Pere Marquette Lake Trail
There's Lake Michigan and Hamlin Lake, but for a different kind of adventure, consider traveling the Pere Marquette Lake Trail. There's many points of interest around the lake, and it's calm enough for those in kayaks and canoes. Pere Marquette River drains into this lake, which then empties into Lake Michigan.
You can launch your watercraft into the P.M. River at Sutton's Landing, on Iris Road just off Old US-31. Pere Marquette Expeditions is located next door, and they rent a variety of kayaks and canoes. They also sell your favorite beverages and a wide assortment of bait. Suttons Landing offers a pavilion, restrooms, and handicap accessible riverwalk. Head to the left where you'll find a marshy area. The reeds offer numerous small coves with water fowl species and fish sightings. You'll want to spend a little time here to see unique, one-of-a-kind wildlife.
SIGHTS OF INTEREST
After the wetlands you'll see Buttersville Park, located between Lake Michigan and Pere Marquette Lake. Buttersville is a popular campground and has a dog-friendly beach on the big lake. Then you'll see a most impressive sight--the Father Marquette Memorial Park. It is believed that Father Jacques Marquette died at this spot in Ludington in 1675. The large white cross looms high over P.M. Lake, and is in the process of being restored by a private group. Circle around and in between the two marinas is the very pretty Waterfront Park. From the water you should be able to view one or more of the nine bronzed sculptures that the park is known for. Summer music concerts are held here, and kids love the large, safe playground. After the park you'll glide by the dock that is home to the S.S. Badger carferry, and the out-of-service S.S. Spartan. Be careful not to get in the way if the Badger happens to be sailing in or out of port! Past the carferry dock is Copeyon Park, where many try their luck at fishing. This park is also close to the Charter Captain docks, and features a pavilion, playground, and in the future, a Splash Pad. On your way back to Sutton's Landing, you'll pass by Occidental Chemical Corporation, where many freighters load and unload. Keep to the right to leave the river at Sutton's Landing.
ORIGINAL RIVER LOOP
Pere Marquette Expeditions has been the starting point for the P.M. River Loop, a two mile stretch that is a popular activity for water enthusiasts. However, due to the high lake levels in 2019, it is currently not being used.
The Pere Marquette Lake Loop Trail gives you a unique perspective on some of Ludington's most majestic sites. Bring your own watercraft, or rent a canoe or kayak from P.M. Expeditions and enjoy a leisurely trip around Pere Marquette Lake.