Michigan State Parks: Lake Hudson

A man and woman in front of the Lake Hudson Recreation Area entrance sign

Lake Hudson Recreation Area is one of the southernmost state parks in Michigan, situated just north of the Ohio border.

The state park sits on Lake Hudson, a large, no-wake lake that is very popular for the excellent fishing – specifically muskie, walleye, and bass. The no-wake also makes it very appealing for kayaks and canoes. A boat launch provides access to these opportunities.

The most unique feature of Lake Hudson Recreation Area is its designation as a Dark Sky Preserve. Free from light pollution, on a clear night, it provides for excellent stargazing. It was actually designated as the first dark sky preserve in the nation in 1993. Don’t forget to dim your lights when entering and exiting to prevent ruining the view for others.

Lake Hudson Recreation Area is around 2,800 acres, the majority taken up by the lake itself. The rest of the park contains two day-use areas, land for hunting, and a semi-modern campground.

Lake Hudson
View of Lake Hudson from near the campground


The Lake Hudson Recreation Area campground has 50 semi-modern sites in two loops. Semi-modern means that there is electricity for each site, but there is no running water. There is one handpump between the loops and one vault toilet for each loop.

Of the 50 sites, a small handful of them are right on Lake Hudson with access to drop a kayak in, fish, or enjoy the view. On the weekend we visited, even though the rest of the campground was practically empty, all of the waterfront sites were full.

Roadtrek van camping at Lake Hudson Recreation Area
Really nice site. Had it been a clear night it would have been perfect for stargazing

We noticed that the sites are quite large, and most of them relatively separated and secluded from each other by trees and vegetation. That being said, we chose a spot open to the sky to take advantage of the stargazing. Unfortunately, it completely clouded over and rained the night we were there.

There is one drawback to the large sites – the distance to the electric pole. Even though there is 20- and 30-amp electricity, the electric boxes in many cases are very far away from the campsite. We’re talking 100 feet of extension cord away! You are sharing a box with your neighbor, and in order to keep the sites large and apart, it means placing the box in between.

Activities at Lake Hudson

There are two separate day-use areas at the state park. The main section has a very large open grassy area with plenty of picnic tables and grills, along with a beach and designated swimming area. The other section contains an open shelter that you can reserve for parties or events.

One thing to note if you’re planning a visit is Lake Hudson Recreation Area is a rustic state park – there are no modern facilities, only vault toilets.

Grassy walking path at Lake Hudson Recreation Area
The trail leading from the campground to the boat launch

There is only one trail in the park. It is 1.5 miles long and runs from one end to the other, connecting the campground, boat launch, and the two day-use areas.

Other activities in the state park include hunting, geocaching, and wildlife viewing.

Bird sitting on a log in a lake

We have plenty more adventures to come, so subscribe to this blog and our YouTube channel. We have a video about Lake Hudson State Recreation Area here. You can follow us on Instagram, our Facebook page, and Twitter. Plus, you can see each of the parks we visited on this interactive Google Map. You also can keep track of our activities on social media with the hashtags #hikecampgo and #mistateparks100.

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