This hike circles through downtown Ludington, and through Waterfront Park. It is concurrent with the Waterfront Loop for part of its distance. You can see several of Ludington's famous murals on this walk.
The description begins at Waterfront Park. From the public parking area go north on William St past the Pere Marquette Memorial. Reach Ludington Ave. and turn east (right) and enter downtown Ludington. There is a moderate uphill in this first block. Pass many cafes and small shops. When you reach James St at the center of downtown, turn south (right). You are now entering the section of Ludington which was its original downtown. There are still many small businesses located along this route, and you will pass several murals. Continue south for six blocks to Dowland Street and turn west (right). The carferry docks are directly ahead of you. After just one block, turn north again on Rath Ave. and go three blocks. Watch for a turn to the west (left) beside the Harbor View Marina. There is an interpretive sign here on "Carferry History." You pass between the condos and this private marina (picnic areas in this short piece are not open to the public), and enter Waterfront Park.
Follow the sidewalk around the north side of Harbor View Marina, past the "Lumbering Era" sculpture to the south end of the park's peninsula. Turn sharply north and continue on the sidewalk along the seawall past several canopied picnic areas, and the "Spirit of Ludington," and "Reflections" sculpture. Return to the parking area.
Access- paved parking at Waterfront Park or on many city streets, or downtown in lots behind businesses on the north side of Ludington Ave.
Restrictions- No bikes, skateboards, rollerblades, roller skates on the walkway in Waterfront Park.
Seasonality- rest room closed in winter
Distance and time- 1.5 miles, it can be walked in 30 minutes, but take time to enjoy the sights.
Trail Markers- none
Treadway- paved, stable footing mostly on city sidewalks. Cement, some brick in downtown. Dowland St section is oldest sidewalk and sometimes rough.
Ecosystem- urban pathway on sidewalks past businesses, and through waterfront park
Other points of interest- interpretive signs, City Marina, small city services
Most recent date this info personally checked on foot- Sept 2011
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Swimming- Lake Michigan swimming from South Pier Beach is located on the south side of the Ludington Pier, and north of the Loomis Street boat launch.
Scenic Views- Ludington lighthouse, carferries and other boats, Lake Michigan beach, marinas, many murals on Ludington Ave, and S. James St, 25¢ telescopic viewer at the north end of Waterfront Park and the south end of Stearns Park
Pere Marquette Memorial - This is a painting honoring the life of Father Marquette, located on William St., between Loomis and Filer. "Pere Jacques Marquette - With the cross held before his eyes the great missionary explorer died May 18, 1765 at a spot across the Pere Marquette Lake. The exact location may be seen on the horizon to the left of this memorial. Pere Marquette Memorial Association, Dedicated July 4, 1953." (It can be difficult to see this painting through the glass, and nearly impossible, due to reflections, to get a picture now that there is a tall condo building directly across the street.) The scene displayed was completely changed in 1998.
Interpretive Signs- Along the way you pass blue kiosks about the Lake Michigan Beach, Epworth Assembly, and the City of Flint which ran aground in the 1940 storm. Also, "Baseball and Boating," "Vintage Ludington" and "Carferry History." The entire back of the "Lumbering Era" sculpture is interpretation on that topic. There is a sign about Ludington's Petunia Parade on the west side of the City Marina.
Handicap Accessibility- These routes are completely accessible, but there may be a few rough spots or bumpy curb ramps. Rest rooms at Stearns Park, Ludington City Park, Copeyon Park, and Waterfront Park are accessible. The section from the carferry docks to Copeyon Park is technically barrier free if you choose your way carefully, but would be a challege for someone in a wheelchair or scooter. (see Waterfront Loop for details.
Rest Rooms- City Rest Rooms at Stearns Park, Loomis Street Boat Ramp, Ludington City Park, Waterfront Park, Copeyon Park, open in summer only
Potable Water- summer only at the same locations as the rest rooms
Additional Facilities- dispensers for dog poop bags, small city services, some bike racks, 25¢ telescopic viewer at the north end of Waterfront Park, and the south end of Stearns Park, fish-cleaning station at Loomis Boat Ramp, small city services
The Walkways connect several parks:
Loomis Street Boat Ramp
Ludington City Park
Maintained by- City of Ludington , call 231-845-6237
Ludington Waterfront 360 degree panoramic photo tour by Sid Sytsma
Ludington Marina 360 degree panoramic photo tour by Sid Sytsma