You actually don’t have to go far at all to find adventure here in South Bend. Below are some of the best parks that you can get to without even leaving the city. Try biking or using public transportation (http://www.sbtranspo.com/).
St. Patrick’s Park
Just North of town on the Michigan border is a great St. Joseph County Park with lots of beautiful trails, river access, and green space. St. Patrick’s park is a surprisingly great way to get in nature without venturing too far when you don’t have loads of time.
For a list of events going on at the park: http://www.sjcparks.org/calendar.html
Things to see:
Country Bake Shop
East Bank Trail (http://www.indianatrails.com/content/east-bank-trail-%E2%80%93-south-bend) – Great for walking or biking.
Izaak Walton League
I think that you’re supposed to be a member to go to this place, but we just went anyways. It didn’t seem like anyone cared too much.
Ferrettie Baugo Park
A series of trails along a meandering creek as well as disc golf course in Osceola. There are two ways in, one being the main entrance which you have to pay for and the other being the small parking lot along E Washington Street.
Rum Village Park
Great city park with hiking trails, mountain biking trails, and a nature center. Look at their schedule for interesting events.
Madeline Bertrand County Park
Connected to St. Patrick’s, either of these parks can be accessed from the other. Basically it just extends the series of pretty trails along the river to make a nice super-park.
Afterwards: Country Bake Shop
Bendix Woods County Park
Only a short drive out of South Bend, this park has lots of nice hiking, biking, and hosts the annual Sugar Camp Days maple syrup festival.
Moser’s Austrian restaurant
University of Notre Dame
It’s worth a walk if you’ve never been to campus. Sites include some nice lakeside trails, a beautiful church, giant mural of Jesus, and a famous football stadium.
Center for History and Studebaker National Museum
(http://centerforhistory.org/ and http://www.studebakermuseum.org/)
Not exactly outdoors destinations, but very interesting if you want to know about South Bend’s history. Included in the museum is a tour of the Oliver mansion next door.
Potawatami Zoo and Conservatory
Pretty cool zoo to check out. Closed in the winter.