Monday, July 21, 2008

Lake Michigan camping - Part 1

I've been having nice luck lately in getting weekend camping reservations at some popular parks just a few days in advance (most likely, these were sites that had been reserved months ago but now being canceled at the last minute).

My first reservation bonanza was a weekend electric site at Ludington State Park along the western shore of Lake Michigan.

Western Michigan is an absolute delight in the summertime-- the lake is warm, miles of sandy beaches, great sunsets, and friendly small towns. Ludington is a vibrant small town with lots of downtown activity (thanks to the SS Badger car ferry that makes several trips a day over to Manitowac, Wisconsin) and a pretty park along the shoreline looking out onto a lighthouse (unfortunately, no sunset this night, so I took a shot of what little I could get!)

The state park is really nice with miles of sandy beaches, dunes, and hiking trails through forests, a 1-mile river section between the lake and the beach for peacefully floats, and a large lake with a canoe trail. I was eager to try out my new solo canoe, so opted to do the canoe trail one day. These were a few views from the water:

While it was a great park for me, Millie was not too thrilled with Michigan. Most of their shoreline is off limits to dogs. I was able to find one dog beach, however, at the Lake Michigan National Recreation Area just north of the state park. Millie had a blast at this long sandy beach, and climbing up and over the large sand dune to get there!

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