You may think that Elkhart County is nothing more than woodlands and rolling rural countryside, but scratch beneath the surface, and you’ll find places teeming with more wild abundance and cultural delight than you could’ve ever imagined.

Special events, nature programs, and ever-changing landscapes transformed by the seasons mean there’s never a dull moment at the Elkhart County Parks.

Seasonal Spotlights


Nothing quite says “summer vacation” like a daytrip to the park? So slap on some sunscreen, break out the hiking boots and BBQ gear—we’ve got your summer bucket list ready to go!

Before the season kicks into high gear, reserve your shelter now! Our facilities come in all shapes and sizes, so there are lots of options for your next gathering with friends and family. Just make sure to book ahead before someone snags the one you’re after.

Next, it’s time to pick a destination for your sweet summer outing. The parks has tons of gorgeous trails this time of year, each unique with diverse terrain to traverse. Take a peek at our hiking guide for ideas on which park is the best fit for you. For families looking for fun ways to play, check out our kid-friendly things to do. If you’re craving some outdoor adventure, our parks offer some fantastic options—from kayaking and fishing to disc golf courses.


Oh autumn, how we love you. Finally, it’s cool enough for extended excursions in the parks watching the leaves turn into their fiery hues. There’s just so many ways to spend the season…

Our Gathering at Five Medals offers a taste of history and nature in a weekend long living history festival at the River Preserve.

At the end of October, taste caramel apples, roast marshmallows, and enjoy spooky frights at Ox Bow’s Halloween Campfire and Hayrides.


There’s no escaping winter, but a winter escape is fun and easy. That’s because Elkhart County’s convenient location makes it high enough north for reliable snow, without getting hit head-on by the lakefront’s harsh winter elements. The result: shimmering snowscapes, sledding hills, and trails groomed to perfection. With so many options for snow-filled fun—you’ll want that groundhog to see his shadow.

Check out our snow sports section for all your winter needs.


Elkhart County’s landscape goes through a dramatic transformation in spring with spring perennials busting into bloom, butterflies emerging, and wildlife in abundance.

As Hoosiers venture outside with the lighter days, they’re also greeted by a sound that they haven’t heard in months: singing birds. Early May offers you the chance to experience the peak of spring migration, so be sure to keep an eye on the calendar to sign up for a Birding by Ear Workshop, and bird walks in the parks.
Horticulturalists are spoiled for choice on which spot to pick for viewing flowers in full bloom. For lush wooded walk carpeted by wildflowers, visit Benton Dam at River Preserve, or wander one of the central trails at Ox Bow County Park. For a more cultivated sampling of botanical beauties, check out one of the many gardens in our parks, like DeFries Calendar Garden.