St. Joseph County Parks

Your Place for Outdoor Family Fun!
Bendix WoodsFerrettie/BaugoCrone Restoration AreaLaSalle TrailSpicer LakeSt. Patrick'sAnderson RoadChamberlain Lake
Constant Contact
Special Events:
Outdoor Elements
 
Park Programs:
Big Trees
Calendar of Events
Leisure Activities
Nature Munchkins
School & Scout
 
Information:
Annual Report
Contacts
Deer Management
Donations and Wish List
Employment/ Volunteer Opps
Facility Rental Information
Friends of Bendix Woods & Spicer Lake
Park Foundation
Park Hours/Fees
Park Maps
Master Plan
Greenways Charrette
Park Related Links
Request for Proposals
Park Rules

Calendar of Events

November | December | January | February | March

For program information or reservations call 574/654-3155.


November


  • 1              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 through the crisp autumn air. Light refreshments for dogs and owners are available for purchase. Pet-related donations aid Pets Connect! Pets must be on a 6-foot leash.


  • 1              Saturday
  • Women Experience the Outdoors: Sandhill Cranes at Jasper-Pulaski
  • Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area
  • Depart 3pm: Bendix Woods County Park Nature Center
  • Fee: $8/person

This trip is designed for women who want to learn about the life cycle of the sandhill cranes and their massive fall migration. Bring a sack lunch for an evening meal and save room for homemade baked goods! Registration and payment are required by October 27. (Min.10, Max. 20).


  • 2              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              Friday
  • Studebaker Trees Volunteer Clean-up Day
  • Bendix Woods County Park: Nature Center
  • 10am to 3pm

Help us preserve the historic Studebaker Trees! We will be cutting vines, shrubs and small trees within the letters. Please wear long pants, sturdy shoes and a long-sleeved shirt. Also, bring a pair of gloves. If you wish to stay for the entire day, bring a lunch.


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

Bring some chili to contribute to 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 November 5. (Min. 4; max. 15)


  • 13           Thursday
  • Fall Home School Program: Seeds are Super
  • Bendix Woods County Park: Glenn Bauer Shelter
  • 10 to 11:30am
  • Fee: $3/child

Welcome, home school families! Find out what seeds need to grow as you play Maple Seed Mix-Up, compete in the Seed Olympics, and taste a few delicious wild seeds! Registration is required by November 11.


  • 15           Saturday
  • Pottery Made Easy
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • 9am to noon
  • Fee: $10/person

Join a local pottery craftsperson to learn the “slump” method of pottery making. Make a bowl, pot or cup using self-hardening clay that does not require kiln firing. All materials provided. Registration and payment are required by November 12. (Min. 6; max. 12)


December


  • 18           Thursday
  • Winter Home School Program: Pioneer Skills—Part One
  • Ferrettie/Baugo Creek County Park: Interpretive Center
  • 10 to 11:30am
  • Fee: $3/child

Welcome, home school families! This winter, explore how pioneers survived and thrived after arriving in Indiana. Older students will learn to weave on a variety of antique and modern looms. Younger students will gather eggs, dip candles and play a pioneer game. Advance payment and registration are required by December 15. (Min. 10; max. 20)


January


  • 10           Saturday
  • Cross Country Ski Clinic
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Red Barn
  • 10am to noon
  • Fee: $10/person
  • Ages 12 and up

Join St. Joseph County Park staff for a cross country ski clinic. Topics include equipment selection, waxing, clothing and gear, safety techniques and training. There will also be a ski lesson for beginners. If there are poor snow conditions, the program will be offered on January 17 instead. Registration and payment are required by January 7. (Min. 4; max. 15)


  • 10           Saturday
  • Big Trees Awards Ceremony
  • Rum Village Nature Center
  • 1pm

Join us as we honor the owners and nominators of the largest native trees found in St. Joseph County.


  • 15           Thursday3
  • Winter Home School Program: Pioneer Skills—Part Two
  • Ferrettie/Baugo Creek County Park: Interpretive Center
  • 10 to 11:30am
  • Fee: $3/child

Older students will continue to explore the lives of the pioneers by learning how to tease, card and spin wool using a drop spindle. Younger students will gather wood, cook Johnny cakes and play with pioneer toys. Advance payment and registration are required by January 12. (Min. 10; max. 20)


  • 15           Thursday
  • Passport to Play: Innertubing
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn5:30 to 7pm

St. Joseph County Parks and the Passport to Play program wants to give your family the chance to enjoy the outdoors and exercise in a fun way. Join us and the Reducing Obesity Coalition of St. Joseph County for a FREE family fun evening of tubing. No snow, no problem. In the event of no snow we will walk the trails on a winter wonderland scavenger hunt followed by a fun “edutainment” activity for families.


  • 17           Saturday
  • Skiing Under the Stars: Rainbow Glow Ski
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Red Barn
  • 6 to 9pm
  • Fee: $5/person

Grab your family for an evening of skiing under the stars along our “rainbow glowing ski trails!” Enjoy hot cocoa and cookies at the cozy Manion Cabin. Bring your own skis or rent a pair of ours for $10. If there are poor snow conditions and skiing is not possible, participants can still enjoy an evening night hike on lighted trails to the Manion Cabin.


  •  20, 27; February 3, 10          Tuesdays
  • Boomers & Beyond: Snowshoe Club
  • Ferrettie/Baugo Creek County Park: Baugo Station (January sessions)
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn (February sessions)
  • 10:30am to 12pm
  • Fee: $12/person for 4 sessions
  • Ages: 50 and up

Are you looking for a way to stay active this winter? Snowshoes allow you to enjoy the winter sights and sounds while exercising. Instructions and snowshoes will be provided. In the event of no snow we will enjoy a winter walk in the woods. Registration and payment are required by January 15. (Min. 5; max. 12)


  • 23           Friday
  • Skiing Under the Stars: Wine & Cheese Ski
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Red Barn
  • 6 to 9pm
  • Fee: $12/person

Enjoy a leisurely ski to the Manion Cabin where you can sample a relaxing glass of wine and a variety of cheeses. Bring your own skis or rent a pair of ours for $10/person. Participants must be 21 years or older. ID’s will be checked. If there are poor snow conditions and skiing is not possible, participants can still enjoy an evening night hike on lighted trails to the Manion Cabin.


  • 24           Saturday
  • Mother-Daughter Ski Outing
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Red Barn
  • 10am to 12pm
  • Fee: $15/person

Moms and daughters, join park staff for a leisurely ski through the winter woods. Stop to warm up by the fire with popcorn and hot chocolate at the Manion Cabin. Recommended for daughters age ten and older. Payment and registration are required by January 20. (Min. 8; max. 16)


February


  • February 3, 10          Tuesdays
  • Boomers & Beyond: Snowshoe Club
  • Ferrettie/Baugo Creek County Park: Baugo Station (January sessions)
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn (February sessions)
  • 10:30am to 12pm
  • Fee: $12/person for 4 sessions
  • Ages: 50 and up

Are you looking for a way to stay active this winter? Snowshoes allow you to enjoy the winter sights and sounds while exercising. Instructions and snowshoes will be provided. In the event of no snow we will enjoy a winter walk in the woods. Registration and payment are required by January 15. (Min. 5; max. 12)


  • 7              Saturday
  • Science Alive
  • St. Joseph County Public Library
  • 10am to 4pm

Come visit us at Science Alive! Join park staff for hands-on nature fun!


  • 7              Friday
  • Skiing Under the Stars: Cocoa and Campfire Ski
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Red Barn
  • 6 to 9pm
  • Fee: $7/person

Experience the woods at night as you ski our candle-lit trails. Take a break at the campfire at the Manion Cabin, where we’ll treat you to a hot dog, s’more and beverage! Bring your own skis or rent a pair of ours for $10. If there are poor snow conditions and skiing is not possible, participants can still enjoy an evening night hike on lighted trails to the Manion Cabin.


  • 14           Saturday
    Valentine’s Day Soup and Ski
    St. Patrick’s County Park: Red Barn
    Check in at 10 am               Fee: $18/person

Enjoy a beautiful Valentine’s Day morning skiing the trails of St. Patrick’s County Park. While out on the trails stop by the Manion Cabin for lunch between 11am and 1pm to warm up with a hot bowl of soup from Victorian Pantry. Fee includes ski rental, trail fee and lunch. Registration and payment are required by February 10. (Min 10; max 40)


  • 19           Thursday
  • Winter Home School Program: Pioneer Schoolhouse
  • Ferrettie/Baugo Creek County Park: Baugo Station
  • 10 to 11:30am
  • Fee: $3/child

Meet a schoolteacher from 1835 and experience life in her classroom! Get lessons in penmanship, ciphering, logic and elocution, and make a pioneer toy to take home! Advance payment and registration are required by February 16. (Min. 10; max. 20)


  • 21           Saturday
  • Tapping Day
  • Bendix Woods County Park: Sauk Trail Shelter
  • 9:30am to 12:30pm

The sap will soon be running, and it’s time to tap! Volunteers are needed to tap the trees and get the Sugar Bush ready for making maple syrup! This activity is outdoors, so be sure to dress for the weather. Volunteers should arrive no later than 10am.


March


  • 7              Saturday
  • Women Experience the Outdoors: Treats from Trees
  • Bendix Woods County Park: Glenn Bauer Shelter
  • 9:30 to 11:30am
  • Fee: $10/person

Discover how we make sweet syrup from maple trees! Tap a tree, visit the sugar house to see syrup cooking, and enjoy a mid-morning treat made from pure maple syrup. You will also take home a half-pint of maple syrup! Registration and payment are required by March 2. (Min. 8; max. 30)


  • 7              Saturday
  • Webelos: A Sweet Way to Earn Forester!
  • Bendix Woods County Park: Glenn Bauer Shelter
  • 2 to 4pm
  • Fee: $3/scout

Come to the Sugar Bush to complete all requirements necessary to earn your Forester Badge! Tap a tree and visit the Sugar House to see how we make pure, sweet maple syrup. Registration is required by March 2. (Min. 5; max. 24)


  • 13           Friday
  • Maple Syrup by Moonlight
  • Bendix Woods County Park: Glenn Bauer Shelter
  • 7pm
  • Fee: $3.50/person

Take a guided twilight stroll through the sugar bush, learn how to tap a tree by lantern light and observe maple syrup being made. Then enjoy a hot beverage and dessert made from pure maple syrup! Registration and payment are required by March 9. (Min. 10; max. 50)


  • 14                Saturday
  • Save that Shirt
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • 9 to 11:30am
  • Fee: $3/person

Give an old shirt a new life, with just a pair of scissors. We’ll “up-cycle” old t-shirts into tote bags, scarves, and accessories. No sewing necessary! Please bring sharp scissors that will cut fabric if you can. Shirts will be provided or bring your own. Registration and payment are required by March 9. (Min. 4; max. 10)


  • 14           Saturday
  • Inviting Bluebirds to your Backyard
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • 2pm
  • Fee: $3/person

Are you interested in setting up a bluebird house or trail on your property? Spend an afternoon with John Harville, Berrien/Cass/ Van Buren County Coordinator of the Michigan Bluebird Society. Learn about bluebird behavior and bluebird house design, plus how to handle issues with house sparrows and other predators of bluebirds. Registration and payment are required by March 9. (Min. 10; max. 30)


  • 21 & 22     Saturday & Sunday
  • Sugar Camp Days
  • Bendix Woods County Park
  • 8:30am to 3pmFee: $7/vehicle

Join us in celebration as the end of winter nears! Watch sap cook into syrup, enjoy a pancake and sausage breakfast (a New
Carlisle Lion’s Club fundraiser), tour the Sugar Bush, purchase home-made baked goods made with pure maple syrup, enjoy family music and much more! Stay the day!


Other Park Programs


Nature Munchkins

Nature Munchkins is designed for parents or grandparents to discover nature with their 3- to 4-year old. The sessions are on Thursdays from 9:30 to 11am at St. Patrick’s County Park. The fee is $5 per adult/child and $3 for a second child, or register for four sessions for $16. Advance registration and payment are required. (Min. 5; max. 10) Siblings outside of the age bracket are not allowed to attend.

  • September 25: Bugs
  • October 16: Creepy Critters
  • November 13: Animals Prepare for Winter
  • December  18: Winter Birds

Look for the return of the Nature Munchkins Series starting in April!