G   T   S

The Graduate Theological Society
at the University of Notre Dame

Main | Bulletins | Officers | Housing | Outdoor Recreation | Athletics | Arts and Culture | Eating Out | Families with Children | Worship

Outdoor Recreation

We don’t have mountains or oceans, but if you like to get outside, there are still quite a few options for you!

Photo: Zahn
Warren Dunes State Park


Here are a few of our favorites:


  • Rum Village Woods: SB City Park; 160 acres. Ewing Ave. and Gertrude St. in South Bend.
  • St. Patrick’s County Park: ca 3 miles of trails just a 5-minute drive north of Notre Dame. Nice for a stroll and a picnic.
  • Potato Creek: IN State Park, ca. 20 minute drive south of South Bend. Around 8 miles of hiking trails through woods and marshland. Also camping and bike and canoe rental.
  • Indiana Dunes: IN State Park, ca. 50 minute drive west of SB, just west of Michigan City. Around 10 miles of trails through unique dune ecosystems. Also camping, beach/swimming. A hotspot for birdwatchers in spring.
  • Warren Dunes: MI State Park, ca. 45 minute drive northwest of SB. 6 miles of trails over, around, and behind the dunes.

 Kayak/Canoe Rental:

  • East Race: Downtown South Bend. An artificial whitewater course that hosted the US Olympic Trials in 2004. Kayak rental available June-August.

  • Potato Creek State Park: See under Hiking.

Cross-Country Skiing:

Tip: Head to Michigan! Potato Creek State Park and St. Patrick’s County Park (see under Hiking) claim to support X-C skiing (St. Pat’s even rents), but groom poorly (St. Pats) or not at all (Potato Creek).

For short, nearby excursions, try instead:

Madeline Bertrand County Park: Just over the state line in Michigan, and actually contiguous with St. Patrick’s Park in Indiana (a single ski pass gives access to both parks). 3 miles of trails, some of which are lighted, and rentals.

Love Creek County Park: About a 30-minute drive north, just east of Berrien Springs, MI. 5 miles of trails, some lighted, with more variety than Madeline Bertrand. Rentals available.


Two St. Joseph County parks have tubing hills: St. Patrick’s and Ferrettie-Baugo. (winter brochure | site)

Ice Skating:

Joyce Center: ND students and others with an ND ID can skate free at the Joyce Center rink (enter Gate 3) on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 12–1 pm, Sept. 15–March 15. Rentals available for $3.

Howard Park: Just across the river from downtown South Bend. Outdoor rink, charges admission fee ($3/adult in 2006–07). Rentals available. (coupon for buy one get one free admission in the South Bend Parks winter activity guide)