Octoberfest, Haunted Village, new guided hikes: Ludington area has big fun for fall

LUDINGTON, MI – Often seen as the gateway to Up North adventure, the Ludington area has a big array of activities and events lined up for this fall. Whether you’re looking to raise a glass at a beach town Octoberfest featuring craft brews and lawn games, or you want to take your chances at a rural Haunted Village, this Lake Michigan city and its surrounding region likely has something to draw you in. You can make one of the new guided hikes at the popular Ludington State Park the highpoint of a daytrip, or map out a weekend getaway and save with the area’s fall lodging specials.

A free concert by The Verve Pipe and the nearby Scottville fall festival will kick off the season this weekend.

“Autumn is almost as popular as summer in Ludington, and we continue to offer more reasons to check out the area at this beautiful time of year in Michigan,” said Brandy Miller, executive director of the Ludington Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Whether you take advantage of one of our autumn-themed events, a fall lodging special or just enjoy Mason County’s stunning colors, there are many ways to enjoy a fall getaway in Ludington.”

Ludington State Park

A hiker on the Lost Lake Trail boardwalk at Ludington State Park. Photo provided by Pure Ludington.

Here is a list of events pulled together by the tourism experts there. For updates and more details, check the Pure Ludington website.

Friday, Sept. 16: The Verve Pipe in concert at the Scottville Fall Celebration, 100 block of South Main Street, downtown Scottville. This second annual celebration kicks off with a bang this year, as multi-platinum alternative rock band The Verve Pipe opens the event with a free outdoor concert. The show starts at 8 p.m. but the tent will open starting at 6 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 17: Scottville Fall Celebration, downtown Scottville. This fall celebration features numerous family-friendly activities including a Touch-A-Truck display, games, vendor booths, Scottville Choo-Choo rides, Miss Mason County pageant and live music, highlighted by the Scottville Clown Band as the grand finale.

Saturday, Sept. 17: Lumber Day/Lumberjack Breakfast,10 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. at Historic White Pine Village. Families can enjoy a Lumberjack Breakfast (10 a.m.-1 p.m.) of flapjacks, sausage, and hashbrowns, then take in the history of settlers while touring the village grounds, interacting with docents, watching artisan demonstrations and enjoying authentic music from the lumbering era. There is an admission fee.

Sunday, Sept. 18, Oct. 16, Nov. 20: New Guided Fall Hikes at Ludington State Park. Each 2 p.m. hike is led by two volunteer leaders and will cover different areas of the park. Experience is not necessary since hiking pace and length will vary depending on the interest of the participants. Meet at the warming shelter. State recreation passport required for entry.

Sept. 23-24: Octoberfest, downtown Ludington. Craft beer from Bell’s and Ludington Bay Brewing Co., a rocking stage, lawn games and plenty of family-friendly events make this a fantastic fall weekend. Check the event website for the full schedule. Highlights include:

  • Brews For Food, Sept. 23, 5-9 p.m., South James Street. Enjoy craft beer and food, live music (no cover) and family activities, with a portion of all sales supporting Lakeshore Food Club.
  • Craft Beer Festival, Sept. 24, 2*- 6 p.m., Legacy Plaza. This all-day festival features craft beer from Bell’s Brewery and Ludington Bay Brewing Co. plus wine and cider; food for purchase; lawn games including corn hole, Jenga, Yahtzee, badminton and more; and three sets of live music. Drink tokens are $5 each, with DD tickets and free entry for children under 15. *Get in at 1 p.m. with an early-bird ticket.

Ludington has a long list of fun fall events on tap for September and October. Photo provided by Downtown Ludington.

Sept. 24-Oct. 30: Fall Fun Weekends, Lewis Adventure Farm & Petting Zoo in New Era. Pick a pumpkin, get lost in the maze, and make other fall memories. Check the farm’s website for other fall-themed weekends such as Sunflower Weekends Sept. 3-18 and Lumberjack Shows on Sept. 17-18. There is an admission fee.

Oct. 15-29: Camp Sauble Cages of Carnage Haunted Attraction, 7:30-11:30 p.m. at Camp Sauble in Freesoil. Tour the Camp Sauble haunted prison if you dare! Five nights: Oct. 15, 21, 22, 28, 29. $15 admission, with proceeds supporting local fire departments. May not be suitable for children.

Oct. 22: Haunted Village, 2-5 p.m. at Historic White Pine Village. Children can come dressed in Halloween costumes for this fun-filled, family-friendly afternoon of trick-or-treating in the village.

Oct. 24: Run For Your Lives 5K/10K, 9-11 a.m., Legacy Plaza. Presented by Ludington Beverage and Snyder’s Shoes, this course takes runners through Cartier Park. Runners can dress in costumes. $30 fee includes a $10 Downtown Ludington gift certificate and die-cast finisher’s medal. Proceeds benefit downtown events and projects. Walkers and dogs are welcome. Strollers are allowed but should note that the 10K course is gravel. Register online in advance or on race day at Legacy Plaza, 7:30-8:45 a.m.

Oct. 24: Downtown Ludington Halloween/Trick or Treat,1-4 p.m., Legacy Plaza, downtown Ludington. Families can join a pre-trick-or-treat kick-off party at Legacy Plaza, followed by trick-or-treating from 2-4 p.m. at participating businesses on Ludington Avenue and James Street.

Oct. 29: Night of Fright 8, 7:30 p.m.-midnight, Ludington Area Center for the Arts. This is a night of rock ‘n’ roll and Halloween fun for adults. Enjoy a night of live music by local bands and a cash bar. Sport your best costume for the costume contest. Tickets are $5, and proceeds support the art center.

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