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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Ludington, Michigan / State Park Beechwood campground

September 2016, Weekend, 2-nights, Beechwood Campsite 275

This is the third time we have camped in Ludington State Park. My blog post from November 2015 provides a lot of information about many of the campsites in this park. Additional campground information and photos can also be found in the Ludington State Park album on our Facebook page. This is a condensed review of our most recent stay.

Reservations, check-in and arrival

There were not many sites available when we made our advance reservation. After I reserved site 275, I noticed it is an ADA site. The description on the website does not say it is handicap accessible; however, my confirmation email said it is.

The first entrance booth, in the parking lot by the sanitation station, was open when we arrived, and we checked in there. Usually we camp off-season, and this is the first time we checked in in this area. We needed to provide more details than usual during check-in: the names of all people on our site, and our complete vehicle(s) information. Our son was coming to stay with us the second night, and we were told he had to stop and get an overnight pass, even though he has a recreation passport on his vehicle. When we walked through the overflow parking lot while hiking during our stay, we noticed several cars with tickets for unauthorized parking on the windshield. It took us several minutes to check-in, and it took our son several minutes to get his overnight pass when he stopped the next day.

Site 275

This is a average size site on the inside of the second Beechwood loop. It is level, and does not hold water during rain. Parking was a bit tight after our son arrived, and we had two vehicles.

View from site 275; click photo to enlarge and view details

The information online says a small tent could be set up on the site, although I am not sure where. The only grass area on this site was a small spot next to the tree and fire pit, or on the slope behind the asphalt pad. An average size tent next to the tree would probably end up partially on site 283 behind us. We observed many campers in this area of the campground that had set up over the boundaries of their site. There were four tents on site 275A next to us with seven or eight people (the state website says six people are allowed per site). One of the tents on that site had been set up so that it was mostly on our site, and when we ran in the slides of our RV before leaving, it sounded like they may have gotten wet from the rain water that slid off our roof. The placement of their tent did not really infringe upon us. We ran the slide in slowly to allow the water to drain off; however, we did not think about the tent behind us until afterward.

Restroom/showers between 2nd and 3rd Beechwood loops


There were two restroom buildings very close to this campsite. There is a dump station next to the building visible in the campsite photo above for portable containers. The second restroom, between this loop and the third loop, did not comply with ADA standards (there were steps up to the toilet area). The condition and cleanliness of both buildings was average.

Lake Michigan beach

Recreation: beach, water sports, hiking, biking 

There are two swimming beaches in Ludington State Park: one on Lake Michigan, and one on Hamlin Lake. Both beaches are sandy. A river connects the two lakes, although there is a dam between them, so you cannot get through. We are planning to bring our kayaks the next time we visit this park, so we can explore Hamlin Lake, and take them down the river below the dam to Lake Michigan. There is a boat ramp on Hamlin Lake near the swimming area. There is also a concession stand and boats for rent. You can enlarge photos in this blog by clicking on them, if you want to view the rental rates.

Hamlin Lake

Rental rates

There are many hiking trails in Ludington State Park. You can find details in my previous blog post, and in the Facebook album. The trails between the campgrounds and beaches are paved, and good for bicycling. There is a large picnic area long the river between Beechwood and Cedar campgrounds.
Paved trail in picnic area between campgrounds

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