Natural Sites to See


Indiana Dunes National Park

The Dunes are the only National Park located in Indiana and are a must-see for all northern Indiana college students. Catch the South Shore train from South Bend airport about 50 miles west to Chesterton, IN, which borders Lake Michigan. The Dunes are the perfect place to spend a warm day on the beach. Nearby are local restaurants, outlet malls, and more. The National Park is open from 6am-11pm every day.


Rum Village Nature Center

Located on the city’s south side, Rum Village Nature Center provides over 160 acres of woodlands with activities like bird-viewing windows, hiking trails, and many picnic spaces. Stop by at 2626 S Gertrude Street South Bend, Indiana 46614. Hours are M-F 8:30am-4:30pm and Sunday from 1:00pm-5:00pm.


Potato Creek State Park

Potato Creek is just a short drive from South Bend in North Liberty, IN. This state park features the 327 acre Worster Lake and is an ideal space for camping, hiking, or just taking a study break away from campus. At Potato Creek, you can rent bikes, paddle boats, canoes, and more. The park is open every day from 7am-11pm and can be found at 25601 IN-4, North Liberty, IN 46554.


Potawatomi Zoo

Who says you need to travel to Chicago or Indianapolis for a zoo? South Bend is home to Potawatomi Zoo (just a 15-minute drive from campus!). The zoo includes over 500 animals, from zebras to African lions to flamingos to tarantulas. The zoo is a great way to support the community and is open every day 10am-5pm. Potawatomi’s address is 500 S Greenlawn Ave, South Bend, IN 46615.


Chamberlain Lake Nature Preserve

This state dedicated nature preserve, operated in coordination with the Indiana Department for National Resources, features 1.5 miles of trails with endangered and rare plant species. The lake is 25 minutes southwest of campus (address 58111 Crumstown Hwy, South Bend, IN 46619) and is a great place for bird watching and hiking.


Riverwalk Trail

In the heart of South Bend’s downtown district lies the Riverwalk, which has an ideal trail for strolling through the city during a day off campus. Don’t miss the South Bend River Lights, which operate 365 days a year. The lights turn on a half hour before dusk and stay on till sunrise, with interactive features running until midnight.

Nearby Apple Orchards/Pumpkin Patches
  • Lehman's Orchard (Niles, Michigan)
    • Located at 2280 Portage Rd, Niles, MI 49120, Lehman’s Orchard features strawberries during spring finals season and apples starting in September. Check out their ​website​ for more info on seasonal foods and tips for picking

  • Sprinhope Farm (Benton County, Michigan)
    • Also in southern Michigan (18720 Cleveland Ave., Galien, MI. 49113), Springhope Farm is a nearby stop for sweet cherries, peaches, apples, and more. The orchard opens in June, making for the perfect fall semester stress reliever. Travel with your dorm section or clubs for a large group activity!

  • Thistleberry Farm (South Bend, IN)
    • Thistleberry’s season starts in September, just in time for getting into the swing of fall semester. On an away football game weekend, stop by for Jumping Pillows, Corn Mazes, pumpkin patches, and more!
      Address: 61391 Mayflower Rd. South Bend, IN 46614

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