Ludington State Park is one of my favorite parks in Michigan and with one night at Jackpine, it quickly became one of my favorite campgrounds. Rustic and quiet, this campground is really tucked away. The sites are wooded and private. It’s a short walk to the lighthouse. We stayed here to be able to photograph the lighthouse around sunset. The path to the campground is gravel so we carried all of our stuff in a wagon. I can’t wait to return to Jackpine.
Jackpines is a hike-in campground in Ludington State Park. You walk 1 mile on a flat path/service road from the Pines Campground to the campsites. It feels like backwoods camping, but you get some nice amenities like a water pump, (clean!) outhouses (with lots of TP in each), and hand sanitizer in each outhouse. Each site is both large and pretty private. They have signs at every campsite that states you need to stay in the perimeter of your campsite, and there are four posts for every site that designate the perimeter. Each site has a picnic table and a fire ring. When you get to the park to check in, you can order firewood to be delivered by the park.
We stayed on site G which was really large and open. The only downside to this site was we planned on hammock camping, but when we got there found that the trees were either too short/small or too clustered (not far enough away to hang hammocks). Since we couldn't wander into the trees off our site, we had to go back to our car for our backup tent (we couldn't tell from Google Maps if our site was going to be hammock friendly so we brought a back up tent just in case). So, we knew it was a possibility. Sites F, H, and E would have been great for hammocks. The rest are good for tents. The sites are pretty sandy and there's a pretty large area in the middle of each site that is really flat and great for tents.
This campground is about half way from the modern campgrounds to the Lighthouse on Lake Michigan, and it's centrally located to all the hiking trails. There's also a large dune about 50 feet from the campground with a walking path over and the other side is Lake Michigan and a beach. The walking path from the modern campgrounds to the lighthouse (which runs past Jackpine) is fairly well traveled, but I didn't see anyone going over the dune to that beach all weekend - so if you want your own private beach, this is a great campground.
The hike in is very flat and, other than a few deeper sandy spots, really easy to traverse. We brought backpacks and carried everything in, but other people used other methods. One group had pulled everything in on a wagon and another family had used kids bike trailers on the back of their bikes to make a couple extra trips (I'd imagine this was the easiest way to get everything in). All in all, it was a really nice campground - we'll definitely be back, but at a site where we can hammock, we were pretty sore from sleeping on the ground with crappy thin air mattresses. And I'd like to go longer so we could check out all the hiking trails.