Howard PArk

Top 10 Outdoor Activities in South Bend

If the “Great Outdoors” is more your style, South Bend has an extensive array of outdoor activities all located in or near the heart of the city.  Whether you are “hard core” or a little more “laid back”, there is something to do for everyone here in South Bend, Indiana!

Potawatomi Zoo – Originally know as the South Bend Zoo, (founded in 1921) the Potawatomi Zoo is the oldest zoo in Indiana.  This 23 acre zoo is home to over 500 animals and is maintained by the Potawatomi Zoological Society.  Great adventure for kids and adults.  (574) 235-9800

East Race Waterway – The first man-made whitewater course in North America, the East Race Waterway is a 2000 foot long rafting/kayaking facility where beginners and experts alike can practice their whitewater skills.  Open Saturdays and Sundays June through August 21st.  Call for details and hours of operation, or visit

Howard Park – A great riverfront park featuring a state-of-the-art playground with innovative playground equipment, walking trails along the St. Joseph River, and Splash Pads, all surrounding a 16,000 square foot “ice trail” and pond.  There is a warming house, skate rentals, and the Howard Park Public House only steps from the ice trail.  (574) 299-4765

Edge Adventure Aerial Park – Located in The Rum Village Park in South Bend, Edge Adventure features a series of obstacle courses in the overhead trees, with varying degrees of height and difficulty.  Climbers will move over, under, and through the obstacles on each course.  Call (800) 590-8347 for details and hours of operation or visit

Bicycle and Mountain Bike Trails – Interested in doing some bicycling during your visit to South Bend?  Download the City of South Bend Bikeway Map.  The LaSalle Trail connects Niles, Michigan with South Bend, and east to downtown Mishawaka.  The Pumpkinvine Trail connects several communities in Elkhart County from Goshen to Shipshewanna.   Rum Village Park and Bendix Woods County Park have dedicated Mountain Bike courses, and Potato Creek State Park in North liberty has both paved and mountain bike trails.

St. Joseph County Parks – If you run out of things to do from the list of previous activities, try visiting one of our St. Joseph County Parks.  In winter, enjoy hiking, cross-country skiing, innertubing or snowshoeing.  In the warmer months, we have canoe and kayak rentals, disc golf, geocaching, orienteering, hiking and more.  There is something for every age group and activity level.  Visit St. Joseph County Parks to plan your next outdoor adventure.

Seitz Park – Located on an island between the East Race and the St. Joseph River, this park, when complete in 2023 will feature an outdoor live entertainment pavilion, rest rooms and vending services.  The existing “fish ladder” will have more interpretive opportunities so visitors can understand the importance of this feature.  The South Bend River Lights will again become one of the focal points of activity along the river, as they bring an added vibrancy to the park and the Century Center on the opposite side of the river.

So grab your hiking boots, bikes, snow gear, ice skates, and camera and start planning your next “Outdoor Activities” getaway in South Bend.  Start by booking your favorite room at The Oliver Inn today!

The River Lights are just one of the many outdoor activities to experience in South Bend, Indiana during your visit to The Oliver Inn.

The River Lights Display in South Bend, Indiana with Fireworks over the river
Fireworks over the St. Joseph river as the river lights wash over the falls.