Looking for Something?

Places To Go Hiking In South Bend

Few activities offer a better chance to explore nature than taking a hike. Around The Bend, trails are everywhere. Here are seven of our favorite places to explore. 

RELATED CONTENT: Best Bike Trails in The Bend

Bendix Woods County Park

Many favor Bendix Woods in spring when the trillium is in bloom. Can’t blame them. They’re beautiful as the park comes to life. When you’re done exploring, head into New Carlisle. This quaint small town is more than just a place to pass by. It’s a foodie destination with multiple unique shops.

RELATED CONTENT: Explore The Bend’s County Parks

Ferrettie/Baugo Creek County Park

Nearly three miles of trails wind their way through Ferrettie/Baugo Creek County Park. Portage Trail is the longest at just over a mile and runs along the edge of Baugo Creek. Keep an eye out for chewed stumps — they’re evidence of beaver at work. The footbridge over the creek is a perfect spot for bird watching.

Lydick Bog Nature Preserve

It's not so much the distance of the trail — just 1.4 miles — at the Lydick Bog as it is the truly unique surroundings. This hidden gem is one of the few remaining bog habitats in Indiana. It's home to beautiful wildflowers in spring and summer. It's also a refuge for amphibians, reptiles, birds and other wildlife.

Mishawaka Res 

Located in a pretty urban area, the Mishawaka Res is too often overlooked as a natural respite from the day-to-day. The Res was originally founded in 1920 as a Boy Scout Reservation. It's now owned by a nonprofit organization, which keeps the trails open to the public. There are about two miles of mostly flat trails spread over 23 acres.

Potato Creek State Park

Just over 10 miles of trail are a centerpiece to The Bend’s state park. Some are easy. Trail 5, for example, rolls through old farm fields and includes a small observation deck overlooking wetlands. Others are more rugged. Trail 2 winds through woods and includes the highest point in the park. Two “moderate” trails — 1 and 3 — work their way along Worster Lake, probably the park’s most notable feature.

RELATED CONTENT: A Guide to Potato Creek State Park

Rum Village Park

Three miles of trails make their way through the natural woodlands at Rum Village Park, which totals about 160 acres. It’s an immersive experience despite its location in the South Bend city limits. Spotting animals is all but a guarantee. Over 100 bird species, fox, deer, reptiles and more have been spotted in the park.

Spicer Lake Nature Preserve

Two kettle holes — shallow, swampy bodies of water formed by retreating glaciers — are the defining features at Spicer Lake Nature Preserve. Take the Wetland-Woodland-Lancaster Trail Loop for a longer hike (1.5 miles) that includes an observation platform overlooking Lancaster Lake (one of the kettle holes). Bullfrogs and green frogs are sure to serenade you along the way during summer.

RELATED CONTENT: Best Birding Spots in The Bend

St. Patrick's County Park

Several loops add up to almost five miles of trail — from tranquil meadow strolls to those that run adjacent to the St. Joseph River — at St. Patrick's County Park. Early summer presents an opportunity to spot osprey as they bring food back to their nest. Bald eagles also nest nearby. You might be able to spot them with binoculars.