Explore Nature

Wrapped in woodlands and lined with waterways, Elkhart County holds a unique place in the heart of all who explore its trails. Unique encounters with nature can happen any time of the year–you might catch a glimpse of an otter swimming downstream, find a delicate rare flower, or hear the woods burst with songs from birds in spring.


In a county where 300 bird species or more can be encountered in a year, it’s no mystery why birding has become a huge hit in our region.

The Elkhart County Parks includes multiple hotspots for concentrated bird activity. Migratory birds can be found in abundance along the Elkhart River corridor, which runs through the heart of the River Preserve, and Bonneyville Mill.

Boot Lake Nature Preserve and Cobus Creek are home to several state-endangered and threatened species, including Sedge Wren, Henslow’s Sparrow, Sandhill Crane, and American Bittern.

To find the best birds, head out for a seasonal bird walk with an eagle-eyed naturalist. Bird tours are offered regularly, so be be sure check the calendar to see where the next one will take place!