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St. Joseph County Parks

Your Place for Outdoor Family Fun!
Bendix WoodsFerrettie/BaugoCrone Restoration AreaLaSalle TrailSpicer LakeSt. Patrick'sAnderson RoadChamberlain Lake
Special Events:
Outdoor Elements
Sugar Camp Days 2016
Park Programs:
Big Trees
Calendar of Events
IN Master Naturalist
Leisure Activities
Nature Munchkins
School & Scout
Annual Report
Deer Management
Support School Programs
Employment/ Volunteer Opps
Facility Rental Information
The Friends of St. Joseph County Parks
Park Foundation
Park Hours/Fees
Park Maps
Master Plan
Greenways Charrette
Park Related Links
Request for Proposals
Park Rules

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
All programs have a minimum and maximum registration number; register early!

We are celebrating throughout 2016 with Fifty for 50 fun, special offers. Look for the symbol below!


  • February 2, 9, 16          Tuesdays
  • Boomers & Beyond: Snowshoe Club
  • Ferrettie/Baugo Creek County Park: Baugo Station (1/26 and 2/2)
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn (2/9 and 2/16)
  • 1 to 2:30pm
  • Fee: $12/person for 4 sessions
  • Ages: 50 and older

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 22.

  • 6              Saturday
  • Youth Cross Country Ski Lesson
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: White Barn Harvest Room
  • 10am to noon
  • Fee: $8/person
  • Ages 8 to 14

Our instructors are here to get you started on the right foot...or ski. Learning beginner movements/skills is only one part of this memorable experience. These lessons are all about putting the fun in your fundamentals. If there are poor snow conditions, the program will be offered on February 13.

  • 6              Saturday
  • Skiing Under the Stars: Gourmet Sweet Ski
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Red Barn
  • 6 to 9pm
  • Fee: $10/person

Enjoy a leisurely ski to the Manion Cabin where a selection of gourmet coffees, hot chocolates and pastries awaits you. Enjoy your sweets in the log cabin or around a cozy campfire. Bring your own skis or rent a pair of ours for $10/person. If there are poor snow conditions and skiing is not possible, participants can enjoy an evening hike on lighted trails to the Manion Cabin.

  • 10           Wednesday
  • Bones and Teeth: Winter Home School Program
  • Bendix Woods County Park: Glenn Bauer Shelter
  • 10 to 11:30am
  • Fee: $3/child

Welcome, home school families! We are closing in on the bone-chewer! Study tooth patterns and find clues that the bone-chewer left behind. Make a button as a reward for solving the case! Registration is required by February 8.

  •  14           Sunday
  • Valentine’s Day Soup and Ski
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Red Barn
  • Check-in at 10:30am
  • Fee: $18/person

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

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

The sap will soon be running, and it’s time to tap! Volunteers are needed to tap the trees and get the Bendix Woods 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.


  • 5              Saturday
  • Snowshoes in the Sugar Bush
  • Bendix Woods County Park: Glenn Bauer Shelter
  • 2 to 4pm
  • Fee: $5/person

Try out some snowshoes (weather permitting) for a hike through the sugar bush. Discover how sap is harvested from sugar maples, and see it being cooked into sweet syrup in the sugar house. Warm up afterwards with a hot drink and a maple dessert. Registration and payment are required by March 2.

  • 12               Saturday
  • Save that Shirt
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: Brown Barn
  • 9 to 11:30 am
  • 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 8.

  • 12           Saturday
  • Webelos: A “Sweet” Trip Into the Woods!
  • Bendix Woods County Park: Glenn Bauer Shelter
  • 2 to 4pm
  • Fee: $3/Scout

Meet all requirements for the “Into the Woods” Adventure, AND get a taste of the famous Bendix Woods sugar bush. In
addition to badge activities, tap a maple tree, visit the Sugar House, and see for yourself how to turn maple sap into sweet maple syrup. “Be prepared” for outdoor weather! Registration and payment are required by March 7.

  • 19 & 20     Saturday & Sunday
  • Sugar Camp Days
  • Bendix Woods County Park
  • 8:30am to 3pm
  • Fee: $8/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!

Rent-a-Sap Bucket 2016 Brochure   Schedule of Events

Acrobat Reader Sugar Camp Days Sponsor Letter Acrobat Reader Advertising Program Rate Agreement

  • 26           Saturday
  • Great Golden Egg Hunt
  • Ferrettie/Baugo Creek, Bendix Woods, and St. Patrick’s County Parks and Spicer Lake Nature Preserve
  • 10am to 7pm
  • Free!

Enjoy the outdoors and search for the “Great Golden Egg.” Park staff will hide ONE egg alongside a trail at each of the county parks. Each egg can be redeemed for a summer fun pack of canoe rental, disc golf, and gate entry coupons. Please stay on the trails.

  • 26           Saturday
  • Welcome Back the Bluebirds!
  • 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? Join John Harville of the Michigan Bluebird Society to 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 22.

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