Sable River outlet at Ludington State Park closed to swimming

Contact: Kasey Mahony, 231-499-5461
Agency: Natural Resources

July 26, 2019

Dangerous high-water conditions and strong currents in the Sable River outlet into Lake Michigan have prompted the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to close the outlet to swimming. The outlet area is not part of Ludington State Park’s designated beach area, but access normally is not prohibited.

Kasey Mahony, Cadillac district supervisor for the DNR Parks and Recreation Division, said that the department recommends that visitors swim only in designated swim areas.

“If you’re in the designated swim areas, it’s easier to be mindful of the beach safety flags and any new warnings,” Mahony said. “We strongly encourage anyone who insists on swimming in nondesignated areas to still take the time to check the flag status in the designated areas.”

The flag warning system colors and conditions include:

  • Green = Fair. Enter the water but stay aware of changing conditions.
  • Yellow = Caution. Watch for dangerous currents and high waves.
  • Red = Stop. Do not enter the water and do not swim.

Mahony said recent conditions make it even more important for people to take extra precautions while swimming, tubing or boating.

“Even if you’re swimming in an area that you’ve visited year after year, and you feel very familiar it, recent high waters like what we’ve been experiencing can completely change the landscape, the water currents, everything,” Mahony said.

For more information about the beach flag warning system and the types of water currents swimmers are likely to experience in the Great Lakes, visit Michigan.gov/BeachSafety.

For general information about Ludington State Park, call 231-843-2423 or visit Michigan.gov/Ludington.