#OptOutside with the SBAC!

It’s been a while since I led an event. I’ve been doing my own thing as of late, hoping that others would take the opportunity to lead events but I just couldn’t let this opportunity go by, to get people to… #OptOutside on this extended holiday weekend!

Today it was a 3.5 mile hike at Ferrettie Baugo Creek County Park, tomorrow I will host a running event followed by a 2.5 mile walk. Both events will be around the Mishawaka River Walk.

We had seven people show up for this event, two who were attending a South Bend Adventure Club trip for the very first time! Unknown to me, Joe Dits, who writes about Outdoor Adventures for the South Bend Tribune, joined us for this adventure! It was a pretty decent late November day in Northern Indiana, it was an overcast day, temperatures in the 40’s, the sun peaked out from time to time to check in on us and to make sure we had some warmth on our faces.

We started in the parking area, hiked towards “Baugo Station”. Before arriving at Baugo Station,  we visited the Saint Joseph County Parks Department official Geocache. From Baugo Station, we headed south along the creek. We crossed the old bridge (pictured below) and continued south along the trail that closely followed the creek. We took some pit stops by some of the areas where the creek got it’s name “Baubaugo”… or “Devil Water”. Despite the fast moving water, the usual areas where the trails get flooded were in pretty good shape. Despite the recent rains, it wasn’t muddy at all. Since I last blogged about the park, it appears they have placed gravel under the Railroad bridge and Washington St and this has kept the area, on the most part, from having standing water or slick mud. (Thank you!).  In early 2016, I agreed to Adopt the trails in this park and to do maintenance where I could. At the end of the hike we got to talking to one of the park employees, it turned out, it was Shelly, who I report my time spent volunteering at the park. It was nice meeting you (Again) Shelly!

After the hike, most of us headed to Bravo Cafe (Lincoln Way, Osceola, Indiana) for some post hike nourishment. Excellent food! We took the time to get to know one another better and to discuss some of the adventures we went on. I’d call this group “Cohesive”, we got along and I think everyone had a great time.

In this day and age, technology is a big part of life and I just can’t help but use technology to track my steps and to give people a perspective of where we have hiked. The Featured image on the blog today was the tracks from my Garmin Forerunner watch exported to Google Earth.  In fact, I had both my old Garmin Forerunner (for GPS) AND also used my Fitbit Charge HR to get steps and heart rate. I’m a gadget geek! I can’t afford all the new technologies that are available but I love tracking everything I do!

I hope you enjoy the few pictures I took. Hopefully you will join us on our next adventure!


Categories: Adventure, Baugo, Hiking, South Bend, South Bend Adventure Club, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Hiking at Ferrettie/Baugo Creek County Park

Fourteen South Adventure Club members met up at Ferrettie/Baugo Creek County Park (aka Baugo) at 10am this morning to hike and geocache. It was a bit misty as we were heading to the park but it cleared up for our hike. The temperature was near an unseasonable 45 degrees. The park was not charging an admission on this day so that was an added bonus.

We took a short hike to the first geocache ( and found what is considered a “pill bottle”, well hidden in the branch of a pine tree. We then went to a trail head where we met up with an additional three members of the adventure club. Early on the trail was a bit muddy, we headed under a train trestle as a large locomotive train passed over head. We Followed Baugo Creek as it wound through the woods south Of Lincoln Way. If you have every looked at a map of Baugo, it appears to be a rather small park but the park continues South of Lincoln Way and Washington and there are 1, 2 and 4 mile trail loops.

As we followed a creek, we noticed a bridge ahead. Before we crossed the bridge, we took some pictures (see below) along the bank of the creek. After we crossed the bridge we followed a narrow trail that followed the creek. The trail has been narrowed due to erosion on the bank of the creek. We followed the Portage Trail to the Tumpline Loop Trail where we spent time enjoying where the creek flows to a quicker pace. We could see trees in the creek off in the distance that the park has manually placed. This was done to re-introduce the beaver to the area. The Trumpline Loop Trail is somewhat difficult to follow at times as the creek rises a great deal due to rain and snow melt. You will see some pictures in the gallery that will show that. I’d like to take the opportunity to thank Aditi Kelkar, who took about 3/4ths of the pictures in the gallery.

We continued back to the Portage Trail before taking the Palisades trail through the outside portion of the property, which loops back to the Portage Trail. The building you see in one of the pictures is “Baugo Station”, This is a place where you can rent snow shoes, cross country skis or other seasonal activities. We continued on to a little known trail west of Baugo Station to find another geocache, the trail continued to the North West of the property and then we followed it to a pier on Lake Osceola to search for another geocache. We finished off the hike by hiking up the Tube hill and hiking down the other side searching for another geocache. It was a slower paced hike that included many great places to take a picture, again, I didn’t take many but I thank everyone for (again, such as Aditi Kelkar) for allowing me to share them.

After the trip, we stopped off at “Bravo Café” (Highly Recommended!) which is similar to a Greek Diner. I had a Beef Shish-kabob which was a massive plate of Steak, Onion, Potato, Green Pepper and Rice. Someone else ordered a Chicken Salad (that too , pictured below) A great day with a great group of people!




Categories: Adventure, Baugo, Geocaching, Hiking | Leave a comment

Taking on the cold

The past week brought below freezing temperatures, frigid winds, and over a foot of snow to South Bend. For most rational people, this is the perfect opportunity to hunker down on the couch with a blanket, hot chocolate and good movie. The adventure club, however, proved that snow is no excuse to stay inside. On Wednesday, David kicked off the New Year with a delicious pancake breakfast and hike at Ferrettie Baugo county park (attended by 6). Saturday morning started with a 2.5 hour hike at Fernwood Botanical Gardens (expertly guided by David, attended by 7), followed by cross country skiing at Love Creek county park (attended by 2) and ended with discount downhill skiing at Swiss Valley (organized by Brandon, attended by 6). It was great to see so many people out and playing in the snow.

The weather Saturday night got pretty nasty and we decided to postpone the planned early morning trip to look for snowy owls until this coming Saturday. When it comes to weather I’m about as stubborn as they get. I hate cancelling trips. But when your car is slipping and sliding down the road, driving long distances in the dark is a bad idea. If the weather’s too bad in these situations, consider snowshoeing or skiing in a more local park (even better if you can walk there).

On Monday, the city of South Bend declared a state of emergency as a polar vortex brought absurdly low temperatures to the city. All vehicles were prohibited from driving on the roads. Kudos to you if you still made it outside for a bit, but adventuring in this weather shouldn’t be taken lightly. Luckily this kind of thing doesn’t last long and we should be back in business by this weekend.
If you are extremely uncomfortable in the cold, you may not have the right gear. Read this guide by REI. It has more information than you may need, but at least read the clothing section. Winter gear can get expensive so consider finding it used. In summary, there really are a lot of great outdoor experiences to be had in the winter. Get outside but be safe.

Categories: Adventure, Baugo, Snow | 1 Comment

Perfect day for a paddle

Baugo Creek is a wonderful little hidden gem for paddling just outside of town, so it seemed like the perfect place to spend a relaxing Sunday morning. As the planned trip approached, the forecasted chance of rain steadily grew from 30% to 90%, crushing any hopes of sunshine. However a select group of resilient paddlers refused to be scared away. So Sunday morning, eight of us launched kayaks from a small bridge to explore this meandering creek.

With the recent drought, the water level was pretty low. Right away we had to deal with pretty frequent portages over rocks. And to make things even more exciting, the weather forecast was spot on: the drought ended that morning with a nice downpour. Luckily we were kept warm by constantly having to get out and drag our boats over rocks and treacherous logjams.

It was exhausting, but the rain over the river actually made for a pretty neat paddling experience. I’m generally opposed to cancelling trips because of weather and I’m glad we followed through with this one. After finally getting off the water and drying out, we merrily stuffed ourselves with $1 tacos at El Paraiso.

For more information on local paddles, check out the paddling section of the Michiana Adventure Guide here

For more information about planning a similar trip, click here .

Categories: Adventure, Baugo, Paddling | 1 Comment

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