Friday was a day off for both Tom and I, and Bryce was scheduled to work a double shift, so we thought we’d take a drive up to Ludington to visit the Sate Park.
It was chilly when Bryce got up to go to work, and by the time he unexpectedly came back home a half hour later, it was raining. We had a lazy morning, and thought we were going to scrub our plans for the day. Around 11am though, it had stopped raining and warmed up a little, and we were getting little areas of blue sky between the clouds, so we decided to go on up to Ludington. Since Bryce didn’t have to work, we made him go with us!
It was really windy, and we drove through some drizzle, but it wasn’t raining when we arrived at the beach at Ludington State Park.
There weren’t many people at the beach, though!
Ludington State Park is very popular, with three camping loops and lots of hiking, biking and swimming options. We drove through the three loops, and they are very crowded . . . yeah, we remember why we don’t stay in many state parks anymore! Electric-only sites, and only a handful with 50 amp . . . and even less that would fit a big rig! OK, we’ll stay nearby and visit the state park.
One of the most popular destinations in the park is Big Sable Point Lighthouse, the big brother to Little Sable Point Lighthouse in Silver Lake.
There’s a hiking/biking trail that you can pick up from the campground, shown as 1.5 miles, but that’s after walking from the parking lot, through the campground, to get to the trail.
You can also get there by walking along the beach, and the map says it’s 2 miles that way.
We parked at the beach, and started walking, but really didn’t plan on going all the way to the lighthouse.
Like everywhere else along Lake Michigan, the high water levels are eating away at the beaches and the dunes.
As we walked, Bryce tried to dig up driftwood out of the sand, and would climb up on the dunes to get a look around.
It was a pretty easy walk along the sand at the water’s edge, and the water wasn’t even too cold to walk in. We thought we might have been about halfway to the lighthouse, so we all climbed up a dune to get a look.
We could see it in the distance, and it seemed like we might actually be a little more than halfway.
I got some pictures of the guys there, too.
Since it was going so well, and we were halfway there, we decided to keep going all the way to the lighthouse.
The further we walked, though, the less beach we had to walk on!
We had all left our shoes in the Jeep, op we didn’t have any trouble walking at the edge of the water, but the waves were pretty big! When we got to this spot, Tom and I decided to take the high road.
Bryce took his chances with the water!
We quickly ran our of trail though, and the dune grass is really rough to walk through in bare feet!
The bluff seemed to get higher and higher above the beach, and we had to look for a spot where we could get down without breaking a leg!
Bryce finally found a spot that wasn’t too high, and we managed to climb back down tot he beach.
By then, we were almost to the lighthouse!
We spotted this guy on the beach,
and Tom and Bryce both walked right by him without realizing that it was a bird.
We had arrived at the lighthouse beach, and while Bryce was mesmerized by the waves hitting the seawall,
The old Lighthouse Keeper’s residence was converter to a Museum, and visitors can climb to the top of the lighthouse for $5.00/person. We’ve been up in the lighthouse before, and it was REALLY windy, so we passed on the climb.
We thought we might take the trail back, but it was gravel and that wouldn’t feel good on bare feet! So, after visiting the restrooms,
we started making our way back along the beach.
The clouds were looking pretty ominous (and we’ve been in that situation before . . . but I’ll leave that for another blog post!), so we didn’t waste any time on the way back. The tailwind certainly helped, and I didn’t stop to take many pictures!
Just one quick glance back!
Whew! A four mile hike in the sand . . . that was definitely a workout for our ankles and calves! We were all pretty exhausted when we got out of there, and ready for dinner. I had heard that the House of Flavors (where they had the World Record Sundae attempt last month) had really good food at reasonable prices, and that was the truth . . . we had an excellent dinner, finished off with ice cream . . . but not the Piggy Dinner!
Given the rough start to the day, it turned out pretty good!