Ox Bow County Park

Located on the banks of the Elkhart River, Ox Bow Park is a reflection of Elkhart County’s natural beauty. Here you can discover the diversity of our natural environment and experience the renewal of spirit which nature provides.

Ox Bow Park was established in 1969. The

park was originally developed with matching funds by the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation through the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Prior to that date, what is now Ox Bow Park, was a self supporting 113 acre farm for the Elkhart County Home. Residents of the County Home helped work the farm in return for room, board and medical care.

Ox Bow Park gets its name from a natural feature found within the park, an oxbow of the Elkhart River. Oxbows are U-shaped lakes that form when rivers change their course. Their shape resembles the bow

of oxen yokes used by pioneers. This ancient river channel is now a wetlands which support fish and a wide variety of plant and wildlife species.

Ox Bow Park offers hundreds of acres set aside to provide space for outdoor activities and the preservation of plant and wildlife habitat. This multi use philosophy is at the heart of the Elkhart County Parks. The park is managed with the needs of our park visitors and the natural environment in mind. 20% of the park is developed for your recreational needs and 80 % is left in a natural state for the plants and animals that call Ox Bow home.

Ox Bow provides four seasons of outdoor enjoyment with its well maintained picnic areas and seven open and one winterized shelter. Volleyball courts, horseshoe pits and playgrounds can be found throughout the park. Other features include paved bike trail, an archery range, observation tower, athletic fields, canoe launch, an open-air chapel and an 18 hole disc golf course. During the winter months, you can find groomed trails for cross country skiing as well as two sledding hills and a warming house for an afternoon of snow-filled fun.


All shelters have outdoor grills, drinking fountains and primitive restroom facilities. Many include campfire platforms (wood not provided). All shelters may be reserved. Any shelter not reserved can be used on a first come basis. Playground equipment, volleyball courts and horseshoe pits cannot be reserved. To reserve a shelter call the park administration office, (574) 535-6458 Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (EST)

Fisherman's Camp      Capacity - 75     Fee - $110.00
Open-air shelter located on the banks of the Elkhart River close to the canoe launch, observation tower and the Red Pines Campfire Area. Shelter includes campfire platform. Playground equipment, volleyball court, horseshoe pit, athletic field, open-air chapel and trails are nearby. Handicap-accessible.

Coffee Tree      Capacity - 50     Fee - $60.00
Open-air shelter with good views of the Elkhart River. Shelter includes a campfire platform and a horseshoe pit is nearby. The shelter is located near several trails and just a short walk to the observation tower. Handicap-accessible.

Honey Locust Shelter     Capacity - 75     Fee - $85.00
Open-air shelter located near the oxbow of the Elkhart River. Hiking trails lead along the river, oxbow and through a beautiful woodlands. It's a short walk to the spillway and fishing areas. Shelter includes a campfire platform. A swing set, sand box, horseshoe pit and volleyball court are nearby. Handicap-accessible.

Black Maple      Capacity - 50     Fee - $60.00

Open-air shelter located in the heart of the park. The spillway and fishing pier are just across the road providing excellent fishing opportunities. The trails lead through the woodlands and board-walked wetlands with good wildlife viewing. A short walk will take you to the disc golf course, or across the theme bridge to a playground area, athletic field and volleyball court. Shelter includes a
campfire platform.

Cottonwood      Capacity - 75     Fee -$110.00
Open-air shelter overlooking the beautiful wetlands. The shelter is located across the road from the archery range and athletic field with plenty of room for ball sports. Hiking trails, playground equipment, horseshoe pit and volleyball court are nearby. Shelter includes a campfire platform. Handicap-accessible.

Farmstead      Capacity - 50     Fee - $60.00
Open-air shelter located adjacent to the disc golf course. Secluded off the main roadway, the area provides good opportunities for viewing wildlife. The shelter is close to the spillway and fishing pier. Nearby trails lead you along the oxbow and wetland areas.


Stable      Capacity - 110     Fee - $110.00
Open-air shelter adjacent to the first tee of the disc golf course. Hiking trails, horseshoe pit and a volleyball court are nearby. Handicap-accessible.

Ox Bow Haus      Capacity - 50     Fee - $125.00, Security Deposit - $100.00
Enclosed shelter with electricity and modern restroom facilities. Tables and chairs are provided. Picnic tables and grills located on back deck. Wood burning stove provides warmth during cooler months. Hiking trails, athletic field, playground and volleyball court are nearby. Ox Bow Haus is open to the public as a warming house December thru February.

Hickory Hill Chape
l      Capacity - 50     Fee - $60.00
Open-air, three-sided structure located in the lower athletic field with mature evergreens as the background. Wooden benches are arranged in amphitheater style seating.

Payment Methods

Payment for program fees, shelter reservations or Ox Bow Park season passes can be made by cash, check or credit card. Payments by cash or check can be made in person at the Elkhart County Parks Administration office, 211 W. Lincoln Ave, Goshen Indiana. Payment by credit card can be made in person or by phone at 574-535-6458.
If paying by credit card a convenience fee of $1.00 or 3%, which ever is greater, will be applied.

Printable Maps

Park Fees

Day Use

A daily entry fee is required for all motorized vehicles. For pedestrians arriving by bicycle or on foot, admission is free.

Vehicle Entrance Fee: $2.00 per vehicle

Annual Pass

Are you a frequent visitor to Ox Bow County Park? Take advantage of our Annual Pass! We offer a variety of options to fit your needs.

2018 Annual Pass

Starting on November 1st, 2017, Annual Passes for the 2018 year will be available for purchase. As an added bonus, the Annual Pass will also include admission for the rest of the 2017 year after November 1st.

Annual Pass: $20.00

Additional Annual Pass: $15.00 when purchasing additional Annual Passes

Senior Annual Pass (65 and over): $15.00


Disc Golf: $2.00 daily fee; $20.00 Annual Pass

Combo: $35.00 Vehicle Entrance Fee & Disc Golf

Archery Range: $1.00 Daily Fee; $10.00 Annual Pass (ages 15 and younger, free)

Tents: $50.00 a day per tent, according to tent policy

Proceeds from these fees are used to improve the quality of the Elkhart County Park system.

Park Rules

In an effort to protect the beauty of the parks and to provide visitors with a safe and enjoyable experience, certain activities are prohibited. For a list of prohibited park activities, please view the Park Rules (pdf).

Park Hours

January, February, November, December 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
March, October

9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.

April, September 9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
May, June, July, August 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Park hours subject to change without notice.  


23033 County Road 45, Goshen, IN 46528
Located on County Road 45, north of US Highway 33, midway between
Elkhart and Goshen, IN.

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Other Parks:

Ox Bow Park

Cobus Creek          
River Preserve
Boot Lake Nature Preserve

Pumpkinvine Nature Trail

Other Properties   

Elkhart County Parks and Recreation

211 W. Lincoln Ave.
Goshen, IN 46526-3280

Phone 574-535-6458   TDD 574-535-6420
Email info@elkhartcountyparks.org