Beaches & Dunes

Choose from the following to find a site:


Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area - view of the dunes from the top of a hill with Lake Michigan in the distance.There are many recreation sites on the forest that have swimming beaches available.  The Forest Service does not staff lifeguards, and swimming is done at your own risk.

The Huron-Manistee National Forests are home to a unique dunal ecosystem.  Nordhouse Dunes is part of the Ludington Dune Ecosystem, which also includes Lake Michigan Recreation Area and Ludington State Park.  The dunes were formed 3,500 to 4,000 years ago and stand up to 140 feet high.  Ludington Dune Ecosystem has the largest area of fresh water interdunal ponds in the world.  The interdunal ponds, small water holes and marshes, decorate the area.  Dune grass covers many of the dunes and provides habitat for a variety of wildlife species.

The sites listed below charge a fee.  Any sites listed in italics also have drinking water.

Table listing areas that require a recreation or Concession day use fee:

Parent Location Recration Site
Corsair Area Round Lake
Sand Lake Day Use
Hoist/Reid Lake Areas Jewell Lake
Lake Michigan Lake Michigan Recreation Area
Hoags Lake
Nordhouse Dunes Trailhead
Manistee/Wellston - Udell Hills Area Sand Lake Recreation Area
Pine National Scenic River Peterson Bridge South
Wagner Lake Area Island Lake
Loon Lake
Wagner Lake
Wakeley Lake Area Kneff Lake

Look for this sign when you enter the site: Recreation Fee Symbol - Sign at Recreation Sites

Passes can be paid for at the site by using a fee envelope, located near the bulletin board or can be purchased from a Forest Serice Office or vendor.  For more information on which passes are available and which pass will best suit your needs during your visit,  visit the Passes and Permits section of the website.