St. Joseph County Parks

Your Place for Outdoor Family Fun!
Bendix WoodsFerrettie/BaugoCrone Restoration AreaLaSalle TrailSpicer LakeSt. Patrick'sAnderson RoadChamberlain Lake
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Calendar of Events

For Outdoor Fun, check out these workshops, nature programs, family activities and more!
For information or to register for events, phone 574-654-3155 or email bendixwoods@sjcparks.org.


September


  • 8, 10, 15, 17, 22, 24, 29 and Oct. 1        Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Outdoor Tai Chi
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Harvest Room
  • 1 to 2pm
  • Fee: $45/person for 8 sessions

Join a certified instructor from the Tai Chi for Health Institute for lessons in the park. Tai Chi is a great way to add movement to your life and improve your wellness. Class will be outdoors as weather permits, indoors in event of rain. Registration and payment are required by Sept 1.


  •  10           Thursday
  • Boomers and Beyond: Archery Lesson
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • 5:30 to 7pm
  • Fee: $8/person

Join other Boomers (ages 50+) and a certified archery instructor for a hands-on lesson. This class will teach form, safety and proper use of equipment. Registration and payment are required by Sept. 8.


  • 11           Friday
  • Ringing of the Bell Ceremony
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Freedom Memorial
  • 9am

Clay Fire Territory will commemorate the 14th anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001.


  • 11           Friday
  • Bat Picnic
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Red Barn
  • 7pm
  • Fee: $3/person

Meet Jeremy Sheets, Senior Wildlife Biologist from ORBIS Environmental Consulting as he introduces you to the bats of Indiana and their economic importance. Then, create your own bat-nana split and watch bats emerge from their roost in the Red Barn. Registration and payment are required by September 8.


  • 12           Saturday
  • Webelos Adventure: Into the Wild
  • Spicer Lake Nature Preserve: Visitor Center
  • 9am to 3pm
  • Fee: $8/scout

Parents and Webelos leaders, start your year getting Into the Wild with your Scouts! A morning of pond scooping, insect sweeping and hiking will complete all requirements for this AOL Elective Adventure, and are really a whole bunch of fun. For a really wild time, your Scout(s) can bring their lunch (and a change of clothes) and stay for a unique kind of hiking challenge: the Swamp Stomp. Registration and payment are required by Sept. 8.

Webelos Adventure

  • 13           Sunday
  • Bike Michiana for Hospice
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Red Barn

For information or to register visit www.bikemichianaforhospice.org.


  • 16           Wednesday
  • Food Webs: Fall Home School Program
  • Bendix Woods County Park: Glenn Bauer Shelter
  • 10 to 11:30am
  • Fee: $3/child

Welcome, home school families! Help us solve “The Case of the Nest Raider”! Visit the crime scene to gather clues, use ID guides to figure out what happened, and create a list of suspects in your detective booklet. Registration is required by September 14.

Food Webs

  • 16           Wednesday
  • Mother-Son Archery Program
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • 6 to 8pm
  • Fee: $10/person

Moms and sons (ages 10 and up), join an instructor to learn equipment basics, followed by individual instruction and plenty of time to practice. Refreshments provided! Registration and payment are required by September 14.

Mother Son Archery

  • 19           Saturday
  • Natural Inks and Reed Pens
  • Ferrettie/Baugo Creek County Park: Baugo Station Astor Room
  • 9 to 11am
  • Fee: $3/person

Ages 8 to adult. Discover the way people wrote for centuries, before ballpoints and texting. Use materials from nature to make ink and natural pens, then practice writing. All materials provided. Take home your creations. Children will need adult help. Registration and payment are required by Sept. 15.


  • 19           September
  • INPAWS Invasive Work Day
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • 9am to noon

Join us for a morning of cutting, chopping and spraying invasive species. Bring your own tools and gloves or borrow some from us.

INPAWS Invasive Work Day

  • 19           Saturday
  • Canoe and Campfire
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • 5:30 to 9pm
  • Fee: $25/canoe, up to 3 people

Relax and unwind while enjoying a late summer evening paddle followed by a campfire and s’mores. All equipment will be provided. Not recommended for children 3 and under. Registration and payment are required by Sept. 16.


  • 20           Sunday
  • 3rd Annual ND-LEEF Science Sunday
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: ND-LEEF Site
  • 2 to 4pm
  • Free!

Come learn about the current research at the Notre Dame Linked Experimental Ecosystem Facility (ND-LEEF). Chat with scientists as they demonstrate their research! There will also be hands-on science activities for kids. Light refreshments will be provided.


  • 24           Thursday
  • Fun First Fishing
  • Ferrettie/Baugo Creek: Baugo Station
  • 5:30 to 7pm
  • Fee: $2/person
  • Ages 6-12 and must be accompanied by adult

A beginner fishing lesson for kids! Learn equipment basics, knot tying, fish ID, and casting techniques followed by on-the-pond fishing. Receive an aquatic poster and coloring book! Registration and payment are required by Sept. 22.


  • 26           Saturday
  • Harvest Moon and Hayrides
  • Bendix Woods County Park

Click here for more information.


  • 30, Oct. 7, 14, 21, 28, Nov. 4                             Wednesdays
  • Wednesday Walking Club
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • 10 to 11:15am or 2 to 3:15pm
  • Fee: $18/person for 6 sessions
  • Ages: 50 and older

Boomers, meet other people who are interested in walking for fitness on the scenic park trails. Each walk will last 40 minutes, followed by brain-boosting paper and pencil activities from Memorial BrainWorks. Registration and payment are required by Sept. 25.


October


  • 1              Thursday
  • Evening Bike and Hayride
  • Bendix Woods County Park: Deneve Shelter
  • Biking 6 to 7:30pm, Hayride 8 to 10pm
  • Fee: $5/person

Calling all mountain bikers! Come ride the mountain bike trail, then go for a tractor-drawn hayride. Roast a hotdog on the campfire, meet other mountain bikers and share biking stories. A hotdog and bottled water provided. Registration and payment are required by Sept. 28.


  • 2              Friday
  • Make your Own Scarecrow
  • Bendix Woods County Park: Van Paris Shelter
  • 6 to 8:30pm
  • Fee: $15/up to family of 4, $2/additional family member

Welcome fall with an evening hayride and build your own scarecrow! Materials will be provided, but you may bring your own outfits, hats and accessories (one scarecrow per family). Enjoy a campfire and s’mores, too! Registration and payment are required by Sept. 29.


  • 3          Saturday
  • Tour De NIMBA

The Northern Indiana Mountain Bike Association is hosting a ride on its trails and the roads in between. Ride begins at Potato Creek State Park, on to Bendix Woods County Park, then to Rum Village Park and back to Potato Creek. Visit http://nimba-bike.org/events-2/tdn/


  • 7, 14, 21, 28, Nov. 4                             Wednesdays
  • Wednesday Walking Club
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • 10 to 11:15am or 2 to 3:15pm
  • Fee: $18/person for 6 sessions
  • Ages: 50 and older

Boomers, meet other people who are interested in walking for fitness on the scenic park trails. Each walk will last 40 minutes, followed by brain-boosting paper and pencil activities from Memorial BrainWorks. Registration and payment are required by Sept. 25.


  • 10           Saturday
  • Make your Own Scarecrow
  • Bendix Woods County Park: Van Paris Shelter
  • 12:30 to 3pm

Welcome fall with an evening hayride and build your own scarecrow! Materials will be provided, but you may bring your own outfits, hats and accessories (one scarecrow per family). Enjoy a campfire and s’mores, too! Registration and payment are required by Oct. 7.


  • 11           Sunday
  • Portraits in the Park
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: White Barn
  • 10am to 4pm
  • Fee: $20/family

The colors are changing and it is the perfect season to capture photos of your family!  Professional photographer Joe Colpitts will offer a 20-minute photo shoot, one 8x10 portrait and access to portraits to share. Additional photos can be purchased. Rain date is Oct. 18. Registration and payment required by Oct. 6.


  • 14           Wednesday
  • Food Webs: Fall Home School Program
  • Bendix Woods County Park: Glenn Bauer Shelter
  • 10 to 11:30am
  • Fee: $3/child

Welcome, home school families! On the trail of the mysterious “Nest Raider”, examine evidence samples (furs! stomach contents!) to eliminate suspects from your list. Registration is required by October 12.

Food Webs

  • 17           Saturday
  • St. Pat’s 24-hr Run
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Red Barn
  • Run begins at 8am

Visit www.stpats24hour.com..


  • 21             Wednesday
  • Women Experience the Outdoors: Fruits of Fall
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Manion Cabin
  • 5:30 to 7:30pm
  • Fee: $8/person

Women, discover a fall harvest in the woods! Take a short evening hike to gather wild food. Learn to prepare and store it, then enjoy a fireside dessert made with wild fruit. Registration and payment are required by October 19.


  • 24           Saturday
  • Sandhill Cranes at Jasper-Pulaski
  • Depart: Bendix Woods County Park, Nature Center, 3pm
  • Fee: $8/person

Join park staff for a trip to Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area to see the annual migration of the Sandhill Cranes! Bring a sack lunch for your evening supper and see over a thousand birds dancing, eating and preening at dusk. Registration and payment are required by October 19.


November


  • 1              Sunday
  • Run Up Cyclocross
  • Bendix Woods County Park: Glenn Bauer Shelter

For more information visit www.runupcx.com or Run Up Cyclocross on Facebook.


  •  7              Saturday
  • Tail Waggin’ Hayride
  • Bendix Woods County Park: Otahnagon Area
  • 1 to 4pm
  • Fee: $3/person and donated pet items

Bring your dog for a tractor-drawn hayride. Light refreshments for dogs and owners are available for purchase. Pet-related donations aid Pets Connect! Pets must be on a 6-foot leash. Pet costumes welcome.


  • 8              Sunday
  • Geocache Chili Dump
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: White Barn Harvest Room
  • GPS coordinates: N 41° 45.428’, W 086° 16.207’
  • 1 to 4pm
  • Fee: $5/person

Bring some chili for the lunch pot and learn how to use a GPS device on a high-tech “treasure hunt” to find caches at St. Patrick’s and throughout the world! A special geocache course and prizes will be set up just for this event! Bowls, spoons, fixin’s and drinks provided. Registration is required by Nov. 5.


  • 14           Saturday
  • Mom and Me Pottery
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • 9 to 11:30am
  • Fee: $12/pair

Join park staff and a local pottery craftsperson to learn the “slump” method of pottery making. While making memories you can also make a decorative bowl, pot or cup together using self-hardening clay that does not require firing. All materials, and snacks, provided. Registration and payment are required by Nov. 11.


  • 18           Wednesday
  • Food Webs: Fall Home School Program
  • Bendix Woods County Park: Glenn Bauer Shelter
  • 10 to 11:30
  • Fee: $3/child

Welcome, home school families! We are closing in on the criminal! Study range maps and animal tracks to figure out who the “Nest Raider” is. Make a button as a reward for solving the case! Registration is required by November 16.

Food Webs

Other Park Programs


Nature Munchkins

Nature Munchkins is designed for parents or grandparents to discover nature with their 3- to 4-year-old.
9:30 to 11am St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn

  • September 17 – Spiders and Bugs
  • October 15 – Bats and Owls
  • November 19 – Animals Preparing for Winter
  • December 17 – Winter Birds

The fee is $5 per adult-child pair and $3 for a second child. Participants may register for four sessions for $16. Advance registration and payment are required. Siblings outside of the age bracket are not allowed to attend.

Nature Munchkins

St. Joseph County Parks Online Photo Contest

  • Photos must be taken in one of the St. Joseph County Parks during the time period the contest is running.
  • Photos must be posted to the St. Joseph County Parks Facebook page. (www.facebook.com/sjcparks) In the photo caption, title the photo, tell us the location and include  #SJCParksPhotoContest
  • No more than 3 photo entries per person per contest. Winners are not eligible to win 2 consecutive photo contests.
  • Entries will be posted in an album for voting following the contest closing deadline. “Like” your favorite photo to vote.
  • Be sure to LIKE the St. Joseph County Parks Facebook page (www.facebook.com/sjcparks) so you can see the entries, vote for your favorites and see who the winner is! And so we can contact you if you’ve won!
  • Winner will be notified via Facebook to pick up their prize at one of the County Park offices.
  • St. Joseph County Parks reserves the right to use any submitted photos for park-related brochures, web pages or social/electronic media.
Photo Contest