Potato Creek State Park

First Hike, January 1st

Last year, we had a very successful, January 1st “hAnGoVeR hIkE” but this year instead of leading an event, I piggy backed on a hike offered by the DNR at Potato Creek County Park. While it was a chilly morning, it was great to see the sun shine on this first day of the year.

“Maggie” (DNR Interpreter) led the hike, which was an easy hike, probably about a mile but we stopped off along the trail several times to find out information about animals, fowl, fish, amphibian and insects that live in the park as well as their hibernation and winter activities. Of special interest to me was finding out that Bees tend to hibernate on the north side of a hill, in soil that drains well. This is done so that a warm sun beating down on the south of a hill does not trick them into thinking spring has arrived. The well drained soil helps so when the snow melts, it does not drown them! (layman’s terms, lol)

Approximately 25-30 people attended this hike, of which six South Bend Adventure Club members joined us, including Outdoor Adventure columnist Joe Dits of the South Bend Tribune.

At the end of the hike, we went back to the Nature Center where some joined in on “Cocoa with the Birds”, we talked, got warm and then headed home. See some pictures below!

Some may notice that I have spent less time leading events and I will be leading less events in 2017. Having a son in High School Orchestra, who also plays with the South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestra AND has been spending more time with Piano lessons and after school activities, it is really hard for me to commit to creating events. This is one one of the reasons we look to our membership to create outdoor related events! If you wish to lead an event, please see our easy how to guide! (Click here “Leading Trips” ). We are down to only two or three admins — The blog needs to be updated, links need to be fixed, I’d like to work on an “Event Calendar” for all Outdoor related activities, so any help that anyone can give is a gift we will accept 🙂  I may stay behind the scenes for now working on all this and occasionally do an event, I’m hoping our membership can fill in the gaps on events.  We may also have a membership meeting within the next few weeks so people can share their thoughts on the club.

That being said… Here are the pictures!

Categories: Adventure, Hiking, Potato Creek State Park, South Bend Adventure Club, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Bike South Bend to Potato Creek

This weekend we had a pretty awesome trip to Potato Creek State Park. Four of us decided to bike there from South Bend. We met Saturday morning with rain clouds covering the sky. A sensible group would have called off biking and just driven. But at that point we had spent a good amount of time Jerry-rigging all of our camping gear to our bikes and didn’t want to back out. The weather held out for most of the trip. We took a series of back roads that had relatively little traffic and beautiful forested areas that were painted bright with fall colors. As soon as we got to the park entrance, the rain started coming down pretty hard and the last five miles were a struggle. But soon we were at the nature center, where four other club members joined up with us. A Boy Scout event was being held at the park this weekend, and so we were literally swarmed by rambunctious children. We took refuge by huddling in the corner of the salamander display to dry off, warm up, and eat peanut butter sandwiches to replenish our energy.
The rain wasn’t stopping, so we all just donned our rain gear and took off for some hiking. We covered all of trails 1, 2, and 4 which totaled to 9.5 miles. After that, some headed home while the rest of us headed to the campsite to cook up a tasty dinner and sit by the campfire.
After waking up, we wasted no time, packed things up, and three of us got back on our bikes to return to South Bend. The weather was much better this time around and we might have spotted a bobcat at one point, although the jury is still out on that. We got back to town just after noon, pretty much exhausted but feeling good about our adventure.

Categories: Adventure, Biking, Hiking, Potato Creek State Park | Leave a comment

Get excited for Spring

The first weekend of spring was full of fun events. Friday night we had a huge group camp-out in the tropical greenhouse of the Potawatami Conservatory including potluck dinner, VIP tour of the IUSB observatory, an inflatable planetarium, and star gazing with local astronomer Chuck Bueter. Early morning we woke up and 11 went on a hike at Potato Creek State Park that covered a total of six miles of trail. Afterwards we headed back into town and had lunch at the Purple Porch Co-Op. A few of us still had a bit of energy left to burn and went on a two mile run on the River Walk Trail in Mishawaka before finally going home. With warm weather ahead, the fun has just begun.

Chuck’s blog: http://www.nightwise.org/

Picture credits: Chuck, Rochelle, and Kerry

Categories: Adventure, Astronomy, Hiking, Potato Creek State Park, Running, Triparty | Leave a comment

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