If there is just one thing you need to know about Mishawaka, it might as well be that it is home to an amazing parks system.

Several of them line the St. Joseph River as it flows toward South Bend to create the Mishawaka Riverwalk. This multipurpose path is great for walking, running or biking with sweeping views of the river. More great parks are scattered throughout the city. It would be tough to see them all, so instead, start with this list. 

These are the parks in Mishawaka, Indiana, that you have to visit.

Battell Park

On the north side of the river, Battell Park is home to the historic bandshell and a terraced rock garden that dates to the 1930s. It's a beautiful place for a walk, no matter the season. There are also tennis courts, a playground and more.

Central Park

Pretty much the crown jewel of the Mishawaka parks system, Central Park includes a massive playground and a splash pad. There are basketball, tennis, and pickleball courts. Multiple pavilions and picnic tables are available. Central Park is often a hub for community events and a key part of the Riverwalk.

Fishing access to the St. Joseph River brings anglers from across the region to the park, especially during the fall salmon run. There is accessible fishing available along the river wall.

Beutter Park

Take the walking bridge from the other side of the river (where Battell Park is located), and you can make it to here. There's a stunning, lighted water feature and a beautiful sculpture called "River Shards." It's adjacent to the Ball Band Biergarten and Ironworks Plaza with its ice skating, bumper cars, and other family-friendly things to do. During the summer, the Mishawaka Market takes place in the plaza.

George Wilson Park

This one is for the winter lovers. George Wilson Park is a hilly, 54-acre green space on the city's south side that is known for speedy tubing hills when there's enough snow. It's also home to a disc golf course that is popular with locals and for tournaments in the warmer months.

Merrifield Park

Merrifield Park is another on the St. Joseph River offering fantastic views. There is a boat launch on the north side. Merrifield's public pool, with its huge water slide, is always bustling in the summertime. 

Shiojiri Niwa Japanese Garden

Something of a hidden gem, Shiojiri Niwa is a Japanese strolling garden that pops with color in early spring when everything blossoms. It's a serene place for a walk or to simply enjoy being outside in a unique landscape. The red bridge is an Instagram-worthy photo op.