If the words ‘Lake Effect snow’ make your inner 8-year-old celebrate like you woke up and learned school’s canceled due to a SNOW DAY, make plans to head for the West side of Michigan over the next few months. For those that embrace this time of year, the reward – fewer people than peak season, plenty of activities for cold-weather enthusiasts, snow covered trails, and warm, cozy accommodations – is absolutely worth it!
While everyone has their own idea of the “best way” to experience the winter season – on the trails or in front of the fire with a book – we’ve put together a list of our favorite ways to spend winter here in the picturesque Ludington area (with a day trip or two thrown into the mix)! As we always say, we hope this inspires you to go exploring and make your own memories!
- Snowshoe the Trails – Enjoy a one mile, guided lantern-lit snowshoe hike through parts of Ludington State Park at 6PM on Saturday, January 7th & 21st or February 4th & 18th. Rather snowshoe by daylight? Enjoy a guided hike at 1PM on the previously mentioned dates. No snowshoes? No problem – loaners will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Enjoy bonfires at both the LSP Warming Shelter and Amphitheater, as well as complimentary warm beverages.
- Ski the Sites – Feel more at home on skis than snowshoes? With plenty of open trail to be explored including Ludington State Park, Big M through the Manistee National Forest, or the Crystal Valley Ski Trail system, you could easily make a weekend out of it and still not cover everything!
- Hit the Slopes – If you’re in town for more than a night and downhill is more your speed, hit the road and go 59 miles north (just over an hours drive) to Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville, Michigan to explore the hills and back trails.
- Fat-tire Biking – A popular destination for cyclists year ‘round, Ludington offers plenty of spaces to get out and ride, but for those that love mountain biking and seasonal rides in the snow, you must check out the 10 mile Urban Single Track system that includes Cartier Park and the Ludington School Forest.
- Sled a Dune – Get in touch with your inner kid!! Pack up the toboggan, saucer or inflatable tube and head for the snow-covered dunes at Ludington State Park (pssst – we love the dunes just off the parking lot, near the beach house). We promise, this is such a fun way to spend an afternoon!
- Paddle the Sites – The first river in Michigan to be designated a National Wild & Scenic River, the Pere Marquette River has several access points around the Ludington area. Enjoy all the beauty of winter from the water, and be sure to include the stretch that winds through the Manistee National Forest!
- Gaze at Starry Skies – Bundle up, pack a picnic dinner and head for the lakeshore in the Ludington area. The dunes and beachfront at Ludington State Park are prime viewing spots, with little light pollution interfering with the beauty of the night sky. Manistee National Forest includes nearly 40 miles of tree-dotted land, starting in Ludington. It’s another great spot to find a path and head for a clearing to stare up and enjoy a starry night!
- Rent an Igloo – After a day on the trails, chill in one of the heated igloos on Ludington Bay Brewing’s back patio. Reservations are NOT required, but accepted (and spaces go fast!) so check into this before you head to Ludington. For details, call 231-239-6690.
- Sip Something Warm – Come in out of the cold and warm up with a steaming mug of tea, coffee beverage or sipping chocolate from HumaniTea or Red Rooster Coffee.
- Dine Fireside – During January & February, wind down and enjoy a private dinner courtesy of The Lamplighter B&B’s private chef, Dan Brooks. Select from a menu that offers a range of cuisines – Southern, French, Italian or the ‘Classics’ – and savor each bite as you relax in front of a roaring fire.
- Read a Classic – Head to one of our local book stores – Windowsill Books or Book Mark – pick up a new read and settle in fireside. Nosh on some tasty snacks, sip on something warm and get lost in a great plot. It’s a peaceful way to spend an afternoon if cold weather activities just aren’t your pace!
Plan Your Stay – Join us at our Ludington, Michigan B&B
As you plan your winter getaway in Ludington, consider staying with us at The Lamplighter Bed & Breakfast. Our cozy bed and breakfast is loaded with old world charm and is walking distance to the heart of downtown, and just a short drive to many of the winter activities mentioned above. Warm up in front of the fireplace in the Crosby Fireplace Room, soak in the jetted tub in the Ansel Adams Suite, or defrost and relax in the large walk-in shower in the Monet Room. Each of our 5 rooms offer a variety of amenities based on your needs, then wake to a full, hearty breakfast each morning. Give us a call or drop us a note and begin planning your visit to Ludington, Michigan today!