#OnlyinTheBend Parks Pass
The Bend is home to dozens of expansive outdoor areas. From revitalized city spaces along the St. Joseph River to a popular state park and more, this pass includes 20 places in our area for the outdoor enthusiast to explore. Start checking in at them and you’re on the way to earning prizes (while supplies last). Happy exploring!
Please keep in mind hours of operation at certain parks are subject to change. Gate fees may also apply at select parks. Please visit the park’s website or call ahead for details.
#OnlyinTheBend Parks Pass
- Mobile exclusive
- Instantly delivered via text and email
- No apps to download
- Explore the outdoors of South Bend
- Check-in, win prizes
How this Pass Works
Step 1 - Get Your Pass
This mobile exclusive passport is a collection of curated outdoor activities to check-in during your visit.
Step 2 - Receive Text
Your passport will be instantly delivered to your phone via text and email and is ready to use immediately! There is no app to download. Your pass can be saved to your phone’s home screen for easy one-tap access.
Step 3 - Redeem
When visiting a participating outdoor location, simply check-in via your phone. Make sure your location services are turned on and you are within 1 mile of the check-in location.
See locations on an interactive map.
Battell Park is one of several Mishawaka parks along the St. Joseph River. It includes picnic tables, a splash pad, gazebo and the historic bandshell. There are often concerts in the summer and theater productions in the park.
Bendix Woods County Park
This secluded property outside New Carlisle offers 195 acres of wooded trails, ponds and open fields. It features the second highest point in St. Joseph County and is on the Indiana Birding Trail. There is also a 6.5-mile mountain biking trail.
This park includes a terraced water display with a large public sculpture. There are a couple walking bridges and the new Ball Band Biergarten, which often hosts live entertainment. During the summer, a farmers market takes place Sundays in nearby Ironworks Plaza.
Beverly D. Crone Restoration Area
A former landfill, Beverly D. Crone Restoration Area covers 111 acres and is on the Indiana Birding Trail. Several endangered bird species nest here. There is a well-maintained gravel path for visitors to use as they explore the property.
Central Park is a focal point along the Mishawaka Riverwalk. There is playground equipment, multiple pavilions, a splash pad, fishing access and more, making it a popular destination for families.
Chamberlain Lake Nature Preserve
This state-dedicated nature preserve offers nearly 90 acres of habitat to hike through. About 1.5 miles of trail wind through the woods and there’s an observation platform that juts out into the lake itself. Be aware that there are no trash cans or picnic tables at this preserve.
East Race Waterway
The first manmade whitewater rafting course in the United States when it opened, the East Race Waterway welcomes adventure seekers to challenge the rapids in downtown South Bend all summer. Tickets for rafting should be booked online in advance. Paths line the East Race for those looking to simply watch the rafters or go for a walk.
Ferrettie/Baugo Creek County Park
This park in Osceola is large at 214 acres with trails along Baugo Creek, which flows into the St. Joseph River. Hike the Portage Trail to make your way along the creek as long as possible. Kayaking is a favorite activity here. There is also an 18-hole disc golf course.
Known for its ice skating trail in the winter, the revitalized Howard Park is fun for kids all year round with its large ADA-accessible playground. There are several paths, including the East Bank Trail along the St. Joseph River, and the Rask Family Fountains water display/play area.
Head to Leeper Park for beautiful views of the St. Joseph River just north of downtown South Bend. There is a new overlook just across from the rebuilt Studebaker Fountain, which changes colors. The Leeper Park Rose Garden is a beautiful sight when the roses are in bloom.
A dedicated Indiana state nature preserve, the Lydick Bog covers 178 acres in total and protects rare habitat. There is 1.4 miles of trail that takes visitors through forest and wetlands. Summer brings many different types of wildflowers. Amphibians, reptiles and birds call the preserve home.
Mary Gibbard Park
A well-liked community park, Mary Gibbard has playground equipment and a relatively new splashpad. It also includes a bike park for kids sculpted mostly from dirt, akin to a skate park. There are tunnels, bridges and ramps for the adventurous.
Merrifield Park is situated along the St. Joseph River and has a boat launch on its north side. There is a pool, sand volleyball courts, playground equipment, walking paths and a sand play area.
Military Honor Park And Museum
The Military Honor Park and Museum honors veterans across all the military branches. Outside you’ll find vehicles and large weapons on display, plus memorials like one dedicated to soldiers who fought in the Battle of the Bulge.
Pinhook Park is a popular spot along the St. Joseph River for exploring and fishing. It includes several picnic tables and a couple playgrounds. If you’re up for a walk or bike ride, you can take Riverside Trail north and visit the historic Darden Bridge.
Potato Creek State Park
One of the most-visited parks in Indiana, Potato Creek State Park is an outdoor lover’s playground. Bring fishing poles for Worster Lake or rent canoes. There are bridle trails for horses. Miles of hiking, biking and mountain biking trails are available. Camping sites and cabins can be reserved.
Home to a new splash pad and a large Universally Accessible Playground, Potawatomi Park is popular with families. There is also a public pool in the park. Chris Wilson Pavilion often hosts outdoor concerts. Potawatomi Zoo is nearby as is the Potawatomi Conservatory.
Rum Village Park
An oasis in the city, Rum Village Park is 160 acres of rolling woodlands. There is an aerial adventure park, new dog park, a nature center and an 18-hold disc golf course. Over five miles of mountain bike trails are available for riders, plus hiking trails.
Spicer Lake Nature Preserve
Just outside New Carlisle, Spicer Lake is 320 acres of wetlands, woods and old-growth fields. It’s home to several endangered plants and animals, plus there’s a boardwalk so you can walk out into the wetland. It is a destination on the Indiana Birding Trail.
St. Patrick's County Park
One of the most popular parks in the area, St. Patrick’s covers 398 acres with wooded trails, ponds and frontage along the St. Joseph River. It’s on the Indiana Birding Trail and home to a nesting pair of bald eagles. There is canoe/kayak rental and playgrounds, including the River Ramble Natural PlayScape.