Berrien County Parks

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Love Creek Naturalist Activities

Fall Naturalist Events

Weekday Group Hikes. Fall is one of the best hiking seasons in Southwest Michigan and Berrien County Parks has scenic trails at Galien River, Love Creek and Madeline Bertrand County Parks. In addition, both Silver Beach and Rocky Gap make good starting locations for lakeshore area walks! Enjoy our trails on your own or join us for one of the weekday morning group walks scheduled below. Each hike will last approximately 90 minutes and cover 2 to 2 1/2 miles. Join us for one or several!

  • Wednesday, October 4 - 10:30 a.m. Silver Beach County Park. Silver Beach is a great base for a walk along the St. Joseph lakeshore and some nearby area walking trails can be added too! Meet  in the north parking lot (near the river). Weather conditions permitting we’ll start with a walk out on the south pier before heading south along the shore.
  • Wednesday, October 11 – 10:30 a.m. Love Creek County Park. Meet at the nature center to begin this walk out to the scenic Love Creek valley. We’ll choose the trails we think offer the best early October color and introduce you to some of the new trails in the recently acquired “Simpson Property” portion of the park.
  • Wednesday, October 18 – 10:30 a.m. Galien River County Park. Meet at the parking lot trailhead to begin a fall exploration of this new county park. Our walk will include the Canopy Walkway and Marsh Boardwalk, as well as the Ridge Trail. Good fall color and great views can be expected!
  • Wednesday, October 25 – 10:30 a.m.  Madeline Bertrand County Park. Meet at the visitor center to begin this hike on trails along the St. Joseph River to the northern parts of the park. Bertrand is well-known as a great location for a group picnic or a round of Disc Golf, but it also has significant natural beauty, especially at this time of year and we’ll show you our favorite trails and locations.
  • Wednesday, November 1 – 10:30 a.m. Love Creek County Park. We’ll return to Love Creek for our final fall walk, as the Beech-Maple forest along the Love Creek valley is often at its color peak in late fall. Meet at the nature center.

Saturday, Sept 23, 3:00 p.m. Bugs, Slugs & More. We have some fun indoor and outside youth activities planned this afternoon exploring the world of insects, spiders and others.  Come curious and meet in the nature center at Love Creek!

Saturday, Sept 30, 3:00 p.m. Snakes, Turtles & Such. Meet in the nature center at Love Creek for an up close look at several of the reptiles and amphibians that live in SW Michigan. We’ll offer feeding demonstration too, as well as a chance to touch for those who want!

Sunday, October 8, 1:00 p.m. Voyageur Canoe Outing on the Galien River.  Join us for an exploration of the Galien River Marsh in one of our 34’ Voyageur canoes. We’ll paddle upstream from the public boat launch in New Buffalo to Galien River County Park and back again. No charge for the program, but space is limited. (The canoe has room for approximately 15 participants.) Call (269) 471-2617 to reserve a space. 

Saturday, October 14, 7:00 p.m. October Night Hike to Johanna’s Woods Loop. Tonight we’ll offer a guided exploration of Love Creek’s trails at dusk and just after dark, with the goal of hiking out and around Johanna’s Woods Loop - a hike with a roundtrip distance of about 2 miles. With luck we’ll hear and maybe even see an owl! Bring a small flashlight or headlamp and meet at the nature center.

Saturday, October 21, 1:00 p.m. Boardwalks, Birds & Such. Join us for a fall exploration of Galien River County Park’s trails, boardwalks and treetop canopy walkway. We hope to enjoy some great views and fall colors, and will keep an eye out for migrant birds that use the park’s wetland and woodland habitats to rest and refuel. Bring binoculars if you have them. Sponsored jointly with Harbor Country Hikers (









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811 Port Street, St. Joseph, MI 49085
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701 Main Street, St. Joseph, MI 49085
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