Cabin fever got you down? Try free snowshoeing at Ludington State Park

One of the best ways to conquer cabin fever this winter is to get out and do something different. And it certainly helps to combat those mood swings if exercise is involved.

Ludington State Park offers free snowshoeing activities this month and next that combine a bit of both, from daytime guided hikes to lantern-lit snowshoeing in the evenings, Here’s a schedule to help you plan. Events are free but a state park Recreation Passport is required for entry into the park:

“Shoe Year’s” Lantern-Lit Snowshoeing/Skiing – 6 – 8 p.m., Jan. 17 and 31, and Feb. 14, Visitors can bring cross country skis and/or snowshoes to ski or walk a lighted, groomed trail lit by 75 oil lanterns. A bonfire is at either end to warm up and enjoy a hot beverage.
The park has 50 pairs of wooden snowshoes to loan for free on a first-come, first-serve basis. Park staff can help novice trekkers get started. No reservations are needed. Participants are advised to dress warmly, wear winter walking shoes or boots, and bring a flashlight.

Guided Snowshoe Hikes –2 p.m., Jan. 24, and Feb. 7, at 3 and 7 p.m.; Jan. 17, 31 and Feb. 14 (same days as the lantern-lit snowshoeing). The park interpreter guides visitors on a 90-minute snowshoe hike highlighting the park’s nature and history through snow-covered sand dunes.

Fifty pairs of wooden snowshoes are available for free loan on a first-come, first-serve basis, for visitors aged 10 years-old to adult. Reservations are not required. Staff members will be available to help novice trekkers.

The snowshoeing events are quite popular. More than 100 participants of all ages showed up at the park’s first lantern-lit event in early January when there was hardly any snow on the ground. Now is a different story!

Susan R. Pollack
Globetrotting journalist and former Detroit News staff writer Susan R. Pollack has covered travel since 1985, visiting scores of countries on five continents, 49 states, six Canadian provinces and hundreds of cities, islands and outposts along the way. From Alaska, the Galapagos and New Zealand to South Africa, Thailand and Wales, she has suffered the occasional lost luggage, jetlag and Montezuma’s revenge but still delights in sharing travel adventures with readers. In addition to The Detroit News, her award-winning stories and photos have appeared in major newspapers including the Dallas News, Toronto Star, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Chicago Sun Times; and magazines including Delta Sky, Midwest Living, Long Weekends, Experience Michigan, Jetsetter, Home & Away, Hour Detroit, Prevue Meetings and Group Tour. She has contributed to several books including "Rand McNally 2008 Ultimate NASCAR Road Trip Guide," and is the copy editor for She also has written for websites including and