Reviewing Downtown Ludington

No one in Michigan loves shopping more than me. At least, that is my opinion. I enjoy shopping downtown Ludington because it is only a mile from the lakefront where my husband Mike likes to jog along the shore of Lake Michigan. Oftentimes why he is doing that I am shopping in downtown Ludington.

The Antique Store I love frequenting because I like old things and they have a wonderful selection. I also like frequenting the Bookmark and browse through all the literary publications that are found there. And, knowing of my desire for sweet things, Chef John’s European Bakery is visited often by me along with Kalwin’s Chocolates and Ice Cream. Yum!

Of course, House of Flavors is a must but only in the warmer months. Did you know that their factory is also located in Ludington? Synder’s Shoes is another hotspot for me as all women love shopping for shoes that they never wear. I wonder why that is? Mike questions me about that all the time.

Then after Mike is done with his jog we often stop in at the Plaza Cafe for a light bite or two. There is just so much to do in downtown Ludington these days and of course, for those outsiders that frequent our town, no trip is complete without stopping by the dock of the SS Badger for a few photographs. Even in winter Ludington is a great place to shop!

US 31af

I made a business trip to Traverse City, Michigan, and found out that once I got on US 31 in Indianapolis, I didn’t have to exit off that road once, except for fuel or eating. US 31 goes all the way to Traverse City.

However the road is far different in Michigan over that of Indiana in that the latter has a road system that is bumpy with no rest stops whatsoever. Michigan’s road is smoother with rest stops all the way. There is more of a feel to a superhighway system in Michigan while Indiana’s stretch of US 31 just seems like a highway.

My picture here is the turnoff onto US 10 which leads to Mike Reynolds home town of Scottville, Michigan to the east, while to the west is his favorite resort town, that being Ludington, Michigan. Since I was needed in Traverse City in a few hours I headed due north.

US 31 in Michigan runs fairly close in proximity to Lake Michigan. Along the way one must pass over several bridges that someway give the right of way to boats passing underneath so drawbridges are set in place. Plus one gets to pass by Holland, Michigan, and they are known for their flowers and wooden shoes.

Indiana needs to spruce up its portion of US 31 to match that of Michigan’s side.

New Bridge over Sauble River

Well, there’s a new foot bridge over Sauble River near the Hamlin Dam. I kind of like this new one as I am a tad sqeamish going over th one actually over that dam. As I said in an earlier post, I “was” at one time fearful of that Hamlin Dam narrow bridge but later conquered that fear. Still, having this bridge, slightly downstream, makes me feel even better crossing over to that other side.

This bridge is between the Hamlin Dam bridge and the M -116 bridge over Sauble River. It provides one with a good look at the Hamlin Dam itself. It makes me not desire to walk over that actual Hamlin Dam bridge of troubled waters just below.

I wonder who came up with that novel idea?

Ludington Marina

It won’t be too long before the ghost town mentality of the Ludington Marina, now hauntily empty with ice replacing boats, will be full of activity again. Warm weather is just around the corner and then dock by dock will be occupied with boats.

Be they for fishing or for pleasure trips will again be taken onto Lake Michigan for another summer’s activites. Dodging the ferry boats that also occupy the harbor, those pleasure boats will yield the right of way to their larger cousins enroute to the big lake.

Always take caution, though, and check with the Coast Guard to determine the condtions on Lake Michigan lest your pleasure cruise turn into a nightmare. As for now, get out those icebreakers and start chipping away!

Ludington Ferry Boats


Ludington, Michigan, has many attractions, chief among them the beaches on Lake Michigan, but a great many people come to Ludington, literally, on its chief attraction and that is via the Ferry Boats. These large car carrying boats travel across Lake Michigan to Wisconsin depositing tourists during the summer months. I myself have made one voyage on one of those boats.

The painstaking part of the journey is boarding the boat with your vehicle which is quite time consuming both in regard to boarding and departure. Once that process is removed from the equation the rest is just pure enjoyment. The views are spectacular to say the least. Though not quite up to the expectation of a Cruise Ship atop the seven seas, Lake Michigan does have its benefits too. Some will say water is water but I prefer the Great Lakes to an ocean voyage.

One, though, doesn’t have to board the ships to admire them as that can be done from shore as you notice those large ships quite small on the horizen though getting bigger and bigger as they approach port. If you want an even closer examination of these ferry boats, walk out on the Ludington breakwater and you can observe them quite close up as they enter the channel. At those times they seem quite monsterous especially so if they appear out of a morning fog.

I will have more to say on Ludington as our travels progress.

The Catwalk Bridge over Hamlin Dam

From my earliest days in the greater Ludington area this bridge has always terrified me. Only recently have I got over that terror. When I was eleven, I remember crossing it with my parents at a time the river was quite high and the narrow walkway made me quite dizzy and I almost went over the side.

As I got older, I usually only went across the dam when the river was somewhat low or made an excuse about not wanting to to go to the sand dunes on the other side. After all there were miles of sand dunes just off the seven mile stretch of M-116 from Ludington the the Hamlin Dam Park and those dunes didn’t require a walk over a narrow catwalk.

As you progress across that catwalk you can literally see thousands of gallons pouring over the side directly beneath your feet. I always thouht they could have made that venue a little wider. My wife, Darlene, has helped me to see that my childhood memories shouldn’t affect me that same way today so now I can go across this narrow catwalk with little trouble. I can enjoy the huge sand dune on the other side more frequently now. Strange how child phobia’s can still affect people even into their adult lives.

The Hamlin Dam


The Hamlin Dam is about seven miles outside of Ludington, Michigan, along Lake Michigan. It is seven miles of prestine beaches and the only thing that separates this stretch of highway from Lake Michigan is a singular seven mile long sand dune. You can park your car anywhere along that stretch and have your own personal beach.

At the end of that stretch of highway is the Ludington State Park where Hamlin Dam is located. As a youngster I eagerily anticipated climbing the immense sand dunes there however I always dreaded the pathway to those dunes. I had to cross a narrow concrete path (seen above) and just below that were the waters pouring underneath that Hamlin Dam. It always seemed to be a period of high water when our family visited there because on one side the water was nearly to the top of that crossway.

Once conqured I had a blast on those sand dunes. At the top of one, after a long hot climb there was a tree lined sand dune that was much cooler to my feet going down and that led to a path along Hamlin Lake that would lead back to that crossway. It didn’t seem as intimidating on the way back across.

Even though there’s much more to see here my family opted only to go to the dam and dunes area. Some day I’d like to make the trek from the Hamlin Dam area to the Lake Michigan Recreational Center which would be quite a journey.

Winter Dusk

Did you feel it today?  Spring was in the air even though ice is till receding from lakes and rivers.  Its almost time to say goodbye to my parka and snowmobile for yet another year.  I actually felt warmth today and it felt really good!  Soon I’ll begin planting my garden that has been softened by all our snow this year.  And if sprin is just aroun the corner, what does that have to say about summer?

Now hubbie Mike may like swimming with the other “native” polar bears in the dead of winter but I prefer the prestine beaches of Ludington when the warm weather hits and my tan needs doing again.  There’s no tans available for those polar bears!  But that first whiff of spring sure smells good.  Its almost time to plant and then preserve.  I jut love Michigan at this time of year as everything seems to just refresh itself.

Well springtime is the time of renewal isn’t it?

Summer Sand Dunes Converting Into Winter Sledding Dunes

One good thing about Ludington, Michigan, is that the dunes there are not only there for summer enjoyment. In winter time they can also be used for sledding. One piece of advice, though, is make sure your sled or saucer is not heading down the dune toward Lake Michigan.

Of course along M-116 on the eastern side are countless dunes that do not come into contact with Lake Michigan at all. Add to that the dunes of Ludington State Park and you have hundreds of dunes to enjoy by sled or saucer. If by the latter make sure your seat belts are fastened as that will be one fast ride down those dunes.

The one down side to all this is those menacing winds coming off of Lake Michigan as they can make a sledding day last for only about an hour. Enjoy!

Use of Snow Fences

fence-in-the-sunset I’m in trouble here because I know nothing about snow fences. However in this picture was too good to pass up. I think snow fences are there to protect highways and train tracks. I also think they have something to do with beach erosion. If anyone knows anything else about them please leave us a comment. Thank you. For now just feast in this beautiful photograph.

The Badger Heading Out

What a beautiful picture and it is the Badger leaving Ludington and heading for Wisconsin with a lot of cars and trucks aboard. The Voyage takes about 3 hours in normal weather. It takes a little longer if stormy. For passengers it’s a pleasant three-hour Cruise and many spend it out on Deck. If in the area you might want to try it sometime or even from the Wisconsin side as Lovington is a beautiful tourist town.