled event, the state park is open year round and has miles of trails and dunes available for exploration. The park is also open for winter camping. Make your reservation HERE.
*Forty pairs of snowshoes are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
*If there is no snow, the event will still be held for hikers.