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Ludington State Park

We are aware that there are concerns and questions about the park's upcoming closure. This is a very rare and tremendous opportunity to complete needed upgrades to the park's infrastructure.

We have prepared this list of FAQs that will hopefully assist in addressing some of your questions and concerns. See Ludington State Park Face Book Page for updates. Updates will be posted.

When is Ludington State Park going to be closed?
The park is going to be closed from September 3, 2024, through June 30, 2025. The dates of this closure, and access to the park, may change based on the progress of construction.

What is the scope of the project that is closing the park?
This project is going to realign and repave the entrance and exit near the entrance booth, expand and repave the Lake Michigan beach parking lot, expand, realign, and repave the warming shelter parking lot, repave the Hamlin Lake parking lots, and repave the entire main park road. In addition, we will be adding and improving pedestrian walkways around the entrance and into the beach parking lot to improve pedestrian safety and help vehicles circulate more efficiently. On top of all the paving and parking lot improvements, the Skyline Trail is going to be seeing renovations. We are going to take advantage of the closure to make other upgrades to park buildings and grounds throughout the park.

Why is the park closing to visitors?
We are closing the park for the safety of the visitors. This project will have a lot of heavy equipment and large vehicles coming and going. With all the construction activity taking place, we need to ensure that there are no visitors put into harm's way and that the construction equipment can operate without having to worry about visitors suddenly getting in their way. This will also allow the construction team to operate more efficiently and safely, which might allow the project to end before June 30, 2025.

Why can't you phase these projects over multiple years to minimize the impact on visitors?
These projects are funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and were initiated through the Building Michigan Together Plan of 2022. The funding must be obligated by December 31, 2024, and completed by December 31, 2026. Constructing the project during one phase lessens the costs of the project and keeps the impact limited to the one season instead of spreading it out over multiple seasons. The reason that we have closed during May and June is due to the asphalt plants operating season for the paving portions of the project.

Are there any areas of the park that can still be used?
Once we get a contractor in place and they provide their construction schedule, we will have a better grasp on which areas can still be used. The plan is to not allow visitors north of the Big Sable River. This means that the dam, footbridge, and highway bridge will be closed. When the Skyline Trail construction begins, the amphitheater parking lot will be closed, as well.

As for other areas of the park, we expect that the south trails, trails off Piney Ridge Road, the boardwalk below the dam, and the open dunes in the south part of the park will be open to visitors, but parking will be limited. The beaches south of the park, along M-116 should also remain open. Visiting the far northern part of the park, accessed from Nordhouse Dunes or by boat on Hamlin Lake, shouldn't be a problem. We just ask that visitors do not venture south towards any of the construction areas.

What about boating to the Hamlin Lake or Lake Michigan beaches?
The Hamlin Lake day use area will be seeing a lot of construction. This area will be closed to the public and boats will not be allowed to moor. The dune and beach southeast of the dam, locally known as Rick's Beach, will be open to the public. The dunes at the far north end of Hamlin Lake will also be open to the public.

How do I learn about any updates to the closure of the park?
We will be updating this FAQ as we get closer to the project's start. Updates to the closure dates will be posted on this page and shared with local media. We will also be posting regular progress photos or videos throughout construction.

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