Here are some great resources for getting outdoors and having adventures in Michiana that I use pretty regularly. If you have ideas to be added, let me know.
Clubs and Groups
Northern Indiana Mountain Biking Association (http://nimba-bike.org/) – If you’re really into mountain biking, these are the folks to join up with. They maintain all of the local trails and have regular rides and races.
East Race White Water Kayak Club (http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/erwwkc/info) – The East Race can be fun to raft down in the Summer, but if you’re looking to kayak it on a regular basis and meet other such people, you’ll want to sign up with ERWWKC.
Friends of St. Joe River (http://www.fotsjr.org/) – Some really cool folks that work to conserve the river.
Parks and Places
South Bend City Parks (http://sbpark.org/) – List of parks to hit up in the immediate area.
St. Joseph County Parks (http://www.sjcparks.org/) – List of parks to hit up within a slightly larger radius.
Indiana State Parks (http://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/) – And if you want to venture a bit farther, there are many awesome state parks worth checking out.
Michigan State Parks (http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-153-10365—,00.html) – Michigan’s state parks are also close and spectacular.
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (www.nps.gov/indu/?) – The lakeshore is managed by the National Park Service and has lots of neat things to experience.
Richard Blenz Nature Conservancy (http://www.bucknercave.org/) – Group that managed Buckner’s Cave in Southern Indiana. You can apply for access with their online form.
South Bend Reddit (http://www.reddit.com/r/southbend) – giant list of local events going on in South Bend.
Ignite Michiana (http://www.ignitemichiana.com) – Event of short talks by local residents that will excite you about Michiana.
Inthebend (http://www.southbendtribune.com/entertainment/inthebend/) – targeted more towards the music and art scene but often has outdoorsy events as well.
South Bend Tribune Outdoor Adventures (http://www.southbendtribune.com/life/travel/outdoor/) – Joe Dits has a great column in the Tribune that’s chock full of good stories and useful information.
Indiana Outfitters – lots of useful information compiled into a handy website. Also includes a list of trip reports.
Nightwise.org – Local astronomer Chuck Bueter keeps you up to date with local stargazing events and anything related to the skies.
Adventures with Stormy (http://www.adventureswithstormy.com/) – Adventures of a writer from Kokomo.
Outdoor Elements (http://www.wnit.org/outdoorelements/) – This is a great local TV show that showcases many of the outdoor opportunities in the area and talks a lot about the natural history.
365 things to do (http://365southbend.blogspot.com/) – A blog that seems to have been disscontinued for some time but still has lots of useful ideas on it.
Adventure Anywhere (http://adventureanywhere.org) – Social networking site designed to facilitate the formation of local outdoor adventure clubs. SBAC had it’s humble beginings on this site.
Couchsurfing (http://couchsurfing.org) – I use this all the time while traveling and it has saved me a ton. Give it a try or host people travelling here.
Warmshowers (http://warmshowers.org) – Similar to couchsurfing but targeted towards cyclists.
Craigslist (http://craigslist.com) – This is one of the best places to find cheap outdoor gear. Especially bikes, canoes, and kayaks.
Ebay – another good source of used gear.
Meetups (http://meetups.com) – Often has fun local events posted. Check out Chicago meetups for some outdoors groups that often head in our direction for trips.
Google Maps (http://maps.google.com) – Just stare at it looking for green spaces for long enough and you will be inspired to explore. Seriously, this is the number one most useful thing to ever come out of the internet.
Google Flights (http://google.com/flights) – If you are looking to expand your adventures a bit farther, this is my favorite site for tracking down the best flight deals.
Indiana Gazatteer – This is not as good as a smartphone with Google maps, but great for when you’re in the middle of nowhere and signal cuts out.
Great Lakes Nature Guide – good field guide if you’re wanting to identify some flora and fauna on trips and learn a bit about local natural history.
The Nature Conservancy’s Guide to Iniana Preserves – this guide can direct you to many lesser known preserves, many of which have great hiking and wildlife viewing. And the proceeds go to my favorite group, the Nature Conservancy.